Week of September 26, 2005

National

 

Regional

General

Lake Ontario

Illinois 

Indiana

Michigan

Wisconsin

Ontario

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National

House Resources Committee submits ESA reforms

“Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005”

NMMA backs endangered species reform bill

A bill introduced September 19 that would reform the Endangered Species Act is drawing support from the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

 

The NMMA says the bill, the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act (TESRA), which was introduced by Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., “is a major step in the reform of the outdated and ineffective Endangered Species Act.”

 

The Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 updates and improves the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by:

Providing for the use of the best available scientific data in all decisions;

 Replacing the critical habitat program with a more integrated recovery planning process that includes the identification of specific areas that are of special value to the conservation of the species which are then given priority in recovery efforts;

 Providing for active implementation of recovery plans through implementation agreements between the Secretary and other federal agencies where the federal agency agrees to implement programs and projects identified in the recovery plans;

 Ensuring a “species-specific” approach to establishing “take” prohibitions for threatened species under Section 4(d) by making the issuance of such regulations permissive rather than mandatory, focusing such rules on the application of

“take” prohibitions for such threatened species; and requiring, in most instances, a species-specific Section 4(d) rule;

●  Increasing the role for States by ensuring that a Governor and responsible State agencies are provided full notice and opportunity to comment on  ESA decisions affecting their State

 

“The ESA impacts the marine industry through the listing of species including whales, gamefish and coral that potentially limit the areas that boaters can operate, dock, anchor, moor, fish or dive,” said Monita Fontaine, NMMA’s vice president of government relations. “TESRA is good, common sense legislation that will help bring ESA back on track of realizing its initial purpose — the protection and recovery of endangered species — while limiting negative impacts on businesses, landowners, the federal and local governments, and Americans who enjoy the diverse natural beauty of the country.”

 

According to the NMMA, the bill “fixes the long-outstanding problems of the Endangered Species Act” by focusing on species recovery, providing incentives, increasing openness and accountability, strengthening scientific standards, creating bigger roles for state and local governments, protecting private property owners and eliminating “dysfunctional” critical habitat designations.

 

The House Resources Committee held a hearing on the bill Wednesday morning. NMMA, which has sent letters of support to the bill’s co-sponsors, says it will help steer it through Congress.

 

To view the bill click here http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/

 


Hurricane Scale

Below is the commonly used Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, commonly used by weather forecasting outlets.  The scale is used to estimate the potential property damage and coastal flooding. The scale is determined by wind speed, since storm surge sizes depend on the slope of the continental shelf.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Cat.     In.Mercury     Millibars      Wind             Wind         Wind         Surge          Damage

                                                          KPH              MPH        Knots          Ft.              Likely

1

> 28.94

> 980

119-153

74-95

64-82

4-5

Minimal. Broken trees, shrubs and street signs. In-water boat and mobile home damage

2

28.50-28.91

965-979

154-177

96-110

83-95

6-8

Moderate. Overturned mobile homes, downed trees, shingles blown off and some signs down.

Notes: > denotes  “greater than”. < denotes “less than”

3

27.91-28.47

945-964

178-209

111-130

96-113

9-12

Extensive. Large trees down, signs, awnings and windows broken. Mobile homes destroyed.

4

27.17-27.88

920-944

210-249

131-155

114-135

13-18

Extreme. Roofs blown off, walls collapsed. Storm surge near beach flooding homes.

5

< 27.17

< 920

> 249

> 155

> 135

> 18

Catastrophic. Concrete structures damaged.  Structures and cars overturned and blown away.


Bush Administration Proposes New Fishing Rules Aimed at Overfishing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration, on September 19,  proposed new guidelines  that it said would prevent overfishing, part of a plan for managing the nation's marine resources.

 

Tougher fines and penalties, more peer-reviewed science studies and market-based decisions are other measures that will "help us toward ending overfishing and rebuilding our fish stocks," said Jim Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

 

The bill describes how to reauthorize the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Act, which governs the nation's ocean fisheries. Its authorization expired after 1999, though its provisions remain in effect. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, led the last reauthorization in 1996. The legislation would guide local and regional fishery councils.

 

Critics say they ignore important recommendations from a presidential commission.

 

Steve Murawski, chief science adviser to the Commerce Department's National Marine Fisheries Service, said the administration didn't back the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy's recommendation that a group of scientists suggest the total number of allowable catches each year because "it would have Balkanized the process."

Murawski said the administration recognizes that good fishery management is based on peer-reviewed science, and that the government should help fishermen make better business decisions through the use of fishing quotas. "In many cases they do not make market decisions that are in their own best interests and the long-term interests of the country because of this race to compete with each other," he said. "This 'survival of the fittest' - it generates a lot of conservation issues."

 

Advocacy groups such as Natural Resources Defense Council quickly denounced the bill, saying it revokes the requirement to rebuild an overfished species within 10 years and allows overfishing on some species to continue for years before legal protections kick in.

NRDC said the bill also would undermine public participation by closing off meetings and comment periods to citizens, and require only that the amount of bycatch - fish caught unintentionally - be reported "to the extent practicable."

 

The Marine Fish Conservation Network, another advocacy group, said the administration would be "turning back the clock on ocean protections by at least a decade."

 

In a statement two weeks ago, the commission said that any reauthorization of the law must include a shift toward ecosystem-based management, a stronger scientific process, broader public participation and adequate funding to support fishery management and recovery.


Regional

Alewives Have Negative Effect On Deepwater Sculpins

Ann Arbor, Mich. — When alewives move into a lake, the deepwater sculpin population suffers. Alewives likely caused both the disappearance of deepwater Sculpins from Lake Ontario during the 1950s and the very low abundance of deepwater Sculpins in Lake Michigan during the 1960s.

 

"Some scientists blame the disappearance of deepwater Sculpins from Lake Ontario during the 1950s, as well as the low levels of deepwater Sculpins in Lake Michigan during the 1960s, on their relatives, the slimy Sculpins," states Chuck Madenjian, a researcher with the USGS Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) in Ann Arbor, MI. "According to this theory, slimy Sculpins outcompete the deepwater Sculpins for food. Other scientists claim that alewives, by feeding upon the fry of deepwater Sculpins, caused the disappearance."

 

To try to determine which theory was correct, Madenjian and his fellow researchers analyzed the long-term time series for abundances of slimy Sculpins, deepwater Sculpins, and

alewives in Lake Michigan from the annual GLSC bottom trawl surveys. Results showed that changes in deepwater sculpin abundance over time were much better explained by changes in alewife abundance rather than changes in slimy sculpin abundance. Therefore, the alewife theory appeared to be correct. These findings will be useful to fishery managers planning on re-introducing deepwater Sculpins to Lake Ontario. If early attempts to re-introduce deepwater Sculpins to Lake Ontario fail, managers may have to take steps to further reduce alewife abundance in the lake.

 

Contacts:

For more information about the study, contact Charles Madenjian, U. S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48105; cmadenjian@usgs.gov ; (734) 214-7259.

 

For information about the Journal of Great Lakes Research, contact Marlene Evans, Editor, National Water Research Institute, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, Canada; marlene.evans@ec.gc.ca ; (608) 692-1076


New Crustacean Invader Found In The Great Lakes

Ann Arbor, Mich. — The Great Lakes are home to yet another invasive organism - the sideswimmer Gammarus tigrinus. The eventual arrival of this species was predicted by Igor A. Grigorovich and fellow researchers a few years ago. The shrimp-like crustacean, native to the Atlantic coast of North America, is a notorious invader in European waters where it has been aggressively eliminating native crustacean species. H.B. Noel Hynes of the University of Liverpool believes that Gammarus tigrinus was first "… introduced into Northern Ireland from North America during WWI by American troops, whence it crossed the Irish Sea as ballast, to the Liverpool/Chester area."

 

First identified in samples collected from Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron in 2003, Gammarus tigrinus was subsequently identified in samples collected from other shallow, coastline habitats in all five of the Great Lakes dating back to 2001. Grigorovich and fellow researchers of the University of Windsor discovered that the new invader was the second

most abundant sideswimmer in cattail (Typha) beds of lower Great Lakes coastal wetlands. As with the European introduction, Gammarus tigrinus likely entered the Great Lakes with the help of humans.

 

Previous studies implied that Gammarus tigrinus can't reproduce in freshwater. However, Dr. Grigorovich and his colleagues observed reproducing individuals and egg-carrying females, indicating that the species has become established and will likely remain a permanent member of the Great Lakes benthic community.

 

Contacts:

For more information about the study, contact A. Grigorovich, 320 Dixon Road, Suite 1016, Toronto, ON, M9R 1S8, Canada; igorgrigorovich@yahoo.ca ; (416) 241-6624.

 

For information about the Journal of Great Lakes Research, contact Marlene Evans, Editor, National Water Research Institute, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, Canada; marlene.evans@ec.gc.ca ; (608) 692-1076.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for September 23, 2005

Weather Conditions:

A series of frontal systems brought much needed rain to most of the Great Lakes basin this week.  The first system tracked through the region on Monday.  Heavy rain occurred across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well as the Arrowhead of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.  The second and stronger system pushed into the basin on Wednesday, bringing showers and thunderstorm to the region.  More showers and thunderstorms occurred Thursday as the front continued its trek east.  A chance of rain will exist this weekend as a front stalls over the northern Ohio Valley.  Eyes will also be on Hurricane Rita, as its remnants may move toward the Great Lakes by the middle of next week, bringing the threat of very heavy rain.

 

Lake Level Conditions:

Lake Superior is currently 4 inches lower than last year, while the remaining lakes are 5 to 11 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Dry conditions this spring and summer are the main reason that water levels on the Great Lakes are below last year’s levels.   Looking ahead, Lake Superior is expected to fall 1 inch over the next month.  Lake Michigan-Huron should fall 3 inches while the remaining lakes are expected to fall 4 inches over the next month, as the lakes continue their seasonal declines.  Levels over the next few months on all the Great Lakes are expected to remain lower than 2004.  Evaporation rates during the fall may be higher than average due to warmer surface water temperatures. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

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

anticipated to be below average during September.  Flows in the Niagara River and St. Lawrence River are expected to be near average in September.

 

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.

 

 

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Expected water level for Sept 23 in ft

601.6

577.7

573.8

571.1

245.0

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

+6

+2

+17

+23

+20

Diff from last month, in inches

0

-3

-2

-2

-4

Diff from last year in inches

-4

-7

-6

-5

-11


General

How to Avoid The Six Most Common Winterizing Mistakes

Free BoatU.S. Winterizing Guide Available

With winter approaching, Boat Owners Association of The United States has reviewed its insurance claim files and reports the following six most common mistakes made when winterizing a boat:

 

1.         Failure to drain the engine block: Surprisingly, it's the balmy states of California, Florida, Texas, Alabama and Georgia where boaters are most likely to have freeze-related damage to engine blocks - and it routinely occurs to boats stored ashore. Water retains heat longer than air so boats left in the slip are less susceptible to sudden freezing.

 

2.         Failure to drain water from sea strainer: Like an engine, the seawater strainer must be winterized or residual water could freeze and rupture the watertight seal. Sometimes you don't know it's damaged until spring launching and water begins to trickle in.

 

3.         Failure to close seacocks: For boats left in the water, leaving seacocks open over the winter is like going on extended vacation without locking the house. If a thru-hull cannot be closed the vessel must be stored ashore - the sole

exception are cockpit drains. Heavy snow loads can also force your boat under, allowing water to enter through hulls normally well above the water line.

 

4.         Clogged petcocks: Engine cooling system petcocks clogged by rust or other debris can prevent water from fully draining. If it's plugged, try using a coat hanger to clear the blockage or use the engine's intake hose to flush anti-freeze through the system.

 

5.         Leaving open boats in the water over winter: Boats with large open cockpits or low freeboard can easily go under by accumulated snow.  Always store them ashore.

 

6.         Using bimini covers as winter storage covers: A cover that protects the crew from the sun does a lousy job protecting the boat from freezing rain and snow. Unlike a bonafide winter cover, biminis tend to rip apart and age prematurely by the effects of winter weather.

 

To get a free copy of the BoatU.S. Winterizing Guide full of tips to help you prepare your vessel for the winter, go to http://www.BoatUS.com/Seaworthy  and click on "Winterizing Your Boat," or call 800-283-2883.


 

Lake Ontario

Alewife & Goby main diet of Cormorants in Hamilton Harbor, Lake Ontario

Angler/commercial targeted fish species accounted for less than 1%.

Populations of the invasive round goby have expanded dramatically since their discovery in the Great Lakes in 1990.  The abundance of these fish and possible competitive displacement of native species from aquatic food webs suggest that they will become an important prey item for predatory birds and sport fish. To date, there is very little information on the predation of round gobies by fish-eating birds in the Great Lakes.

 

Scientists used a manual massage technique to stimulate regurgitation by double-crested cormorant chicks in ground nests from colonies in Hamilton Harbor, western Lake Ontario, during the 2002 nesting season. They collected and

identified all fish species present in regurgitated mass. For tree-nesting birds, they collected fish that were regurgitated and fell to the ground as a result of targeted disturbance of particular nest trees. At all locations and times, alewife was the most abundant fish species present by a large margin. The second most abundant species was the round goby, which was present in the regurgitated stomach contents of chicks in a total of 18% of nests surveyed, and made up 2-11% of all individual fish specimens identified.

 

Their results show that the round goby is already an important food item for breeding cormorants in Hamilton Harbor, despite relatively recent establishment of goby populations in western Lake Ontario.

 

Fish species of sport or commercial interest were detected in samples with extremely low frequency (< 0.1%).


Illinois

Deer Harvest Reporting Reminder

Deer hunters are reminded that harvest-reporting requirements in Illinois have changed effective with the 2005-06 season.

 

Successful hunters this fall must register their harvest by 10 p.m. on the same calendar day the deer is taken by calling a toll-free telephone check-in system at 1-866-ILCHECK or by accessing the online check-in system at http://dnr.state.il.us/vcheck   Hunters will be provided with a confirmation number to verify that they checked in their harvest. This number must be written by the hunter onto the temporary harvest tag (leg tag). The deer must remain whole (or field 

dressed) until it has been checked in through the new check-in system. 

 

Deer pins will also be available free of charge.  Successful deer hunters interested in obtaining a 2005-06 deer pin will be able to submit an application online and deer pins will be mailed to them.  The online deer pin application will be available beginning with the opening of the archery season Oct. 1. 

           

The changes are part of the implementation of DNR Direct Illinois' new automated license, permit and registration system.


Operation Blonde Fawn yields two arrests

Felony charges for unlawful selling of whitetail deer

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – Two Cass County residents will make their first appearance in Cass County Court on Monday, September 29, 2005, on felony charges for unlawful selling of whitetail deer.  Illinois Department of Natural Resources conservation police officers arrested  John E. “Burt” Harris and Carolyn A. “Missy” Harris on September 19th  as the result of a short term, undercover investigation named Operation Blonde Fawn.  District 10 conservation police officers say they noticed a Cass County game breeder obtaining wild deer and keeping them with his captive-reared deer and possibly selling them.  During a covert operation, the Harris’ allegedly sold an investigator two whitetail deer fawns that were taken from the

wild.

 

Both Harris face additional charges:

• Unlawful live possession of whitetail deer from the wild. (2 counts)

• Unlawful possession of a whitetail deer. (4 counts)

• Insufficient records as required by a game breeder.

• Unlawful possession of Canada Geese.

• Unlawful live possession of a furbearer.

 

Both John and Carolyn Harris were released after posting $500 cash apiece.  The animals were photographed and left in administrative custody with the Harris’.


Indiana

Salamonie hosts Saturday Nature Club

Outdoor-loving youth between the ages of 8-12 will want to spend their Saturday mornings at Salamonie Lake, exploring nature's bounty.

 

Saturday Nature Club, weekly kids' program offered by the reservoir, is a fast-moving environmental education program with crafts, hikes and games.  The "Radical Junior Rangers" Saturday Nature Club meets 9:30-11:30 AM the second Saturday of each month during fall and winter at the Salamonie interpretive center.

 

Dates and topics are as follows:

                           

October 8:  Surviving the Wild - play a game, build a primitive shelter, make fire and more.

November 12:  Feeder Frenzy - recycle and make something for the birds at the same time.

December 10: Deck the Walls - use nature's beauty to decorate the building for the holidays, and make                   something for home, too.

January 14: Nature's explorers - learn about Marty Stouffer and other nature explorers, and watch a movie.

February 11: Winter in the Wild - enjoy the crisp winter weather, and make a walking stick.

March 11:  Orienteering - try your hand at using a compass and finding your way.

April 8: Annual pancake breakfast - bring the whole family and join the fun.

 

Saturday Nature Club programs meet at the Salamonie interpretive center. Advance registration is requested. There is a one-time $10 participation fee for the club.

 

The interpretive center is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through the end of September, then Wednesday through Friday from 1-5 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1-5 p.m., October through April. The

interpretive center is located in Lost Bridge West Recreation Area on Highway 105 in western Huntington County.  

 

For more info, or to register, call the Upper Wabash Reservoirs Interpretive Services at 260-468-2127. Visit www.in.gov/dnr/uwis/  to find out about other reservoir programs.


Michigan

Michigan bills would allow residents to fatally shoot intruders

People who kill someone breaking into their home or vehicle would not be prosecuted.

LANSING (AP) -- Michigan residents could fatally shoot someone who breaks into their home or vehicle without facing criminal or civil prosecution under proposed legislation.

 

The two-bill package, which is opposed by anti-gun violence groups, would assume that a person who forcibly enters or intrudes in a home or occupied vehicle intends to kill or hurt the owner or occupant. It is patterned after a law signed earlier this year in Florida.

 

The bills, introduced September 7, also would eliminate the requirement that people who are being attacked have to retreat before responding, as long as they're in a place they legally have a right to be.

Republican Reps. Tom Casperson of Escanaba and Rick Jones of Grand Ledge introduced the bills. They said the legislation will prevent residents from having to worry about whether they are justified in using force to defend their families and property. "This legislation makes it clear that you will not be prosecuted or sued for defending your life, family or property in your own home," Casperson said in a written statement. "This will prevent criminals or their families from suing victims for injury or death."

 

The new Florida law, which takes effect Oct. 1, gives residents the right to defend themselves in public spaces, including on the street or in a place of business.

 

The Michigan bills are limited to using deadly force to protect a person's home or vehicle, but Jones said he would be willing to consider extending it to other areas. The bills were referred to the House Judiciary Committee.


DNR Officials Confirm Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Find Two Cases in Kent County Deer

The Department of Natural Resources, collaborating with Michigan State University, on September 22, said it has confirmed two cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in deer from Kent County and has two additional suspect cases at the DNR's Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing.

 

The infected deer originated in two townships south of Rockford, a community just north of Grand Rapids. The Michigan Department of Agriculture also recently confirmed three cases of EEE in horses in Michigan, including two in Kent County.

 

The deer specimens were submitted for testing by the public after some deer in Kent County were observed behaving abnormally.  A media report speculated that the deer had Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), but all have tested negative for CWD. Testing by DNR and MSU scientists at the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health have confirmed EEE in two of the six deer presented for testing, according to DNR Wildlife Veterinarian Steve Schmitt. Test results suggest EEE was likely present in two others.  Michigan becomes only the second state in the country to document EEE in free-ranging white-tailed deer.  The first case was documented in 2001 in Georgia.

 

EEE is transmitted by mosquitoes, much like West Nile Virus. There is a human health risk to EEE, as humans who are bitten by mosquitoes carrying the disease can become fatally ill, cautioned Michigan Community Health Department Director Janet D. Olszewski. It is possible that a person could become infected with EEE by getting brain or spinal cord matter from an infected deer in their eyes, lungs, or in skin wounds. The last case of EEE in a human in Michigan was documented in 2002. While rare, state health officials urged citizens to take extra precautions against EEE by taking action to reduce mosquito populations; using insect repellents for personal protection from bites; keeping tight screens on windows, doors and porches; and using protective clothing.

 

"It is encouraging that citizens have an increased awareness of wildlife disease and, with the help of county sheriff's deputies were willing to bring these deer to our attention," said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. "We encourage any citizen who observes a deer that is obviously sick and behaving abnormally to contact the closest DNR field office during business hours or the DNR Report All Poaching (RAP) Line after 5 p.m. and on the weekends to provide critical information so we can continue to monitor EEE in this region."

 

The DNR RAP Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-292-

7800. Reports also can be made online at the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr  by clicking on Law Enforcement under the "Inside the DNR" menu. Also, the public can use the Michigan Emerging Diseases Web site at www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases  to report deer that appear to be sick.

 

DNR officials urged hunters entering the fall hunting season to exercise extra caution while hunting in Kent County. Hunters should observe the following safety procedures recommended by the DNR since 2002:

 

*       Hunters should not handle or consume wild animals that appear sick or act abnormally, regardless of the cause.

*       Always wear heavy rubber or latex gloves when field dressing deer.

*       Minimize contact with brain or spinal tissues. Do not cut into the head of any deer that behaved abnormally even to remove the rack.  When removing antlers from healthy deer, use a hand saw rather than a power saw, and always wear safety glasses.

*       Bone out the carcass, keeping both the head and spine intact.

*       Wash hands with soap and water after handling carcasses and before and after handling meat.

*       Thoroughly sanitize equipment and work surfaces used during processing with bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon water). Consider keeping a separate set of knives used only for butchering deer.

 

Humphries noted that hunters and the general public should not dispatch any deer that they suspect might be infected with EEE but instead report abnormally-behaving deer to the DNR immediately.  It is critical that these deer be properly euthanized to preserve organs for testing.  "Timely and proper collection of deer specimens is crucial to accurate diagnosis," Humphries said.

 

EEE is transmitted by mosquitoes that usually frequent hardwood swamps. Mosquitoes that have fed on birds carrying EEE can transmit the disease to horses, deer and humans. The state has documented cases of EEE in horses in southern Michigan for at least 40 years, and a vaccine to protect horses is available. Horses, and probably deer, do not develop high enough levels of EEE virus in their blood to be contagious to other animals or humans by direct contact alone.

 

For more information on EEE and other emerging diseases in Michigan, visit the Michigan Emerging Diseases Web site at www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases .

 


Governor Signs Legislation to Protect Michigan's Outdoor Traditions

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm on September 22 signed legislation that will protect the spirit of Michigan's rich outdoor and hunting traditions. The five-bill package prohibits computer-assisted shooting and establishes a new program to encourage sportsmen to help fight hunger.

 

Public Acts 110, 111, and 112 will prohibit computer-assisted shooting with a crossbow or firearm. Recently, a series of websites have been created that allow anyone with access to a computer to pay for the opportunity to shoot at fenced animals with computer-controlled weapons. True sportsmen criticize the practice as contrary to the sport of hunting. Remote shooting removes the art of tracking and the connection to nature. Safety concerns have also been raised since the remote shooter cannot see outside the gun's scope to determine if other animals or people are in harm's way.

Public Acts 116 and 117 create the Sportsmen Against Hunger Program through the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The program will encourage sportsmen and women to donate legally taken wild game for use in local soup kitchens and food banks. A voluntary $1.00 donation, collected at the time a person applies for a hunting license, will fund the new program.

 

The five bills signed by the Governor are: Senate Bill 373 sponsored by Senator Michelle McManus (R-Leelanau); Senate Bill 620 sponsored by Senator Bruce Patterson (R-Canton); House Bill 4465 sponsored by Representative Glenn Steil, Jr. (R-Cascade); House Bill 4145 sponsored by Representative Tory Rocca (R-Sterling Heights); and House Bill 4071 sponsored by Representative Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell).

 

 


Wisconsin

Port leaders concerned new law would end international shipping

Leaders from Wisconsin's ports say a proposed state law would end international shipping to Wisconsin. Mike Simonson reports on a meeting of port officials Thursday in Washburn.

 

The proposed bill is still being shaped, so port directors are hoping to do an end run before it damages shipping on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Wisconsin Ports Association Director Dean Haen of Green Bay says the proposal would require all ocean-going ships to have no ocean ballast water on board when entering Wisconsin waters. "It would shutdown all international porting activities which would impact Superior, Green Bay, Marinette, Menominee and Milwaukee. It would cease all importing and exporting."

The law is designed to stop the spread of invasive species from overseas like the zebra mussel. But Hean says the technology isn't in place to rid the ballast of all organisms. "With that legislation there is no targeted number. It is just so arbitrary that it's unobtainable."

 

Adolph Ojard is the president of the American Great Lakes Ports Association. He says this environmental legislation would backfire. "Certainly not only in terms of business and jobs and the economy of the area but also if you have a modul shift because you can't have ships on the Great Lakes and now trains and trucks are delivering from the East Coast, West Coast and Gulf Coast." Ojard says that would mean much more air emissions, thus more pollution.

 

 


Bill Will Put More Sportsmen in the Field

(Madison) - Legislators in Wisconsin have introduced a bill which seeks to eliminate barriers for people who wish to give hunting a try.

 

Part of a nationwide Families Afield campaign sponsored by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and others, Assembly Bill 677 will aid in recruitment of new hunters into the sport in hopes of stopping an alarming downward trend in the numbers of new sportsmen going into the field each year in Wisconsin and nationwide.

 

“The bottom line is parents should have the right to decide when their children will be introduced to hunting and shooting,” commented Wisconsin Rep. Scott Suder (R- Abbotsford) who sponsored the bill along with Wisconsin Assembly Speaker John Gard (R- Peshtigo).  “Our bill will give parents more choices in this matter and allow our youth the opportunity to be introduced to hunting before they become interested in other things.”

 

The core concept of AB 677 is the establishment of an apprentice hunting license allowing qualified, licensed adult hunters to introduce others to the sport prior to completing a hunter education course.  The apprentice hunter would have to be within arm’s reach of the adult mentor while in the field and would be required to attend hunter education courses and become fully licensed should they elect to pursue hunting on their own.

 

Current Wisconsin law prevents parents from taking their kids 

shooting before age twelve.  Assembly Bill 677 will also repeal this restriction.

 

Families Afield was developed after results of a study, called the Youth Hunting Report, showed that youngsters are less likely to take up hunting in states that have restrictive requirements for youth participation. However, states that permit parents to decide when their kids will begin to hunt have a much higher youth recruitment rate.

 

The Youth Hunting Report, funded by NSSF and NWTF, clearly showed that hunters in states without these restrictions are as safe as Wisconsin hunters.   It also showed that the most important factor affecting youth hunting safety is the presence of a responsible, attentive adult hunter.  When supervised, youth hunters are the safest in the field.

 

Wisconsin was chosen to be one of the first states to introduce the Families Afield Program for several reasons, but there is one key factor.  Statistics show that for every 100 hunters that the state of Wisconsin loses, they are only replacing them with 53.  It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that this is a problem for Wisconsin sportsmen.

 

To find your representative, call (608) 226-9960 or use the Legislative Action Center at www.ussportsmen.org

 

For more information about the Youth Hunting Report, call Steve Wagner of the National Shooting Sports Foundation at (203) 426-1320; Jonathan Harling of the NWTF at 1 (800) THE-NWTF or Beth Ruth of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance at (614) 888-4868.


Ontario

Ontario Commercial finds fishing in Ohio expensive

WINDSOR — A Lake Erie commercial fisherman plead guilty on September 21 and was fined $5000.00 for fishing in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie and submitting a false daily catch report.

 

Jose Pacheco of Leamington plead guilty to failing to file an accurate daily catch report. The court ordered permanent seizure of the fish, which had a value of $5352.65. Pacheco had previously plead guilty to charges laid by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and had been fined $1000.00 (US) and ordered to pay $4200.00 (US) for restitution of the fish illegally caught.

 

On December 16, 2004, the Ontario Ministry of Natural

Resources was notified by Ohio DNR that the U.S. Coast Guard was monitoring the Miss Vanessa II as it pulled gill nets in U.S. waters.  When the vessel returned to Wheatley, MNR conservation officers seized 1161 kilograms (2560 lbs) of fish, including 1101 kilograms of walleye.

 

Investigators found that the location of the nets as written in the captain’s daily catch report for December 16 was false.   Justice of the Peace Rogers heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, on September 21, 2005.

 

The public is encouraged to help protect its natural resources by reporting violations to the local ministry office or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 


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