Week of September 5, 2011

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

Illinois
Michigan
New York
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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       New Product  Archives

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Weaver unveils Buck Commander Optics
Weaver adds new optics to its rugged and affordable Buck Commander™ series. These new scopes and binoculars all but ensure the next big buck won’t get away and are engineered under stringent Weaver standards and endorsed by Buck Commander Willie Robertson and his crew. These are available in stores now.

Accuracy, From a Distance
New Buck Commander series binoculars are waterproof, shockproof, fogproof and feature fully multi-coated, scratch-resistant lenses. Rigorous testing confirms consistent performance and a rugged, rubber-armored finish ensures performance in the harshest of conditions.

Quality Optics for Shotgunners
Buck Commander shotgun scopes boast either Dual-X or Command-X reticles—perfect for spotting big bucks. Scopes feature 1-inch, one-piece tube construction for excellent toughness. With 4-times magnification range and fully multi-coated lenses, these scopes take hunters to the next level of accuracy.

“Our new Buck Commander series additions are sure to make an impact with hunters this season,” said Product Marketing Manager, Tom Knudtson. “Willie and the Buck Commanders know how to hunt hard—and we’ve got a full line of optics they can trust in the field. These scopes and binoculars won’t break the bank—but will give you the performance you demand.”

www.WeaverOptics.com/Optics/BuckCommander/


National

New Bill will improve, increase public land opportunities

“Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act”

Hunting and fishing opportunities will become a priority on 440 million acres of federal public lands under the newly proposed “Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act” introduced September 1st, by Reps. Dan Benishek (R-MI) and Dan Boren (D-OK).

 

Cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Don Young (R-AK) and Mike Kelly (R-PA).  The bill is also supported by other key members of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. 

 

This vast acreage is managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is found from coast to coast, and is used – and relied on – by many public land hunters, trappers, shooters and anglers.  This bill, championed by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) and other leading angling and hunting organizations, establishes in law that recreational fishing, hunting (which includes trapping) and shooting are important and traditional activities to be continued on these public lands and that fish and wildlife conservation is improved by protecting these activities.  Joining USSA in this landmark effort are the American Sportfishing Association, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, and the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation.

 

“The USSA has strongly encouraged such legislation for over a decade to spell out in law that fishing and hunting on federal public lands must be protected from the rising animal rights lobby,” said Bill Horn, USSA director of federal affairs.  “This bill will provide needed protection for years to come.”

 

This landmark measure recognizes that recreational anglers, hunters and shooters have been, and continue to be, the foremost supporters of sound fish and wildlife management and conservation in the United States.  The bill further highlights that hunting, fishing and recreational shooting occurs on Federal public lands and waters, without adverse impacts or effects on other uses or users.  These features are similar to the designation of fishing and hunting as priority public uses on refuge lands in the 1997 National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act. USSA played a key role in enacting the 1997 Act and has been working since then to expand these concepts to USFS and BLM lands. The Refuge Act has curtailed attempts by anti-hunting groups to stop hunting on some public lands where hunting has traditionally occurred.

 

Animal rights activists, however, continue to press for fishing and hunting closures on public lands. These assaults against hunters take several routes. Some courts require the land’s managing agencies to actively consider wholesale hunting and shooting closures to appease this fringe group. In other cases, fishing, and hunting get treated as “new” activities which cannot be authorized (and continued) until numerous lengthy and costly environmental reviews and land plans are completed.  This new bill will block these threats.

 

“We have been very pleased to work with Reps. Benishek and Boren and the House Natural Resources Committee to develop this important legislation,” Horn continued.  “USSA stands ready to assure enactment of the bill into law to ensure that our hunting and fishing heritage on federal 

public lands is protected.” Today’s introduction of the bill begins this important process.

 

When enacted, the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act would specify that federal public land management officials shall exercise their authority under existing law, including provisions regarding land-use planning, to facilitate use of and access to federal public lands and waters for fishing, hunting, and recreational shooting.  Going forward, all management plans would include provisions for those popular practices.

 

The affected lands that will be open include:  lands under the jurisdiction of the BLM and the USFS, including lands designated Wilderness or administratively classified as Wilderness eligible or suitable, and primitive or semi-primitive areas. National parks, however, are excluded from the Act as are Wildlife Refuges (already governed by the 1997 Act).

 

The Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act will also recognize the work of conservation organizations and their assistance to fish and wildlife managers, plus enforcement officers, at the federal, state and local government levels. Hunters and anglers volunteer countless hours to fish and wildlife conservation projects across America that have also benefitted all public lands and citizens in general.  Additionally, associated outdoor industries have generated billions of dollars of critical funding for fish and wildlife conservation, research, and management through revenues from purchases of fish and hunting licenses and permits.  Many other projects undertaken on BLM and USFS lands are funded by excise taxes on fishing, hunting, and shooting equipment.  Those billions of dollars are critical funding for fish and wildlife conservation, research, and management and are unequalled by any group or program in our nation.

 

It’s important to note that the new bill recognizes that recreational shooting is also an important and traditional activity in which millions of Americans participate, and establishes that safe recreational shooting is a valid use of federal public lands.  Participation in recreational shooting helps recruit and retain hunters and contributes to wildlife conservation through taxes and assorted programs.

 

Opportunities to recreationally fish, hunt, trap, and shoot are declining, which depresses participation in these traditional activities.  As a result, less participation adversely impacts fish and wildlife conservation and funding for important projects by reducing or limiting monies available.  The term “recreational shooting” means any form of sport, training, competition or pastime, whether formal or informal, that involves the discharge of a rifle, handgun, or shotgun, or the use of a bow and arrow.  The public interest would be better served, and our citizens’ fish and wildlife resources benefitted, by action to ensure that opportunities are facilitated to engage in fishing and hunting on Federal public lands.

 

Another key provision finds that fishing and hunting are “necessary” to fulfill wilderness purposes on lands designated or managed as Wilderness. This ensures that recent anti-hunting, anti-wildlife management decisions by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco cannot be used to bar fishing, hunting or wildlife conservation efforts in Wilderness areas.

 

 “When passed, this legislation will have a profound beneficial impact on anglers, hunters and shooters far into the future,” said Horn.


Regional

Great Lakes Alewives healthy

Lake Michigan Coho and Chinook salmon apparently have lots to eat and the alewives they eat are apparently healthy. Tests have shown that the alewives that washed

 

up by the millions on shore this summer did not have the VHS virus. The die-off was then, presumably, natural and the large die-off on the beaches suggests even more baitfish are alive and kicking in the big lake.


Great Lakes Water Levels for Sept 2, 2011 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Quiet, dry weather and seasonal temperatures were experienced across the Great Lakes this past week. Looking ahead to the holiday weekend; showers and potentially severe thunderstorms will be moving through the basin. As a lower pressure system moves across the Great Lakes region, a majority of precipitation will fall on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. The remainder of the work week will be mostly sunny but with cooler seasonal temperatures.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior is nearly 2 inches higher than it was last year.  Currently, Lake Michigan-Huron is at about the same level it was a year ago. While Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 5, 9, and 2 inches, respectively, higher than they were at this time last year. Over the next thirty days, Lake Superior is projected stay near its current level, and Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 2 inches.  The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to decline 7, 6, and 4 inches, respectively, over the next month.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Mary's River is projected to be below average for the month of September.  The outflows from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, and

from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River, are expected to be below average throughout the month of September.  Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River is predicted to be above average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be 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 Sept 2

601.25

578.08

574.48

571.92

245.57

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+2

+7

+26

+33

+27

Diff last month

-1

-2

-4

-4

-7

Diff from last yr

+2

0

+5

+9

+2


Illinois

New Law Gives More Rights to Property Owners

“Purple Paint Law” gives landowners option of marking trees or posts to prevent trespassing

SPRINGFIELD, IL – A new law signed this week by Governor Pat Quinn allows Illinois landowners or lessees the option of using purple paint markings on trees or posts on their property as a “no trespassing” notice.  The “Purple Paint Law” is designed as an alternative which Illinois landowners can use to protect their property from trespassing.

 

The new law – Senate Bill 1914 – was signed by Governor Quinn on Aug. 22 and took effect immediately.

 

While the new “Purple Paint Law” gives Illinois landowners or lessees the option of marking their property with a series of defined purple paint markings on trees or posts, additional notice is still required through 2012.   Until January 1, 2013 those landowners using purple marks must continue to issue a “no trespassing” notice either by oral or written notice to individuals or by posting appropriate signage at the main entrance to the property in question.

 

Provisions of the new law require that the purple paint marks used to designate “no trespassing” notice must be either:

 

1. A vertical line of at least 8 inches in length.  The bottom of the mark shall be between 3 feet and 5 feet high.  Each mark shall be no more than 100 feet from another such

mark and be readily visible to any person approaching the property.

 

Or

 

2. A post capped or otherwise marked on at least its top 2 inches.  The bottom of the cap or mark shall be between 3 feet and 5 feet 6 inches high.  Posts so marked shall be no more than 36 feet apart and be readily visible to any person approaching the property.  Prior to applying a cap or mark that is visible from both sides of a fence shared by different property owners or lessees, all such owners or lessees must agree to the decision to post their own property.

 

Trespassing on property marked for “no trespassing” is a Class B misdemeanor, except when a person trespasses using a motor vehicle if the marked area is an orchard; an enclosed area containing livestock; a barn or other agricultural building containing livestock; or a field that is used or capable of being used for growing crops.  Such trespassing constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. 

 

No landowner or lessee is authorized to post purple marks if doing so would violate any applicable law, rule, ordinance, order, covenant, bylaw, declaration, regulation, restriction, contract, or other instrument.

 

The new “Purple Paint Law” does not apply to real property located in a municipality of over 2,000,000 inhabitants.

For more details on the new law, please visit www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/PublicAct97-0477.aspx


Michigan

Progress made with Platte River State Fish Hatchery effluents

The Platte River State Fish Hatchery’s once problematic phosphorus discharge level is almost negligible now, the Department of Natural Resources and Platte Lake Improvement Association announced today.

 

Prior to 2000, the salmon-rearing facility was the subject of a lengthy legal dispute involving phosphorus discharges that degraded water quality in Platte Lake. The DNR entered into a consent agreement with the Platte Lake Improvement Association in 2000 restricting phosphorus discharges to no more than 175 pounds annually, a significant decrease from nearly 3,000 pounds in the 1970s, and restricted the number of salmon that could move up to the hatchery.

 

“We are now below 100 pounds annually, a level that was not considered possible for a hatchery of this size,” said Gary Whelan, the DNR’s fish production manager. “This is the result of a team effort by DNR employees and Platte Lake Improvement Association officials.”

 

Although the DNR generally met discharge goals from 2000 to 2008, a significant discharge violated the consent agreement. As a result, the DNR paid an $118,000 penalty

into the lake improvement association’s rehabilitation fund.

With a $90,000 contribution from the rehabilitation fund and an injection of $450,000 in DNR funds, a new chemical-treatment system was installed, a new feeding regime was adopted and the wastewater settling pond was dredged.

 

“Everyone agreed that the wastewater settling pond dredging was necessary,” said Wilfred Swiecki, president of the Platte Lake Improvement Association. “The remainder of the penalty funds will be expended on additional watershed improvements over the next five years.”

 

Whelan praised the Platte Lake Improvement Association for its on-going activities.  “We are often amazed by the work of this small group of volunteers,” he said. “After 30 years, they’re still plugging away to improve this watershed.  They are involved in every facet that concerns water quality in the watershed from litigation to prevent system degradation to zoning to water quality monitoring to watershed data storage and analysis.“.

 

Swiecki singled out consent agreement coordinator Raymond Canale for praise, but noted the achievement would not have been possible “without the help, commitment and cooperation of all involved.”


Volunteers needed for Sept Stewardship Workdays

The DNR announced the schedule of volunteer stewardship workdays to be held throughout September in southeastern Michigan state parks and recreation areas.

 

Volunteers are needed to control invasive, non-native shrubs and plant native prairie plugs in natural areas within state parks and recreation areas.  These activities will help protect and restore unique natural areas – including special wetlands and prairies – in these southeastern Michigan state parks.  Volunteering for these workdays is a great way to get outside, enjoy Michigan’s late summer scenery and get some fresh air.

 

Dates, times and locations of the workdays are as follows:

· Saturday, Sept. 10            Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County), 9 a.m. to noon

· Sunday, Sept. 11               Algonac State Park (St. Clair County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

· Saturday, Sept. 17            Brighton Recreation Area

(Livingston County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

· Sunday, Sept. 18               Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

· Saturday, Sept. 24            Sterling State Park (Monroe County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

· Sunday, Sept. 25               Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.      

 

Volunteers should bring appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants, boots, gloves and drinking water. 

 

For info about specific tasks, maps and directions: www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers and link to the “Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays.” All volunteers are asked to register. Any questions should be directed to Laurel Malvitz-Draper at malvitzl@michigan.gov or 248-359-9057.  Join us at volunteer appreciation potluck events that will be held after most of the September workdays.  For more details visit the “Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays” webpage.


Bear Hunting for Beginners Sept. 11

Mitchell State Park in Cadillac

Bear Hunting 101, which will offer first-time and veteran hunters practical bear hunting methods, will be offered on Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at Mitchell State Park in Cadillac. Edward Shaw, park interpreter for Mitchell State Park, will be conducting the introductory class to bear hunting from 1 to 4 p.m. at the center, located at 6903 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County.

 

The class will offer practical bear hunting methods, suggestions on positioning a tree stand, baiting, rules and regulations and tips from seasoned bear hunters. All equipment will be provided. Children under 12 years old should be accompanied by an adult.

The bear hunting clinic is being offered as part of the Department of Natural Resources’ Recreation 101 program. Recreation 101 offers year-round programs that recruit top instructors and sports equipment vendors to provide free or inexpensive hands-on lessons with the goal of giving the novice sportsman enough skill and knowledge to begin a new activity.

 

Seating is limited and registration is required. To register, call the park at 231-779-1321. Students will be offered the opportunity to shoot archery at the park’s range. Following the class the interpreter will be on site to assist in tuning in bows or crossbows. Participants are encouraged to bring them along.

 

 


DNR invites input on Forest Management in Marquette and Alger Counties

The DNR will host an open house on Tuesday, Sept. 27, to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments in the Gwinn Management Unit for 2013. The open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Gwinn High School Library, located at 50 West M-35 in Gwinn.

 

“This open house offers a chance for the public to learn what we are planning for state forest lands locally and to provide their input on proposals ranging from timber sales to habitat improvement projects,” said DNR Gwinn Unit Manager Jim Ferris. “DNR foresters and biologists will be in attendance to answer questions and we look forward to interacting with interested citizens.”

 

Each year, DNR personnel inventory and evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. Information gathered includes the health, quality and quantity of all vegetation; wildlife and fisheries habitat and needs; archeological sites; minerals; recreational use; wildfire potential and social factors, including proximity to roads and neighborhoods; and use on adjacent public and private lands. Proposed treatments,

which may include timber harvesting, replanting, and other

management activities, are designed to ensure the sustainability of the resources and ecosystems.

 

“Public input provided during the open house plays an important role in the planning process for state forest land management, and we encourage active participation by our local residents and stakeholders.” Ferris said. Maps and information regarding the proposed treatments will be available at the open house, and can be accessed online at www.michigan.gov/forestplan.  

 

Each forest management unit is divided into smaller units or “compartments” to facilitate better administration of the resources. Compartments under review in the Gwinn Management Unit are in Rock River Township in Alger County; and Champion, Chocolay, Ely, Ewing, Forsyth, Sands, Tilden, Turin, and Wells townships in Marquette County.

 

The formal compartment review to decide on prescriptions for these areas is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Peter White Public Library Community Room in Marquette.


Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Waterfowl Workshop Sept. 24

The DNR is offering a waterfowl workshop specifically designed for women through the department’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program (BOW). The workshop will be held Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Island Lake Recreation Area in Brighton.

 

The workshop begins at Kent Lake within Island Lake Recreation Area. Consecutive morning sessions include:

  • Duck Hunting 101 covers how to identify different species of ducks and an overview of Michigan waterfowl seasons and regulations, along with duck-hunting etiquette.

  • Calling All Ducks is a primer on clothing, ammunition and choke patterns, blind layout, decoy setup and, of course, duck and goose calling.

  • Dogs and Duck Hunting covers what to look for in choosing a puppy, dog-training tips and techniques, and dog care in the field. Trained dogs will be on site demonstrating their retrieving skills. 

 

The afternoon session takes place at Island Lake Shooting Range, where participants will choose to shoot one round (25 targets) of trap or one round (25 targets) of skeet. Trained, certified instructors will be on hand to give plenty of guidance. Beginners are welcome; there is no minimum

skill level required. Participants are encouraged to bring their own shotguns, although there will be a limited supply available for use. Eye and ear protection will also be available for those who do not have their own. Participants will be provided with one box of 20-gauge ammunition, provided by Federal Ammunition, for target practice. Additional ammunition may be purchased at the range.

 

The cost is $50 and includes one round of trap or one round of skeet, all instruction, one box of target load and your own duck call to take home for practice. Beverages will be provided; however, participants must bring their own lunch.

 

BOW is designed to be a noncompetitive program in which each individual is encouraged to learn at her own pace. The emphasis is on the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities, and sharing in the success of one another.

 

For registration forms and information on this and other BOW programs, visit www.michigan.gov/bow.

 

Island Lake Recreation Area is located at 12950 E. Grand River in Brighton. For more information about the shooting range, visit www.mishoot.com.

 


DNR offers Sporting Clays Class for Women Sept. 25

The DNR is offering an Introduction to Sporting Clays class through the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program at the Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress in Utica on Sept. 25 from 1 to 5 p.m.

 

For beginners as well as those who would like to sharpen their shotgun skills, this shooting clinic will provide expert instruction on the basics of sporting clays shooting, including where to watch for the target, proper shotgun mount and how to identify target lead and target/firearm relationship.

Attendees may bring their own shotgun to this class or one will be provided for their use. Only 20-gauge ammunition will be provided; those bringing their own 12-gauge shotgun will need to provide their own ammunition. Eye and ear protection will be available. Cost per person is $30.

 

Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress is located at 49800 Dequindre Rd. in Utica. For driving directions or more information about the club, visit www.d-s-c.org.  For registration forms and information on this and other BOW events, visit www.michigan.gov/bow, email dnr-outdoors-woman@michigan.gov or call 517-241-2225.


New York

New York 3-Rod Fishing Rule is now legal

Excerpts from the legislation

An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to authorizing angling by a single individual with up to three lines in freshwater; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof.

 

PURPOSE: This legislation would authorize an individual to angle for fish with up to 3 lines in freshwater.

 

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends section 11-0103 of the Environmental Law to change the number of lines one person may operate from not more than three, with or without rod in freshwater. This act shall expire and be deemed repealed December 31, 2013.

 

JUSTIFICATION: This new 3-rod rule is designed to favorably impact a fisherman's experience by increasing his probability of catching a fish. Catching a fish enhances angler satisfaction more than any other factor and is the

prime determinant in deciding whether or not to make return visits to the fisheries of New York. Return visits to the fishery are a boon to the local economies. Return trips mean more money spent locally for fuel, food, lodging, launches, parking, and rentals. The 3-rod rule will not guarantee that people catch more fish; rather it will give them the potential to locate the fish a little easier.

 

The small crewed boats, the 'weekend warrior', the recreationalist, the vacationer, the retired couple who have saved up for a boat and now have the time and health to use it will all benefit from this. It does not mean they must use 3 rods, it will mean they can use 3 rods per person, whether they are operated from land or from a boat, if they so choose. New Jersey and Michigan both have a 3-rod rule, to which they have continued to see a favorable impact to their recreational fisherman. In addition, the 3-rod rule will not exploit the fishery since exploitation is constrained by creel limits that would still be in effect.

 


Wisconsin

Boaters, anglers be on the lookout for underwater hazards on Lake Michigan

MADISON –Boaters and anglers enjoying those late season outings on Lake Michigan are urged to be on the lookout for underwater hazards, including commercial fishing trap nets, state recreation safety officials say.

 

Summer restrictions end after Labor Day on where commercial fishing trap nets can be placed in the Sheboygan and Manitowoc/Two Rivers area, so the nets could be anywhere shallower than 150 feet and farther than one-quarter mile from shore in that general area. And this summer, wardens have had reports of boaters getting tangled in other buoys and underwater obstructions.

 

“We want to make sure that people are on the lookout for the flags and buoys that mark the nets and avoid them, wherever they are," says Warden Supervisor Chris Groth, who leads DNR's unit of marine wardens. "We also want to make sure that people understand there are other underwater hazards to be aware of and avoid."

 

Groth encourages all boaters on the Great Lakes to carry wire cutters onboard to free their boat should they get entangled in nets or other underwater obstructions; having such cutters on board and immediately accessible is required for people trolling with downriggers on lakes Michigan and Superior.

 

"Avoiding underwater obstructions in the first place is the best practice, but if you do find yourself in a bad situation, having the wire cutters on board can be a lifesaver," Groth says.

 

Trap nets are large underwater nets used by commercial fishers to catch whitefish in the Great Lakes. They are preferred to gillnets and trawls because sport fish that are accidentally caught in the nets can be released alive, however, the nets can pose a potential risk to boaters and anglers because boat downriggers, fishing lines, and propellers can get caught in the nets or anchor ropes.

 

The nets are marked by orange flags attached to a staff buoy at about 4 feet above the water surface. Flags are about 18 by 9 inches. Boaters should be aware that during rough water or heavy currents, these flags may tip down or be hidden by high waves. Orange buoys may also mark the ends of the nets.

 

Commercial fishers do not set trap nets near Port Washington, Milwaukee, Racine or Kenosha harbors, but the nets have historically been set in other parts of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior from late spring into the fall, Groth says.

 

In Zone 3, the area south of Sturgeon Bay, from June 29th through Labor Day, commercial trap nets are limited to two small areas: one south of Sheboygan harbor and one between Manitowoc and Two Rivers harbors. After Labor Day, trap nets may be found anywhere in that area. Commercial fishers can increase the number of nets they set from three each to 12 each after the time, but historically have decreased their fishing effort after Labor Day.

 

 


State requires ballast exchange/treatment standards

Wisconsin's permitting requirements, which started in February 2010 and were modified earlier this year, require ballast water exchange or flushing in the open water, and phase-in numerical treatment standards, according to Laura Madsen, who coordinates the ballast water permit program.

 

New oceangoing vessels will need to meet numerical treatment standards starting Jan. 1, 2012, and existing oceangoing vessels will need to meet them two years later. So far, Wisconsin has issued permits to 241 vessels, approximately 143 oceangoing vessels and 98 "lakers," ships that travel between Great Lakes ports, Madsen says.

DNR has two inspectors -- one for Lake Superior and one for Lake Michigan. The inspectors have been boarding vessels, asking for and reviewing documents describing their management of ballast water and sediment, and making recommendations for improvements, Madsen says.

 

"What the inspectors are finding is that the shipping companies are doing a good job so far," Madsen says. "The industry is highly regulated internationally, and overall, there's a high compliance rate. They know they're being scrutinized and are, for the most part, already doing what they're supposed to be doing."

 

More information on ballast water discharge general permit is available in a media kit on the DNR website.


Black bear hunting season opens Sept 7

MADISON – Prospects are good for the 2011 Wisconsin black bear hunting season that opens September 7, according to state wildlife biologists who say bears are thriving and continuing to explore new territories in Wisconsin. A total of 9,005 permits were issued for the 2011, which runs through October 11, and the statewide harvest quota is 5,235 bear, the same as in 2010.

 

This year hunters using dogs will have the first week of the bear season to themselves in management zones that allow the use of dogs for hunting bear (Zones A, B, and D). In Zone C, where dogs are not permitted for bear hunting, all legal bear hunting methods not utilizing dogs may be used throughout the entire bear season.

 

Successful hunters will be required to submit a bear tooth and a 2-inch piece of bear rib at the time of registration as part of an on-going two-year bear population study. The results of this study will add to the results of a similar study conducted from 2006-2008 that provided the

scientific basis required to increase bear harvest permits. Scientific bear population studies help to ensure we are establishing an appropriate harvest quota and managing the bear.

 

“Excitement is high among the bear hunters I have spoken with,” said Linda Olver, bear biologist with the Department of Natural Resources. “Many have submitted trail camera photos of bear visiting their baiting sites and there are some pretty impressive bear out there. Whether or not we have a season like 2010 when a new bear harvest record was set and at least three 700 pound bears were registered remains to be seen but the potential is there.

 

“Most of all, I want to wish hunters good luck, good hunting and remember to be safe.”  Additional information including district and bear zone forecasts can be found in the 2011 Fall Hunting Forecast (PDF, 6.5 MB, 48 pages). The 2011 Wisconsin Bear Hunting Regulations are available on the DNR website.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Lake Erie Death Watch
Brought back from the brink once before, Lake Erie Death again faces biological collapse.

NRDC: Saving a Great Lake
Lake Erie was widely declared to be dead, because it had massive inputs of pollution from factories and wastewater treatment plants. The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 in part to address that problem, and it worked, but it wasn’t a perfect success.

Michigan health department tightens fish advisories
Past Lake Michigan advisories have cautioned against eating larger lake trout; the line has been moved down to 18 inches. And, since only lakers over 20 inches can be kept by anglers, it's in effect an eat-no-lake-trout advisory. The culprits, according to the advisory, are PCBs, chlordanes and dioxins.

 

GREAT LAKES: Early returns show strong yellow perch class
State fisheries crews completed the 34th annual late summer yellow perch trawling surveys on Green Bay Friday, collecting various sizes of fish and species for research during nine days on the water. Early indications are this year's class of perch was comparable to strong 2005 and 2009 year classes, though not as good as last year's 2010 hatch, the third-highest on record.

 

COMMENTARY: Build Cleveland's wind farm: Frank Jackson
In a public letter, Mayor of Cleveland Frank Jackson, announces that Greater Cleveland has the potential to become the national leader in the growing renewable energy economy because of local efforts to develop the first freshwater wind farm in the country and that The city of Cleveland fully supports the creation of this offshore wind farm.

N.Y. State officials determined to get tough on invasive species
New York State intends to require a ship's ballast water to be 100 times cleaner than international standards by 2013, and eventually up to 1,000 times cleaner.

 

Great Lakes, Mississippi split sought
Six attorneys general in the Great Lakes region called for a multi-state coalition Wednesday that would push the federal government to protect the lakes from invasive species such as Asian carp by cutting off their artificial link to the Mississippi River basin
.

 

Gov. Snyder explains opposition to Muskegon County Indian casino plan; seeks reasonable regulations on offshore wind
Regarding a controversial West Michigan issue — wind energy turbines on Lake Michigan — governor Rick Snyder indicated science, economics, and the environment will dictate the future regulations of off-shore wind development on the state's Great Lakes waters.

Boat tax break may be thrown overboard
Some Great Lakes lawmakers have put forth a new bill seeking to eliminate the tax provision giving a tax break on boats classified as second home

 

Wisconsin fish could become climate change casualty
According to a new study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 30 to 70 percent of Wisconsin’s cisco fish, sometimes called lake herring, could disappear from Wisconsin lakes by 2100 due to changing climate.

 

Salmon disappear from Lake Huron
Today, southern Lake Huron is virtually devoid of king salmon, thanks to food web changes wrought by invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels. The salmon, simply put, have been starved out

 

 

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