Week of September 20 , 2004

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

 

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Fishing the Great Lakes

Bennett Spring State Park

Showcasing Missouri’s premier trout program

 About 63 miles ENE of Springfield, Missouri, is Bennett Spring State Park. Named after the springs that boasts its name, Bennett Spring is the state’s second largest spring with nearly 100 million gallons of water gushing daily through its underground rock formation and aquifers. The bubbling emerald colored pool feeds the Niangua River that runs through the 3,099 acre park. The stream and very busy stocked trout stream is stocked daily through the March 1 – October 31 trout season and provides excellent fishing for rainbow trout. 

 

One of the state’s oldest and most popular parks, Bennett Spring State Park is 12 miles west of Lebanon on Hwy. 64, and includes a visitor center, swimming pool, dining lodge, cabins, and many campsites. Many recreational activities are available at the park including canoeing, tubing, swimming, hiking and camping.

 

But the park’s popularity is primarily attributed to the excellent trout program offered by the Missouri Dept of Conservation (MDC), its fishery and the trout hatchery on the premises. In 2003 the park sold over 180,000 trout tags with 2,419 on opening day which was a Monday.  The park generally sells 30,000 tags monthly, with 10,000 trout stocked weekly. One other figure:  103,000,000 gallons of water flow daily from Bennett Spring.

 

Bennett Spring Trout Park

Under the fishing regulations, brown trout in the Niangua River and its tributaries (including Bennett Spring Branch and the Trout Park) must be 18” to be harvested or possessed. The daily limit in the Trout Park is still five trout, but only one may be a brown trout.

 

There are three fishing zones.

♦ Zone 1 starts at the spring and runs downstream to the dam near the hatchery. Only flies may be used in zone 1.

♦ Zone 2 runs from the dam downstream to the whistle bridge. Only selected artificial lures may be used in zone 2. These are  

manufactured lures, including flies, not containing natural food substances or fluids. Soft plastic worms, synthetic grubs, synthetic eggs or pork rinds are not allowed in zone 2.

♦ Zone 3 runs from the whistle bridge downstream to the confluence with the Niangua River. Only natural baits and the artificial lures prohibited in other zones may be used in zone 3.

 

Trout Parks

Missouri has four trout parks with trout hatcheries on the park grounds; all are heavily stocked to ensure angler success. The parks host two seasons, one running from March 1 through October 31. The second season begins the second weekend of November and extends through the second weekend of February.

 

The MDC operates four trout hatcheries and one trout rearing area. These hatcheries play a vital role in the management of Missouri’s fishery resources. Trout are not native to Missouri, but were first introduced into the state over 100 years ago. Today natural reproduction does occur in some areas, but it is not sufficient to maintain large populations. Since demand for trout exceeds supply, hatcheries make up the difference by rearing and stocking catchable size trout.

 

All four parks require a Missouri fishing license, along with a daily tag (adults $3.00, kids 15 and under $2.00) during the March – October season. Fish are stocked nightly at a rate of 2.25 fish per tag sold.

 

Each year the parks host two special events that encourage angling as a family activity and provide novice anglers the opportunity   to experience trout fishing. These two events are the Free Fishing Days held the first Saturday and Sunday following the first Monday of June and the Free Kids Fishing Day that is held the Saturday following Mothers Day

 

  In the hatchery, both spring and fall spawning broodstock have been established at Department hatcheries; this provide eggs at different times of the year and increases production of trout.

 

At Montauk, Bennett Spring, Roaring River and Maramec parks, catchable size rainbow trout are released daily from March 1st to October 31st. Fishermen must have a valid Missouri fishing license and purchase a special tag each day to fish in these areas.

 

Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery regularly stocks Lake Taneycomo with trout. People come from many states to fish in this popular lake. Several other Missouri streams are stocked throughout the year. Trout fishermen in these areas must have an annual trout stamp and valid Missouri fishing license.

 

Most fishermen come to Bennett Spring in search of rainbow trout, but the MDC has been stocking brown trout in the Niangua River with success, also.  Bennett Spring is the primary source of cool water for the Niangua River. In the warmest of summers, brown trout migrate toward the spring.

 

Each fall in October or November about 5,000 brown trout are stocked into the Niangua River with the goal of someday reaching a stable population.

 

Fishing

Brown trout in the Niangua River and its tributaries, including Bennett Spring Branch and the Trout Park, must be 18” to be

harvested or possessed. The daily limit is five trout, but only one may be a brown trout. Brown trout are stocked annually.  Rainbow trout are stocked downstream from the Bennett Spring Branch throughout the year. There is no size limit on rainbow trout.

 

Flies, spinners and small crank baits work well.

 

Smallmouth bass and rock bass (goggle-eye) provide much of the fishing action in the portion of the Niangua River above Bennett Spring.  Smallmouth bass and rock bass are found around boulders and rootwads, especially when they are close to good current.  Crankbaits, plastic grubs and worms, and earthworms fished close to rootwads and boulders are good producers.

 

Largemouth bass and spotted bass are more common in downstream reaches and in backwaters and eddies.

 

The Niangua River is a great place to take kids fishing for sunfish. Longear sunfish and bluegill are plentiful throughout the river and are easy to catch with a cane pole, bobber and hook baited with worms or crickets.  The no-creel permit has been discontinued. Now, winter-fishing privileges at the four trout parks are included in the $7 statewide trout permit.   Another change in the no-creel program is that anglers no longer have to pick up the $1 daily tag at the hatchery, as in years past.  Winter fishing is allowed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 4 pm.

 

The entire stream may be fished, but only Zone-1-legal lures

may be used. Lures have to be single hook and made out of fur, feathers or yarn. Outside of the state park, anglers can  take advantage of the bountiful fishing waters by canoeing or hiking along the banks. The range of fish found in the waters varies as much as the age of anglers on the river.  With plenty of trout, bass and bluegill, the Niangua River offers challenges for the experienced fishermen as well as the young beginner.

 

Bennett Spring State Park

Over a million visitors come to Bennett Spring State Park to fish, hike, camp and picnic. The park has 3,100 acres  including its own fish hatchery.  Bennett Spring is the favorite Midwest fishing destination of those surveyed at the Lebanon booth at last year’s sports show in Kansas City.  The survey showed it beat out Lake of the Ozarks, Truman lake, Table Rock Lake, Branson and Lake  Taneycomo. Bennett Spring is the favorite Midwest fishing destination of those surveyed at the Lebanon booth at last year’s sports show in Kansas City. Here are some additional activities available in the park.

 

Hiking

There are plenty of hiking trails to explore. Bennett Spring State Park has seven hiking trails with beautiful scenery, winding through the hills surrounding the stream, ranging from ¼-mile to 7-1/2-miles long.  About 12 miles of hiking trails wind through Bennett Spring State Park.

 

Canoeing

Nearly all the private campgrounds offer canoe rentals. Trips can range from a short float that goes just a couple of miles and lasts a few hours to an all-day affair or even an overnight float. The river is a level 1 water, but some canoeing experience is encouraged before taking to the waters. 

 

Camping

Campers at Bennett Spring State park now check in at the park’s new fee booth near Campground 1. A new reservation system allows campers to plan six months to two days in advance of arrival. You may call 1-877-422-6766 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. or go online 24-hours a day at www.mostateparks.com. To reserve a cabin at the park, call 417-532-4307.   The park has 189 campsites.

 

Background

While Bennett Spring pumps 103 million gallons of water each day, it also pumps out 165 cubic feet of water per second.  The spring runs underground for much of its life before resurfacing in the state park.  It has been a state park since 1924.

 

You'll want to stay at a small motel in the area while you're fishing Bennett Springs' Niangua River.  You can still make Springfield your headquarters because that's where all the action is and that's where you'll want to put up your family. Of course there's Bass Pro Shop, Wonders of Wildlife Zooquarium, Discovery Center, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Springfield Conservation Nature Center and much more.

 

Consider the Sheraton Hawthorne Hotel on North Glenstone Avenue, just a few short minutes from Bass Pro Shops.  

They have special weekend rates for families, and have pleasant surroundings, indoor pool, fitness center, a game room and other amenities that make the property family friendly. The staff is friendly, supportive and low-key. Where your family can enjoy the sights and sounds of a classy facility and pleasant surroundings; they probably won’t even miss you. It's also the place for quiet a get-away for two when you're visiting the Springfield, MO area.

 

Contact information is below.

 

Contacts/Information

 

Sheraton Hawthorne Hotel  

2431 North Glenstone Ave

Springfield, MO 65803
888-254-0637

417-831-3131
Discount Promo Code: 7155

www.sheraton.com

 

Missouri Division of Tourism
P.O. Box 1055, Jefferson City, MO  65102
800-810-5500 or 800-877-1234

573-751-4133
E-mail tourism@ded.mo.gov 
www.VisitMO.com   
 

Missouri Department of Conservation

2901 W. Truman Blvd., P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, MO  65102
573-751-4115   Ph
573-751-4467   Fax
www.conservation.state.mo.us 
 

Missouri Department of Conservation

Southwest Regional Office
2630 N. Mayfair
Springfield, MO  65803
417-895-6880
 

Missouri Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO  65102
800-361-4827; 573-751-3443
E-mail: oac@dnr.mo.gov   
http://www.dnr.state.mo.us/

 

Missouri Division of State Parks
www.mostateparks.com 
800-334-6946

 

Bennett Spring State Park

26250 Highway 64A

Lebanon, MO  65536

800-334-6946, 417-532-4338 or                                      

E-mail: moparks@dnr.mo.gov

www.mostateparks.com/bennett.htm

 

Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

3315 E Battlefield Rd

Springfield, MO  65804

800-678-8767

www.springfieldadventure.com

E-mail cvb@springfieldmo.org

 

Bass Pro Shops

2500 E. Kearney

Springfield, MO 65898

www.basspro.com

800-227-7776 (800-BASSPRO )

 

Scott Pauley
Missouri Division of Tourism
Outdoor Marketing Specialist   
Email:  mofishing@aol.com    
www.VisitMO.com 
573-443-3598

800-647-7687

 

Trout Hatcheries and Locations:

 

Bennett Spring Hatchery

Bennett Spring State Park

Lebanon, Missouri 65536

 

Maramec Spring Hatchery

Maramec Spring Park owned by the James Foundation

St. James, Missouri 65559

 

Montauk Hatchery

Montak State Park

Salem, Missouri 65560

 

Roaring River Hatchery

Roaring River State Park

Cassville, Missouri 65625

 

Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery

Branson, Missouri 65616

 


National

Help Protect the Great Lakes - Your help is needed

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Use of Contributed Funds

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

agency trustees including the president of the GLSFC.

 

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

 

1)     Implement the Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan

2)     Improve or operate Barrier I

3)     Construct and operate Barrier II

 

Send your donations to:

GLSFC – carp fund

P.O. Box 297

Elmhurst, IL  60126

 

Or use our PayPal for credit card donations. 

Go to www.great-lakes.org/carp

 

For more information and photos go to: 

www.great-lakes.org/carp

 

Thanks for your help in preventing the invasion

of these harmful critters into our lakes.


Asian Carp Prevention Fund

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

 

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

 

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

 

We Need Your Help to Protect the Great Lakes

The Second Barrier

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

 

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

 

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

 

Asian Carp Rapid Response

A Rapid response Committee has developed a Rapid Response Plan to address the presence of Asian carp in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal if they begin to congregate

below the existing barrier before the second barrier is constructed.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Use of Contributed Funds

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

 

1)     1)Implement the Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan

2)     2)Construct Barrier II

3)     3)Improve or operate Barrier I

 

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

 

 


STEP OUTSIDE For National Hunting & Fishing Day – Sept 25

National Hunting & Fishing Day (NHF) marks its 33rd year as a nationwide celebration on Saturday, September 25, 2004.  NHF day commemorates the conservation and economic contributions of hunters, anglers, target shooters and other sportsmen. It also provides a great opportunity for outdoors enthusiasts to STEP OUTSIDE and participate in various outdoor activities.

 

“There are 48 million men and women who would accept an invitation to try target shooting and other outdoor activities.  NHF Day is the perfect opportunity to extend that invitation to a friend or family member,” explained Cynthia Dalena, national coordinator of STEP OUTSIDE.

 

According to the National Sporting Goods Association sports participation, over 18.5 million men, women and children actively hunt and 51.2 million actively fish in the United States.  These hunters and anglers represent big business in terms of dollars and cents.  The economic importance of hunting in America generates $67 billion, while anglers generate $116 billion, both in 2003. 

To help celebrate NHF Day, many organizations around the country arrange special opportunities for non-outdoorsmen and women, of all ages and levels of experience. Check your area for hands-on events featuring archery, firearms and muzzleloader shooting, fishing, canoeing, cooking or duck calling.  There is no better time to STEP OUTSIDE with friends and family and introduce somebody new to some of America’s favorite pastimes.

 

To find out about NHF Day and other events in your area, check out the STEP OUTSIDE Web site map for detailed info – by state, month and year. http://www.stepoutside.org/calendar.asp   NHF Day helps others to have a better understanding of the outdoor sports and also recognize the past conservation efforts and achievements of American sportsmen and sportswomen.

 

STEP OUTSIDE is a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that encourages outdoor enthusiasts to introduce friends, family and other acquaintances to the fun and excitement of target shooting, archery, hunting or fishing.  For more information about the STEP OUTSIDE program, please visit www.stepoutside.org.


Court halts logging in forest burned by 2002 fire

Obstructionist environmentalists sue to block logging burned acreage
GRANTS PASS, Oregon — A federal appeals court on Tuesday blocked logging of old-growth forest scorched in one of the nation's largest wildfires until a lawsuit brought by environmentalists is decided, making it unlikely the dead trees can be harvested before rotting.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency injunction sought by environmentalists in the two-year battle over one of the biggest federal logging projects in history.

The blaze burned 500,000 acres in southwestern Oregon in 2002 and was the biggest wildfire in the nation that year. It has become the focus of an intense political and scientific debate between the Bush administration and the timber industry on one side and environmentalists on the other.

The two sides have clashed repeatedly over whether to log and reforest the millions of acres of national forest that burn every year or leave them largely to recover on their own. "The court's action today gives us a chance to find some balance here that will actually be good for the forests and the people in the region, instead of just logging everything in sight," said

Todd True, an attorney representing environmentalists.

 

The ruling comes a week before environmentalists, the Forest Service, the timber industry, and Oregon officials were to begin mediation in an attempt to reach a settlement. "This plays right into the continuing agenda of the environmental community to litigate and obstruct lawful and sound land management practices," said Chris West, vice president of the American Forest Resource Council, a pro-timber group.

 

The timber industry may ask the full 9th Circuit to review the injunction because the judge's ruling makes logging unlikely before next spring, when the trees will be worth little after standing dead for nearly three years, West said.

The injunction covers timber sales on 6,600 acres of old-growth forest reserves that were designated primarily for fish and wildlife habitat under the Northwest Forest Plan, the 1994 policy adopted to protect the Northern spotted owl and salmon from logging.

Lightning started four fires in July 2002 in the Klamath Mountains that merged into one large blaze. Over the next two years, the Forest Service plans to sell 370 million board feet of timber from 19,465 of the burned acres.


Coast Guard Auxiliary gets a new chief
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the civilian volunteer uniformed component of the Coast Guard, has named Gene M. Seibert its new national commodore.

Seibert, elected to a two-year term, has been part of the auxiliary for the last 20 years. The organization says he has worked with all levels of Coast Guard management — from a local boat station to the commandant of the Coast Guard. He also has 34 years of experience in telecommunications, retiring from Lucent Technologies as director of international,

government and domestic contract management.

 

“The 36,000 members of the auxiliary are moving into new and uncharted areas of responsibilities due to the events of Sept, 11, 2001, the move to the Department of Homeland Security and the increased responsibilities of the Coast Guard,” Seibert said in a statement. “We will balance our missions of recreational boating safety and Coast Guard support with maritime homeland security and other challenges that emerge as a result of our growing understanding of changes required in the post-9/11 era.”


Charter group names three to board
The National Marine Charter Association has named three new members to its board of directors: Capt. Richard Dein, Stephen White, and Capt. Jim Robinson.

Dein is a principal partner with Maritime Operations Analysis Inc. and a Chesapeake Bay charter boat operator. He holds a 100-ton masters license with a towing endorsement. He has served as an expert witness in federal court for cases involving seamanship, navigation, search and rescue, and towing for the past 26 years. During a 27-year career with the Coast Guard, Dein co-authored the first version of the current non-emergency Search and Rescue Policy, as well as the Awareness, Planning and Operations chapters of the National SAR Manual.

White is a partner in the law firm of Wright, Constable & Skeen

in Baltimore. He served as a naval officer on a frigate between 1975 and 1979, and now practices a variety of maritime law disciplines. These include maritime towing and salvage, wrongful death and personal injury claims, Jones Act claims, collision cases, marina fires, marine insurance fraud, vessel arrests and maritime debt collection, Coast Guard hearings, and Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claims.

 

Robinson, of The Shoreline Resort in Door County, Wis., offers a full-service resort with a waterfront motel and restaurant, as well as diving, fishing and sightseeing charters. He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Door County Chamber of Commerce, and the county maritime museum.

 


ESPN and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to co-host fundraising event

Clint Eastwood to Receive National Conservation Award

WASHINGTON – Sept. 13, 2004 – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Foundation) announced today that it will honor film icon Clint Eastwood for his efforts in conservation at a special fundraising dinner. Eastwood will receive the Foundation’s “Chairman’s Award” – the highest accolade bestowed by one of the nation’s leading conservation organizations.

 

The Foundation will hand out the award at a private fundraising event on New York City’s Randall’s Island Sept. 22, 2004, and Eastwood will attend the event if his production schedule allows. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in the conservation of America’s natural resources. Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award have included former presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

 

Eastwood, whose film career spans more than four decades, is a longtime advocate for conservation issues and describes himself as a “preservationist” who encourages people to take advantage of state parks.

 

When he was appointed a commissioner of the California State Board of Parks and Recreation in 2002, Eastwood said that his biggest priority was maintenance “to protect and preserve our existing natural and cultural resources for future generations.”

 

Eastwood’s natural resource and conservation-related efforts also include the following:

* Elected as vice-chair of the California State Board of Parks and Recreation in July 2004.

* Served as spokesperson for the Take Pride in America volunteer stewardship initiative in the 1980s.

* Currently sits on the boards of the Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation and the Monterey Peninsula Golf Foundation.

* Taped public service announcements for Take Pride in America, California Department of Parks and Recreation and the California State Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

The conservation ethic embraced by Eastwood, the Foundation and ESPN Outdoors is central to the American lifestyle and quality of life. Millions of Americans pursue outdoor activities. Eastwood sets a powerful example for them and for us.

 

ESPN’s Dan Patrick will serve as host at the casual blue jeans event. Guests will dine on chicken and ribs, and have an opportunity to participate in target, timber, fishing and other fun outdoor activities. In accordance with the outdoors theme, fundraising auction items will include an autographed Lance Armstrong jersey worn in the 2003 Tour de France, a fishing-themed shadowbox signed by Ted Williams, a VIP trip to the 2005 Great Outdoor Games, a deepwater fishing trip in the Bahamas and more. The evening will end with fabulous fireworks.

 

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1984 and dedicated to the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants, and the habitat on which they depend. The Foundation creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to strategically invest in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. The Foundation distributed 687 grants in 2003 and has leveraged $261 million in federal funds since its establishment, for a total of more than $786 million in on-the-ground conservation. This year, the Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary.


Regional

Help Protect the Great Lakes - Your help is needed

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Use of Contributed Funds

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

agency trustees including the president of the GLSFC.

 

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

 

1)     Implement the Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan

2)     Improve or operate Barrier I

3)     Construct and operate Barrier II

 

Send your donations to:

GLSFC – carp fund

P.O. Box 297

Elmhurst, IL  60126

 

Or use our PayPal for credit card donations. 

Go to www.great-lakes.org/carp

 

For more information and photos go to: 

www.great-lakes.org/carp

 

Thanks for your help in preventing the invasion

of these harmful critters into our lakes.


Asian Carp Prevention Fund

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

 

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

 

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

 

We Need Your Help to Protect the Great Lakes

The Second Barrier

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

 

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

 

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

 

Asian Carp Rapid Response

A Rapid response Committee has developed a Rapid Response Plan to address the presence of Asian carp in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal if they begin to congregate

below the existing barrier before the second barrier is constructed.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Use of Contributed Funds

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

 

1)     1)Implement the Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan

2)     2)Construct Barrier II

3)     3)Improve or operate Barrier I

 

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

 

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for September 17, 2004

Current Lake Levels: 

Currently, all of the Great Lakes are higher than the levels of a year ago, ranging from 7 to 14 inches higher than last year’s levels.  Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair are still below their long-time averages by 4, 10, and 2 inches, respectively. Lakes Erie and Ontario are above their long-time averages by 4 and 11 inches, respectively.  Lake Ontario jumped up 4 inches at the end of last week, as the remnants of Hurricane Frances brought heavy rain to the basin.


Current Outflows/Channel Conditions: 

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

Temperature/Precipitation Outlook:  

The weekend looks quite pleasant across the Great Lakes basin.  Mostly sunny skies will lead to temperatures in the 70s on both Saturday and Sunday.  Next week is expected to be dry as well, with warmer than average temperatures. 

 

Forecasted Water Levels: 

Lake Superior is approaching the end of its seasonal rise and is expected to remain steady over the next month.  Lake Michigan-Huron is in its seasonal decline and its level is expected to fall 2 inches over the next month.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are continuing their seasonal decline, and are expected to drop by 5-9 inches over the next month.

 

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


IJC releases its 12th Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality

The International Joint Commission released its Twelfth Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality.  The report not only addresses the current issues facing the health and vitality of the Great Lakes - it triggers the official review, by the United States and Canada, of the historic Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. 

            

In this report to the governments of the U.S. and Canada, the IJC highlights key issues for all who live in the Great Lakes region.  It contains specific recommendations relating to the effects of urbanization on our lakes; threats associated with alien invasive species; pathogens and disease bearing microorganisms in drinking water sources; chemical contamination, methyl mercury and human health; and the recent ecological changes taking place in Lake Erie. 

           

Significantly, this report triggers the much anticipated review, by governments, of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.  The current Agreement was signed in 1978 and was amended in 1987.  It has not been updated or changed in more than 17 years.  During this time, technology and our scientific knowledge and understanding have grown immensely.  We need to keep pace with what we know and   

review the effectiveness of the Agreement with an eye toward the future.

 

Fact sheets providing detailed information and the IJC's recommendations about each individual topic and illustrations and graphics for use from the Twelfth Biennial Report are available at www.ijc.org .

 

The Twelfth Biennial Report is available in hard copy or CD in both English and French free of charge and may also be obtained on IJC's website at www.ijc.org .  Obtain a hard copy by contacting the IJC's Great Lakes Regional Office in Canada at 100 Ouellette Ave., Suite 800, Windsor, ON N9A 6T3; 519-257-6733; in the U.S. at P.O. Box 32869, Detroit, MI 48232, 313-226-2170 ext. 6733; or email to commission@windsor.ijc.org .

 

For more information, please contact:

            

Windsor/Detroit:

Jennifer Day          519-257-6733 or 313-226-2170          

Washington, D.C.:   

Frank Bevacqua   202-736-9024

Ottawa:                      

Nick Heisler          613-992-8367


Bush likely to support Apostle Islands plan

Federal wilderness label would be applied

A top Bush administration official will be in Bayfield, Wis., today, apparently to announce support for a plan to designate 80 percent of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore as federal wilderness.  Craig Manson, assistant secretary of interior for fish and wildlife, has scheduled an announcement on the city's waterfront within view of the Apostle Islands.

 

The announcement will come on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson.  "This signals the end of a very long process. This means that our wilderness plan is the official National Park Service position," said Jim Nepstad, chief of planning and resource management for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

 

Nepstad said the wilderness plan would be printed in the Federal Register on Friday. After that, it is expected that Interior Secretary Gail Norton, Manson's boss, will bring the wilderness plan to President Bush, who would then be expected to propose legislation to Congress.

 

Wisconsin's congressional delegation would be expected to introduce the legislation, including U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, whose district includes the islands.  "I am happy to see the Department of the Interior has come to a final decision on the

Apostle Islands wilderness recommendation," Obey said Wednesday. "In my view, the Apostle Islands are the crown jewels of Lake Superior, and I hope we can always have a consensus on the need to protect them.''

 

Only Congress can officially designate federal lands as wilderness. But support from the administration is seen as critical for legislation to advance.  "The islands already are being managed as wilderness. But it's important to get the designation.

 

The park service plans to designate 33,500 acres of the 42,160 acres of land on the park's islands as wilderness, prohibiting mechanized travel and development. The park's mainland unit - areas around docks and visitor facilities and historic sites — such as lighthouses — all have been excluded from wilderness. All of Sand, Basswood and Long islands also are excluded from wilderness.

 

The plan won't affect the park's waters or boats moving between islands. Powerboats will continue to be able to be beached, even on wilderness islands.  Park service officials announced the plan in March after two years of review and public input. The plan has been among the least controversial wilderness proposals in recent years because it will have little effect on current recreation.


General

Solutions to wildlife nuisance problems

HARRISBURG, PA - Each passing year, wildlife problems and conflicts appear to be increasing in the state, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which has been managing the state's wildlife for more than 100 years. And not just in the country. More and more, wildlife is getting into trouble in urban and suburban areas. In fact, wildlife nuisance control work has become a thriving business in most cities and suburban areas.

 

Many of Pennsylvania's furbearer populations have increased significantly as market prices for pelts have dropped over the past 20 years. This has led to increases in the numbers of opossums, raccoons, skunks and beavers - even mink and coyotes - in many areas. In addition, expanding communities and new rural housing developments are placing more and more homes right on the doorstep of thriving wildlife habitats. As a result, deer, bears, groundhogs, squirrels, and myriad songbirds are becoming increasingly comfortable hanging out in backyards and similar places.

 

"Sometimes wildlife is attracted to our properties because we intentionally or unintentionally coax it there with feeder handouts, tossed out table scraps or garbage leftovers," said Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross. "Few of us would argue that wildlife is not worth watching, or having around occasionally. But when deer are stripping your ornamental shrubbery, or a bear has demolished your $60 bird-feeder, or the pitter-patter of squirrel feet running across your bare attic floor is keeping you awake at night, it's a different story!

 

"However, the problems don't end there. More often than not, it's going to cost you at least time and probably money to alleviate a wildlife nuisance problem. In a lot of situations, though, homeowners can help themselves. They simply need to be armed with the right information and equipment to get the job done. Trying to resolve a problem blindly can result in more headaches, more expenses and the embarrassment of being outwitted by an animal that will become even more difficult to deter or catch because of the education you've provided it."

 

One of the most common wildlife problems Pennsylvanians face is garden raiding. The culprits are usually rabbits, groundhogs and deer, but occasionally a raccoon or bear will drop in for things like sweet corn and berries. Inexpensive solutions include using scarecrows, hanging pie tins and spraying peppery liquids on plants. But animals will adjust to these tactics. Many home gardeners also place fences around their gardens. But if animals climb over or dig under a fence, you may have to consider setting a live-trap to apprehend your raider.

 

Live-traps come in a variety of sizes and are of a cage-with-closing-door design. These traps are ideal for residential areas because if you catch the neighbor's pet by mistake, all you have to do is open the door to release the dog or cat from the trap. Troublesome rabbits and squirrels can be relocated to another area. However, anyone who sets one of these traps must recognize it has the potential to catch something other than he or she may have ever expected; namely a skunk.

 

Every year, the Game Commission receives calls from people who set live traps and catch skunks by mistake. The problem, of course, is what to do with the skunk. It's liable to spray just about anyone who comes near the trap, even if the person is just trying to release it. Questions that usually come to mind are: How can it be released? Who will help me?

 

Since skunks - as well as raccoons, bats, groundhogs, foxes and coyotes - are rabies vector species, they cannot be relocated like other wildlife. Homeowners who set traps and catch these species face the choice of killing the animal or releasing it. Releasing a skunk or a raccoon can be a risky situation. There's a chance that you could be sprayed by the skunk, or bitten or scratched. What follows promises to be unpleasant. You'll either have to be deodorized or anxiously await test results on the trapped animal's brain tissue to determine if it's rabid.

 

"A person should put a great deal of thought into any plan that calls for using a trap to resolve a nuisance wildlife problem," explained Dubaich.  "Getting and setting the trap is the easy part. Dealing with what happens after the door closes, however, truly can be more than most homeowners bargained for."

 

Before you set a trap to resolve a wildlife conflict, ask yourself these questions:

 

1.) Are you prepared to kill the trapped animal?

2.) Do you know how to properly dispose of an animal carcass?

3.) Do you know how to release a trapped animal?

4.) Do you know what bait should be used to ensure you catch the targeted species?

5.) Do you know how frequently you must check a trap set to capture wildlife?

 

If you can answer "yes" to the aforementioned questions then you should know what you're getting into when you set a trap. Landowners and homeowners may not trap beavers, bobcats, migratory birds, big game, threatened species or endangered species. Landowners also will want to contact their district Wildlife Conservation Officer through the Region Office before trapping nuisance wildlife.  Also, once traps are set, they must be checked regularly.

 

Wildlife also has a habit of establishing homes under our sheds, in the banks of our ponds, even in our houses. These intrusions can range from bats or flying squirrels in the attic to chipmunks under the sidewalk and songbirds nesting in your hanging fuchsia or prized rosebush.

 

Sometimes it's rewarding to have wildlife living on your property, because it can be fun to watch. But that enjoyment can change quickly when wildlife begins to invade your living quarters, causes significant property damage or has close,

uncomfortable encounters with people around your home.

 

The solutions to these problems vary, but they include everything from hiring a wildlife pest control agent, using traps and making modifications to your home, to removing certain vegetation, placing fence and hunting. Exclusion and trapping are probably the two most commonly used approaches for dealing with nuisance wildlife.

 

Exclusion can be effective for some species, such as rabbits, bats, squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, groundhogs, Canada geese and other waterfowl. But such work shouldn't be considered a panacea. Animals sometimes make adjustments to access your property, instead of moving on.

 

Timing for exclusion work also is important. For instance, it would be a bad idea to make modifications that would exclude bats from your attic during summer. That's when these sites serve as maternity colonies; summer exclusions force bats trapped inside to enter your home's living quarters in their search for a way out.

 

The same holds true for maternity dens inhabited by skunks, raccoons, squirrels and groundhogs. Let the young leave the maternity site - it's a good bet to wait until fall - and then exclude them from your home or property by blocking access to the den site. Groundhog dens inhabited by other wildlife can be rendered uninhabitable by filling them with rocks and dirt. Wait, of course, until the animal is out of the den. Usually only a groundhog will exhume the fill.

 

Squirrels are a species that tends to get on the nerves of many homeowners. Their most common crimes are digging in flower beds, chewing on expensive bird feeders and houses, and taking food from bird feeders. They can be excluded from bird feeders by placing feeders on a pole with a squirrel baffle and located away from trees. Removing bird feeders during summer and early fall also compels squirrels to relocate elsewhere. Trapping and transferring squirrels also is effective, but squirrels - particularly in places where large numbers converge - can become trap-shy rather quickly. Good baits for trapping squirrels include: peanut butter, ear corn, sunflower seeds and apple slices.

 

Lawn raiders and ransackers such as skunks, Canada geese, groundhogs and moles all present somewhat differing approaches to resolve. Canada geese, which can quickly lay waste to any yard near water by smothering it with feces, can be discouraged by exploding devices, scarecrows, fencing and hunting. Geese currently cannot be killed unless hunted legally because they are protected by federal laws.

 

Skunks, which occasionally rip up lawns in search of grubs or get drawn to a compost pile, can be deterred with fencing. Trapping is used to eliminate skunks. Should you or your dog be sprayed by a skunk while attempting to alleviate a problem, use the follow concoction to eliminate skunk odor: mix one quart of hydrogen peroxide with a quarter-cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of liquid soap. Apply the mixture to the sprayed area and it will neutralize the skunk's musky odor.

 

Groundhogs and moles are lawn excavators that can make a mess of a yard quickly. Both problem animals are best handled through trapping. Groundhogs can be caught with baits such as apples, carrots or lettuce. Moles are best removed with hole or bayonet-type traps, which kill the animal as it passes through a trap armed with spring-loaded bayonets that is placed in the animal's underground runways.

 

Wading birds such as great blue herons and great egrets also have become the bane of many rural and suburban areas because they are pilfering the expensive fish property owners are putting in backyard ponds. Solutions to this problem are few. The basic choices are put rocks or other cover in the water for fish to hide around, or locate your pond close to the house. But rest assured, if these wading birds see your pond while foraging, and it's not close to a house, they'll probably stop by because they've learned that hunting in these ponds is like picking fish out of a barrel.

 

Some people draw wildlife into neighborhoods or onto their properties by offering wildlife foods such as seed or suet; throwing table scraps out back; improperly storing garbage; outside pet feeding; or maintaining a grease-loaded grill. Litter - even discarded candy - also will attract wildlife. Stopping these activities can certainly make a difference when wildlife has become a nuisance in your area. Cleanliness should be a standard operating procedure for those not interested in sharing their space with wild animals.

 

Still, some properties, regardless of how well they're cleaned, will continue to attract wildlife because important travelways pass through them, or preferred habitat, or plentiful natural food sources - mulberry, cherry or oak trees - are found there. In these cases, landowners must understand that if their properties provide some of the area's best habitat - a wetland, high-banked dam, woodlot, fruit- or mast-bearing trees - they will continue to attract wildlife. This is especially true in areas where your property appears to be an island in a sea of suburbia.

 

To learn more about solutions to nuisance wildlife problems, Penn State University offers a fine series of brochures that many homeowners will find helpful, such as: Landowner's Guide to Wildlife Control and Prevention Laws in Pennsylvania, as well as individual species brochures for bats, bears, rabbits, skunks, woodchucks, woodpeckers and others.

 

Another excellent website to learn more about resolving wildlife problems can be found at: http://wildlifedamage.unl.edu.

 

The Game Commission also offers a well-received brochure titled Living With Pennsylvania's Black Bears, which can be viewed on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us ) by clicking on "Wildlife," then "Black Bear in Pennsylvania," and finally "Living With Black Bears."


Nuisance Wildlife briefs

- "Suet Mignon" - Black bears are big, burly creatures that look like they can polish off a dinner-table full of food nightly. And they do seek out super-sized meals like road-killed deer and all-you-can-eat cornfields and blueberry patches. But given the chance to raid a birdfeeder filled with suet or sunflower seeds, many bears will come running, even to feeders very close to houses. The oil in sunflowers and the fat in suet can create an aromatic trail that can lure bears, not to mention squirrels, for a considerable distance. Bears crave suet and sunflower seeds - it's like caviar or filet mignon - and will go out of their way to get them - even if they're available in only small quantities. So if you don't feel like feeding the squirrels or having bears possibly tear down your feeders, the Game Commission recommends you consider bringing your feeders in for the summer, or at least at night. Put them out in winter when the cold weather returns.

 

- Why Is That Animal Coming To My House? - Wildlife is drawn to homes for a variety of reasons, but the three most common reasons are shelter, food and accessibility, according to the Game Commission. For instance, if your house is the only one in the neighborhood that has wood siding, is on a wooded lot, that has a pool, or doesn't have a chimney-cap, it will naturally be more appealing to wildlife than other properties. Other factors that can lure wildlife to your home or property include: reduced human activity; homes with warped or loose soffit  or siding; trailers without skirting or loose skirting; homes with open, unscreened attic windows; improperly stored garbage; and pet dishes with uneaten food.

 

- Who's That Knocking On My House? - Woodpeckers have a nasty habit of picking on certain homeowners by beak-banging on their wood siding and drain spouting. It's not exactly clear why woodpeckers do this, but most people believe the birds are either advertising their presence or probing for insects. Repeated shooing can convince the bird not to return. If this doesn't get the job done, consider tacking aluminum foil or tying a shiny helium balloon to the area where damage is occurring. Owl and hawk decoys - even a fake snake - also may convince the bird to stay away. Woodpeckers are protected by state and federal wildlife laws.

 

- Mouse In The House - Field and other mice have a knack for invading our homes and outbuildings. They build nests in our shoes, chew lawnmower and clothes dryer parts, raid cereal boxes and race across our floors when we least expect. The most inexpensive and effective way to straighten out a mouse problem is to set traps. Available at most hardware stores and feed mills, mouse traps should be baited with cheese or peanut-butter and placed at locations where mouse

droppings or damage have been found. Set more than one trap and move them around until you start catching mice. Don't stop until sightings and damage stop.

 

- Busy Beavers - Beavers today are found in more areas of the state than at any other time in the past 150 years, according to the Game Commission. It's also fair to say that they're causing more property damage than ever before in the state's history. Whether they're cutting down someone's shade trees or damming a culvert that will cause road flooding, beavers tend to make a mess of things quickly. Landowners experiencing beaver problems should contact the Game Commission region office serving their county for assistance.

 

- Bats in the Attic - Homeowners occasionally find bats roosting or rearing young in their attics. When this type of discovery is made in the summer, it's best to wait until late fall to remedy the situation, according to the Game Commission. Trying to exclude bats from your attic in summer may lead to bats trapped in the attic. They may eventually work their way into your living quarters in their efforts to escape. Waiting until fall, when bats head to winter hibernation sites, eliminates this risk. Placing a bat box outside may help ensure the bats don't try to access your home when they return in the spring.

 

- Getting Involved - Landowners have a right to protect their property from damages caused by wildlife. With the exception of deer, bear, elk, beaver, bobcat, fisher, wild turkey, migratory birds, threatened species and endangered species, landowners may take action when personal property - other than an agricultural crop - is being destroyed, or when a sick or diseased animal poses a threat to humans, farm animals or pets. Only the property owner or person in charge of the property may take steps to capture or kill wildlife.

 

- Don't Feed The Geese - If you're interested in persuading a flock of resident Canada geese to stop using an area, one of the most effective ways to make progress is to encourage people to stop feeding or tossing handouts to the birds, according to the Game Commission. Attempts to relocate or frighten geese away can be expensive and aren't always effective. For example, if problem geese are taken from a troubled urban/suburban area and released in a more rural setting, the birds are likely to return to an urban/suburban area. But if you can eliminate food handouts, there's a chance the geese may go. The most effective way to resolve any resident goose problem, however, is through hunting. Adult geese, their nests, eggs and young cannot be harmed, unless a permit is obtained from the USFWS and Game Commission.


Professional Walleye Trail TV To Air on The Outdoor Channel          

Brainerd, MN, September 14, 2004 - Get ready for the hottest walleye action in North America as the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) hits the airwaves beginning Monday, September 27.

           

Catch all the excitement and action of the PWT on The Outdoor Channel (TOC) airing three times per week on Mondays at 7:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m., and Fridays at 11:00 p.m. (times are Central).   The world's top-ranked pro walleye anglers demonstrate their expert skills along with the latest fishing techniques and tactics.  Viewers will experience the finest walleye action on television as they ride the waves and net the walleyes starting on the Fox and Wolf Rivers in Winneconne, Wisconsin.

           

The tour then explores Lewis and Clark country on the

Missouri River in Chamberlain, South Dakota.  Next stop on the tour is the relatively unknown walleye waters of Cass Lake in northern Minnesota.  Then, excitement mounts for a virtually untapped resource on Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas. Yes, the southern walleyes exist, and in great numbers!  The central basin of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio continues the tour with rumors of giant walleyes to be weighed, followed by popular Bay de Noc in Escanaba, Michigan, where 10-pounders come to net.

 

The 2004 PWT Champion will be crowned at the Mercury Championship as qualifiers fish the Keweenaw Waterway and lakes in Houghton, Michigan.  That's 26 weeks of walleye splashing action.  Check out the action and see who wins the biggest share of $2,000,000.   For More Info: http://www.in-fisherman.com/tv/schedule/tv_PWTdescriptions

 


Indiana

DNR launches Priority Areas gamebird program

The Indiana DNR is launching a Priority Areas wildlife habitat building program focusing on boosting quail and pheasant populations in prime areas.

 

Ring-necked pheasant and bobwhite quail were once abundant in large sections of Indiana. Populations peaked during the 1960s and early 1970s when 4 million acres of Hoosier farmland were enrolled in U.S. Department of Agriculture farmland retirement programs.  Idle fields provided vast acres of undisturbed nesting and brood-rearing habitat for pheasant, quail and grassland songbirds. Today, Indiana has less than 93 percent of this wild bird living space, as only about 250,000 acres of Hoosier farmland are now idled in USDA programs.

 

This habitat loss, coupled with changes in farming practices and widespread planting of tall fescue grass, caused Indiana's pheasant and bobwhite quail populations to nose dive. The DNR's Priority Areas habitat program hopes to reverse this decline by focusing development, enhancement,

and maintenance of quail and pheasant habitat in areas where potential expansion of existing populations is greatest.

 

Pheasant priority areas are in Indiana's historically excellent pheasant range in northeast Indiana, while the quail priority areas are concentrated in southern Indiana. Priority Areas qualified landowners and eligible federal Conservation Reserve Program enrollees can apply through their DNR district wildlife biologists for a variety of incentive payments to encourage development and maintenance of quality pheasant and quail habitat on their property.

 

This money will help plant native grasses and shrubs, kill fescue, disc strips, rehabilitate fencerows, feather woodland edges and more.

About $100,000 raised from hunters through the sale of state game bird habitat stamps has been earmarked for initial stages of the program.  Quail and pheasant Priority Areas maps, a biologist phone list and detailed program description can be found at:  http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt/open.html


Michigan

Beach walkers face legal roadblock

A ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals about what was initially a minor spat between beach walkers and property owners, millions who use Michigan's beaches no longer have the right to stray beyond the water line when walking in front of private homes.

 

The Michigan case and another in Ohio have grown into a fight over public access to hundreds of miles of picturesque Great Lakes shoreline.  The Michigan dispute started four years ago in Alcona County, 200 miles north of Detroit.

 

Many defenders are waiting the Michigan Supreme Court's decision, which could come as early as this fall, on whether to weigh in on Glass v. Goeckel. A wide coalition of bankers, resort owners and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce argues that the need for "stable and predictable property

ownership laws" requires that the appeals court decision be upheld.

 

If the state Supreme Court takes the case, justices could rule anywhere between granting visitors the right to legally meander the full beach to specifically allowing beach blockades.  While the public's right to the waters of the Great Lakes is unquestioned, beach access varies from state to state.

 

In Illinois and Wisconsin, walkers along private beaches are not trespassing as long as they keep their feet wet. Indiana allows public access up to the ordinary high-water mark of Lake Michigan.  In Ohio, Lake Erie cottage owners are suing the state DNR to end public ownership claims up to the high-water mark, or gain compensation for the state "taking" of beaches.


DNR offers women’s U.P. pheasant hunt Oct. 2

The Michigan DNR Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program announced an Oct. 2 pheasant hunting workshop in the Upper Peninsula. Hosted by Black Duck Sporting Clays in Rapid River, the program is designed to teach skills necessary to hunt pheasants and other game birds.

 

The $80 workshop fee includes all instruction, clays, ammunition, lunch, and the chance for each participant to shoot three pheasants over hunting dogs. Participants are welcome to bring their own firearm, but shotguns are available for those who do not have one, or wish to try other models.

Following the hunt, instructors will demonstrate how to clean and cook pheasant and share several recipes. Participants must be 18 or older, have a valid Michigan small game hunting license and their own hunter orange clothing. The program runs 9-4:30 p.m.

 

The registration deadline for this rain-or-shine, limited enrollment event is Sept. 24. Registration forms are available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnr. Payment must accompany each registration. For further information, contact Ann Wilson or Sharon Pitz at 906-228-6561 or e-mail wilsoann@michigan.gov .


Minnesota

Hunting stand rules have changed on Consolidated Conservation Lands

As the archery deer season opens throughout the state this weekend, the Minnesota DNR wants to remind all deer hunters that new rules are in effect this season on Consolidated Conservation Lands (or Con-Con Lands) in Beltrami, Marshall, and Roseau counties.

 

“The rules for erecting permanent stands on the Con-Con lands are slightly different, depending on whether the stand is on land that was designated as part of a state forest or a state wildlife management area (WMA),” according to Jim Breyen, DNR northwest regional wildlife manager. “We want to make sure hunters check the status of the area they’re hunting before making or using stands on any of the Con-Con lands.”

 

On Jan. 1, 2003, undedicated con-con lands were designated for conservation use. Combined with earlier 2000 legislation, this designation dedicated several hundred thousand acres of state lands to state forests and state wildlife management areas. Prior to designation, many permanent stands were built and used by hunters recreating on these lands. Under the state forest and wildlife management area designations, these lands have specific rules regarding elevated stands.

 

On state forest lands, permanent stands are legal, but portable stands are recommended. Personal property, even 

portable stands, must not remain for longer than 14 days on state forest land. State foresters have posted notices in the forests stating that it is unlawful to erect any type of permanent building, to remove timber without a permit, to litter, and to burn prohibited materials.

 

On wildlife management areas, portable stands are allowed if they are removed each day at the close of shooting hours and do not cause any permanent damage. Permanent stands of any type are not allowed on WMAs.

 

DNR wildlife personnel are placing notices on stands in WMAs that have not been removed since the Con-Con designations became effective in January, 2003. These notices inform the builder that the permanent stand is no longer allowed. Because some stands were constructed with valuable lumber and other materials, a grace period of several weeks is being given for the builder to remove and salvage the materials. Use of the stand during this grace period, however, is not allowed, and violators will be issued citations. Once the grace period ends, WMA managers will remove the stands.

 

WMA managers also remind hunters that pounding spikes and nails into trees is prohibited in WMAs, so hunters should use screwing or clamping devices with their portable stands, removing them along with the stand at the close of each day’s hunt.


Know where you are, know the rules, when hunting, when riding

As hunting season opens, the Minnesota DNR urges hunters and off highway vehicle (OHV) riders to know the rules and know where they are hunting and riding.  OHV, including all terrain vehicle (ATV), laws and rules have changed this year and they vary depending on land ownership.  Knowing the regulations for the area where you hunt will make the hunt more enjoyable in the long run.  To help, the DNR offers this recap of hunting/OHV laws and regulations.

 

General OHV rules for all public and private lands and waters OHV travel is not allowed on designated non-motorized trails or in areas posted and designated as closed to OHV use OHV travel is not allowed on unfrozen public waters or in a manner that would carelessly damage the natural and ecological balance of a wetland It is unlawful to transport an uncased firearm on an OHV It is illegal to shoot at a wild animal from an OHV During firearm deer hunting season only, a person with a valid deer hunting license may use an ATV only before legal shooting time (one-half hour before sunrise), from 11 am to 2 pm, and after legal shooting time (one-half hour after sunset). 

 

OHV site-specific laws and rules

Federal lands

The Superior and Chippewa National Forests have changed their forest plans including changes to OHV policies.  OHV use is prohibited in ditches and on shoulders of roads, and on trails and roads posted closed.  All cross-country travel is prohibited, including travel to retrieve a large game animal and travel to construct stands.  OHV use is allowed on some, but not all, low maintenance and unclassified roads and on certain trails.  Please check with your national forest office for further information.

 

State lands

Wildlife management areas (WMAs)

OHVs are generally prohibited on WMAs with the exception of Carlos Avery, Hubbel Pond, Mille Lacs, Red Lake, Roseau

River, and Thief Lake where motor vehicles licensed for use on public highways may be operated on established roads but not at speeds over 20 mph.  Some other WMAs allow OHVs on designated travel routes at speeds of 20 mph or less.  For more specific information please see pages 121-123 of the 2004 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.

 

State forest lands

During 2004, State forest lands are classified as: 

Managed where motor vehicles may operate on forest roads and forest trails unless the trail/road is posted closed

Limited where motor vehicles may operate only on forest roads and trails or in areas that are posted and designated open Closed where motor vehicles are not allowed except that vehicles licensed for highway use may use forest roads that are not posted closed or gated

 

In state forests, general OHV restrictions are:

OHV travel is not allowed on designated non-motorized trails or in areas posted and designated as closed to OHV use OHV use that causes erosion or rutting, or that damages trees, growing crops, roads, or natural resources is prohibited OHV riders must travel at reasonable speeds on state forest roads and they must obey posted speed limits and traffic laws Cross-country travel is prohibited except for big game hunting or constructing stands during October through December, and except for retrieving harvested big game during September through December.

 

County lands

OHV regulations on county lands generally follow those of state forest lands.  For more information, contact the county land department where you will be hunting.

 

Private lands

Landowner permission is needed for using an OHV or hunting on private land.


New York

DEC seeks input from Ruffed Grouse hunters for study

Agency to Use info to monitor New York’s Grouse Population

New York DEC Commissioner Erin M. Crotty announced a new study that will monitor and learn more about New York’s ruffed grouse population. As part of this study, DEC is seeking input from ruffed grouse hunters by participating in a survey that records hunting activities and sightings of the birds.

 

Each year, approximately 75,000 grouse hunters harvest 225,000 grouse.  The ruffed grouse is a forest species widely distributed across New York State.  While some grouse are found in more mature forests, the greatest population densities are in younger forests.  These preferred habitats are declining as most of New York State’s forests grow older, thus resulting in a decline in grouse numbers since the 1960s.  The information recorded by grouse hunters in this survey will provide insight into statewide population distributions and trends for this popular game species as habitats change both locally and on a landscape scale.

 

The new DEC survey asks hunters to record their daily grouse

hunting activities on a Cooperator Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log.  The hunting log requests information such as the number of grouse flushed, the number of hours hunted, the number of grouse killed, and if a dog was used to hunt grouse.  The primary purpose of the log is to monitor the number of birds flushed per hour.  Changes in the flushing rate illustrate trends in the grouse population when viewed over a long period of time.  New York will cooperate with other states by evaluating flushing rates and determining if there are regional differences in the relative abundance of ruffed grouse.

 

Each grouse hunter is asked to complete a log and return it to DEC at the end of the grouse hunting season.  The original log, along with an annual report, will be returned to each cooperator.  It’s a great way to partner with DEC and find out more about this beautiful game bird. To participate in the survey and obtain a Cooperator Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log, go to: http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/gamebird/

grouselog.html


State announces opening of new state park on Lake Ontario

Robert G. Wehle State Park to Offer Waterfront Views and Recreation Jefferson County

Governor George E. Pataki announced the opening of a new 1,067-acre State park along L Ontario in the town of Henderson, NY.  The scenic property includes 18,000 ft of lakefront and trails for public recreational use.  The park marks the first of five new State parks the Governor committed to opening in the next two years.  The Governor made this pledge in this year's State of the State address.

 

“Wehle State Park offers breathtaking views of Lake Ontario and for the first time will provide residents and visitors with public access to this spectacular shoreline property for hiking, bird watching and other recreational activities in Jefferson County,” Pataki said.  "Thanks to the generosity of Robert Wehle and his family, we are able to protect this important property and build on New York's magnificent outdoor heritage for generations of visitors to enjoy," the Governor said.

 

Senator Jim Wright said, "The new Robert G. Wehle State Parks graces some of the most pristine and beautiful land along Lake Ontario.  The unique mixture of nature and history that are connected to the park provides New Yorkers multiple recreational and educational opportunities.  Mr. Wehle's wish for the people of New York has come true with the Governor's leadership."

 

Wehle, who headed Rochester-based Genesee Brewing Co. 

in the 1950s, was a noted artist, dog-breeder and outdoorsman. An advocate for the enforcement of hunting and conservation laws, Wehle also bred English pointers for more than 60 years and wrote books on hunting dogs. He maintained homes in Alabama and New York, and was named Alabama's Conservationist of the Year for 2002.

 

The parcel's lake frontage includes limestone cliffs 80 ft high that drop off to the water's edge and provide scenic overlooks.  The acreage contains a mixture of open fields and small red and white cedar stands.  With its meadows, woodlands, wetlands and lawns, activities available at the park will include fishing, hiking, bird watching, biking, cross country skiing, and limited hunting. The site presently offers a weekly cottage rental available to the public and will soon offer primitive camping opportunities. In addition to its natural resources, the site has a unique history, offering the military valuable vantage points during the War of 1812.

 

The land was purchased for $2.8 million as part of an agreement with the DEC.  Maintenance of the site and related park facilities will be augmented through a portion of the benefits of the Robert G. Wehle Charitable Trust. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will manage the land after it has been officially opened to the public. State Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro represents the State on the Robert G. Wehle Charitable Trust.

 


Governor announces $350,000 for Buffalo waterfront recreation

Grant Will Expand Public Access to Times Beach Along Lake Erie

Governor George E. Pataki and Congressman Jack Quinn announced a $350,000 federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant to Erie County for a park development project in downtown Buffalo.  The grant will support the second phase of restoring public access to Times Beach -- a brownfield that has been identified as a centerpiece for the revitalization of Buffalo and Erie County's waterfront and considered to be one of the best birding areas in the Northeastern United States.

           

The 50-acre property is a former disposal facility that had been operated by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers thirty years ago.  Since then, significant varieties of wildlife, vegetation, and aquatic habitats occupy the site, creating a nature

sanctuary.  In 1991, the City of Buffalo designated the site as a nature preserve to be used as a natural and educational public resource.   While the site is popular among local and national ornithologists, botanists, wildlife biologists and amateur naturalists, there is limited public access to the property.

 

Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra said, "Times Beach is about providing greater access to our great lake - Lake Erie. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Pataki, Congressmen Quinn and Reynolds, and the Citizen Advisory Group we're reclaiming our historic Outer Harbor - better known as Times Beach.  Today, after years of work, we stand together to announce the completion of the second phase of work at Times Beach.  This $350,000 federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to Erie County for this park development project in downtown Buffalo is crucial to reclaiming our waterfront."


Pennsylvania

Fall Trout stocking details released

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock 156 bodies of water in 61 counties across the state as part of the 2004 Fall Trout Stocking Program. The Commission will release 118,200 legal-sized trout to provide anglers with expanded fishing opportunities during the autumn months.

       

The stockings will be held during the weeks of September 27 and conclude the week of October 25.  During that time, the Commission intends to stock 97 river and stream sections as well as 59 lakes. A total of 97,000 rainbow trout make up the biggest portion of the stocked fish, with 12,870 brown trout and 8,330 brook trout rounding out the allotment.

       

The Fall Trout Stocking Program features two different

components. Anglers who wish to harvest trout may take advantage of the stream sections or lakes regulated by the Extended Trout Season Rules. The Extended Trout Season, which began September 7 and runs through the end of February 2005, permits anglers to creel up to three trout of seven inches or greater daily.

 

The second component of the program is the stocking of stream sections managed under Delayed Harvest Regulations. Delayed Harvest allows for year-round fishing. However, no trout may be creeled the day after Labor Day until the following June 15. Anglers should consult the 2004 Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws issued with each license for a complete list of rules governing Delayed Harvest waters.


Newton-Hamilton Access Improvements under way      

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has begun work on major upgrades to the Newton-Hamilton Access Area in Mifflin County.  Work at the site - which provides free public access to the Juniata River for boating and fishing - will include resurfacing the parking lot, site improvements for drainage, and replacing the existing concrete slab boat launch

ramp with a cast in place concrete launch ramp.  In all, the access will receive more than $55,000 in improvements.

 

To facilitate the work, the PFBC has closed the access area while it is being renovated.  Work at the site is expected to be completed by November.  Boaters and anglers looking for alternative launch sites can visit the “County Guides” section of the PFBC’s web site at www.fish.state.pa.us .


Fall Commission Meeting to be held in Erie Oct 4-5

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will hold its fall quarterly meeting October 4-5 at the Bel-Aire Clarion Hotel, 2800 West Eighth Street in Erie. 

       

The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, October 4 and resume at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 5. The format for the meeting will be slightly different than that used by the Commission in recent years.  The Commission will be meeting as a “committee of the whole,” with consideration of agenda items occurring throughout the session. All briefings and the review of the agenda are open to the public; attendance is encouraged.

       

Among the items to be considered is final rulemaking on the minimum age of operation for certain motorboats in the Commonwealth.  The Commission will act on proposed amendments intended to simplify existing regulations, and

make them consistent with a recent state law mandating boating safety education for many operators of motorboats of 25 hp or greater.  As part of the rulemaking, it is proposed that effective January 1, 2008, no person under the age of 16 would be permitted to operate a class of motorboats known as personal watercraft  (PWCs).

 

The Commission will also consider designating Lower Burrell Park Pond, Westmoreland County, as a catch-and-release only lake.  Fishing regulation options for a section of Young Womans Creek, Clinton County, will be reviewed.  Also to be discussed are potential policy changes that would allow greater leeway in establishing stocking rate classifications for legal size trout and announcing information on trout stocking dates, time, locations and numbers.

       

A copy of the full agenda and meeting schedule are available on the Commission’s web site at www.fish.state.pa.us .


Wisconsin

Lower Fox River, Sheboygan River and Harbor PCB cleanups to begin

PCB removal on tap after decades of studies, planning

MADISON – The long-awaited cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyls will begin the week of Sept. 13 from two of Wisconsin’s worst PCB contamination sites, while work at third site moves into a critical phase during the same period.

 

Hydraulic dredging of PCB-contaminated sediment will begin in the Lower Fox River at Little Lake Butte des Morts, a portion of the river that lies between Menasha and Appleton, and will continue over the next four to six years. Cleanup activities are also beginning near the Sheboygan River in Sheboygan and are moving into a new phase at the Hayton Millpond near New Holstein in Calumet County.

 

“This is the real deal. We're starting to move mud,” says Greg Hill, who leads the DNR contaminated sediment section.

"After a lot of heavy lifting by a lot of people in getting enough information to show there's a solution to these problems, we're beginning the full-scale remediation projects to remove the source of fish consumption advisories in these waters.”

 

Testing of fish for contaminants led to the discovery of PCB contamination in fish from the Lower Fox and the Sheboygan River in the late 1970s, which were eventually traced back to the paper mills and to the Tecumseh Products Co. engine manufacturing plant, respectively. The Hayton Millpond site was discovered in 1990, after tests revealed high PCB levels in fish from the South Branch of the Manitowoc River and subsequent investigation showed the contamination centralized in the backwaters of the Hayton Millpond and nearby farm fields. The cause of those contaminants is unknown, however, Tecumseh, which owns land next to the contaminated fields, has agreed to work with DNR to clean up the PCBs.


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