Week of September 29 , 2003

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National

House of Representatives Passes Sportsmen's Appreciation Resolution

Washington, DC: Congressmen James Walsh (R-NY, 25) and Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY, 24) led the charge to enact a sportsmen's appreciation resolution prior to National Hunting and Fishing Day to express congressional support for America's millions of hunters and anglers. H. Res. 362 was introduced shortly after Labor Day with a bipartisan group of 37 original cosponsors and passed the House today by unanimous consent. The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation worked closely with the sponsors, Caucus members and over forty sportsmen's organizations to move the initiative forward.

 

"Sportsmen have served a paramount role in our nation's conservation efforts and economy," said Congressman Walsh. "This resolution supports the traditions and values of American sportsmen, highlights their contributions, and commemorates sporting's impact upon the American family, environmental stewardship efforts, and local economies."

 

"This Sportsmen's resolution is a testament to the exceptional contributions sportsmen have made to our economy and society over the years," stated Congressman Boehlert. "Sportsmen have much to be grateful for in my Upstate New York district and across the United States - we are privileged to live in such a pristine place. Following in the steps of Theodore Roosevelt, one of

our nation's greatest conservationists, I will continue to fight for the rights of Sportsmen to ensure that our open spaces are protected for our use for years to come. Clean water and clean air are essential to enjoying activities like hunting, fishing and trapping and I will continue to protect them."

 

With the enactment of this resolution, Congress officially recognizes the importance and contributions of sportsmen to American society; supports the traditions and values of sportsmen; supports the many conservation programs implemented by sportsmen; recognizes the many economic benefits associated with outdoor sporting activities; and recognizes the importance of encouraging the recruitment of, and teaching the traditions of hunting, trapping, and fishing to future sportsmen.

 

"Sportsmen have been on record for years as being the primary benefactors of conservation and fish and wildlife management," commented Jeff Crane, CSF's Director of Policy and Programs who worked closely with the bill sponsors. "It is appropriate that Congress, with the leadership of the 320 members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, recommit to the country's hunters and anglers just days before National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 27. That the resolution also coincides with CSF's annual banquet that celebrates the achievements of the Sportsmen's Caucus is only fitting."


Americans ate more seafood in 2002

Seafood consumption in the United States is up 7.1 %, with Americans consuming 4.5 billion lbs of domestic and imported seafood in 2002, the NOAA announced.

        

Officials from NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) said the 2002 per capita consumption level of 15.6 lbs per person represents an increase of almost one pound from the 2001 level.  Of the 15.6 lbs of seafood consumed per person, a record 11.0 lbs were fresh or frozen fish or shellfish, 4.3 lbs were canned

seafood, and 0.3 lbs of seafood was cured.  Compared to 2001 figures, this represents a 0.7 lb increase in the fresh/frozen products and 0.1 lb in the canned products.

 

The consumption of shrimp achieved a record 3.7 lbs consumed per person.  Canned tuna consumption increased by 0.2 lbs. Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ranks the U.S. as the third largest consumer of seafood in the world, importing 77 % of its seafood fare.


USFWS proposes to allow importation of Icelandic Eider Down

The USFWS earlier this month proposed a regulation to allow the importation into the United States of Icelandic eiderdown from wild nesting common eiders under limited and very specific conditions.

 

Icelanders have used eiderdown for more 11 centuries and have exported it since the 14th century.  From May to July, private landowners in Iceland collect down generally twice each season, taking great care to avoid disturbing brooding hens, replacing down removed from the nest with dry grass or hay.  Recent studies conducted by the Icelandic Museum of Natural History show no evidence that down collection from wild populations has had any negative impact on the birds, including their ability to reproduce successfully.

 

Iceland has, since 1847, prohibited eider hunting. This ban, along with predator control and habitat management programs, has resulted in an

increase of wild common eider populations.  Populations of common eiders found elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere appear to be declining.  Of the three other Northern Hemisphere eider species, the status of the king eider is essentially unknown, while spectacled and Steller's eiders are both listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  All eider species are protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

 

True eiderdown from the common eider is a scarce luxury item, with annual worldwide production averaging less than 3 metric tons, at a total annual average price of less than $2.2 million (U.S.).  Iceland currently exports eiderdown primarily to Denmark, Germany, and Japan where it may be re-exported elsewhere.

The Service is seeking public comment on this proposed regulation, particularly the following issues:   appropriate down collection

procedures, verification standards, and enforcement procedures; measures to ensure that exportation of down from Iceland does not encourage illegal importation of any other waterfowl species into the United States; record-keeping and annual reporting requirements; avian control of MBTA-protected species; and reasonableness of the permit conditions.

 

Common eiders are a large diving duck characterized by a feathered bill and a long sloping forehead.  The males have a black crown, a hind neck which is green, and a dark or yellow bill.  To withstand the cold of their north circumpolar habitat, their down is exceptionally warm.

 

Please send comments on the proposed rule to RIN 1018-AI64, Division of Migratory Bird Management, USFWS, 4401 N Fairfax Dr, MS MBSP 4107, Arlington, VA  22203-1610; or to eiderdown@fws.gov  by December 2, 2003.

 

The Office of Management and Budges will concurrently be seeking comment on information collection.  Please send comments on the information collection requirement of this proposed rule by October 3, 2003, to Desk Officer for the Department of Interior at the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs by fax at 202/395-6566 or e-mail:  OIRA_DOCKET@omb.eop.gov . Please provide a copy of these comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service's Information Collection Clearance Officer, 4401 N Fairfax Dr, MS 222 ARLSQ, Arlington, VA 22203; or by fax at 703/358-2269; or e-mail:  Anissa_Craghead@fws.gov .

 


USFWS proposes new Permit Application Fee Schedule

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to increase permit application fees for the majority of permits the agency issues.

 

"Permits allow people to legally conduct wildlife-related activities they couldn't otherwise," said Service Director Steve Williams. "We are seeking these fee increases because our ability to effectively provide these special services to the public depends in part on user fees."

 

Since 1982 when the $25 permit application fee was first established, the Service's costs to administer the permits programs have risen in line with cost of living increases nationwide.

The new proposed fees range from $50 to $300, and are

based on a variety of factors, including: (1) the level of complexity required to process the type of permit, (2) whether the permittee stands to benefit commercially from the permit, and (3) whether the permitted activity serves the public interest.  The proposed increase would apply to all Service permits except for permits for possession of eagle parts and feathers for Native American religious and cultural use and for refuge special use permits.

 

Proposed rule and fee schedule: http://permits.fws.gov/federalregister/federalregister.shtml .

 

Send comments by Oct 9, 2003, to: Div. of Migratory Bird Management, USFWS, 4401 N Fairfax Dr, MBSP 4107 Arlington, VA  22203-1610.  Or fax to 703/358-2272, or e-mail:   permitspart13@fws.gov

 


 

 

USFWS and Michigan Study Impacts of Communications Towers on Migratory Birds

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Service today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Michigan's Department of Information Technology and the Michigan State Police to study bird strikes at communication towers.

 

The study is intended to assess the effects of lighting, height, and guy wires on avian collisions at selected towers in the 350-500 foot height range in the State Police System.  The variety of types and heights of towers within the system provides conditions that are conducive to measuring the effects of these variables on migratory birds.  The study is designed to help identify reasonable and cost-effective measures that might be available to minimize impacts of the towers on migratory birds.

 

Construction of communications towers (including radio, television, cellular, and microwave) in the US has been growing at an estimated 6 to 8 % annually. According to the Federal Communication Commission's 2000 Antenna

Structure Registry, the number of lighted towers greater than 199 feet above ground level is currently over 45,000, and the total number of towers exceeds 74,000.

 

The construction of new towers creates a potentially significant impact on migratory birds, especially some 350 species of night-migrating birds.

 

Migratory birds may be confused in low visibility and fly into towers and guy wires.  This study will focus on how tower height, construction, and lighting can be altered to minimize collisions.  Communications towers are estimated to kill at least 4 million per year.

 

A Communication Tower Working Group composed of government agencies, industry, academic researchers and non-governmental organizations was formed in 1999 to develop and implement a research protocol to determine the best ways to construct and operate towers to prevent bird strikes.  The working group is chaired by the Service.  The study will be used by this group.


Canada

RCMP's closing of ballistics lab under review

OTTAWA - Solicitor General Wayne Easter is reviewing an RCMP decision to refer provincial agencies to a firearms forensic laboratory in the U.S. to gather ballistics evidence against poachers in Canada. The RCMP decision to close its laboratories to the provincial wildlife agencies was announced internally last month, on the eve of the fall hunting season, and could hinder the ability of provincial agencies to prosecute illegal hunters, a spokesman for the provincial officers says.

 

Easter said the issue is "an operational matter" for the RCMP, but he has asked for a review of the policy after hearing from "a number of people across the country."

 

RCMP forensic laboratories in Vancouver, Regina and Halifax have been doing firearms ballistics work for provincial wildlife agencies for decades, matching bullets and shell casings with hunting rifles to present in court as evidence in poaching cases. But the federal police force informed the provincial agencies in August it would discontinue the laboratory work "due to a continual increase in service requests and pressure on our firearms service" and offer laboratory work only when the

investigations involve criminal charges.

 

Canadian Alliance MP Garry Breitkreuz says he suspects the RCMP is under pressure because of extra work involved in administering the federal firearms registry, but the Mounties deny the allegation. At the same time, however, homicides involving firearms have been dropping steadily over the last decade, leaving no other obvious reason for the extra pressure on the laboratories.

 

The RCMP referred all the provincial agencies to the National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Ashland, Ore., for forensic work on all non-criminal cases, including hunting out of season, exceeding bag limits and even shooting endangered species.

 

There are several hundred poaching cases across the country every year.

 

David Harvey, head of enforcement for the Saskatchewan Department of Natural Resources and president of an association of chiefs of wildlife enforcement agencies, said no provincial agencies are expected to make use of the Oregon laboratory because of the prohibitive cost and border problems with firearms.


Regional

Annual Meeting – Oct. 18, (Revised)
Port Clinton - Ottawa County CVB, Pt. Clinton, OH
The GLSFC is holding its annual meeting at the Port Clinton - Ottawa County Convention & Visitors Bureau, in Port Clinton, OH.

 

We've changed the meeting location because of serious financial constraints and travel restrictions being encountered by all state resource biologists and managers as well as "iffy" weather on Lake Erie – especially in October.

 

Location:

Meeting at the Ottawa County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), just North of Rte 2 on Rte 53 N, Catawba Exit, 770 S.E. Catawba Rd, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452. It's just south of the intersection of SR 163 and US 53, and about a block north of US 2, that's Perry and Catawba Roads.

 

CVB contact info: http://www.lake-erie.com/   800-441-1271

 

Agenda
*Lake Erie walleye and perch issues 
*Decline of catches on Lake Ontario
*Status of Lake Huron
*Health of Lake Michigan
*Creel/size limits, invasive species,

 

Invited Speakers include:

 

Hon. Dennis Schornack, Chair, U.S. Section, IJC

Chris Goddard, Secretary, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Dr. Jeff Reuter, Director, Ohio Sea Grant

Bob O'Gorman, Station Chief, USGS, Oswego, NY

Gary Isbell, Fish Chief, Ohio DNR

Roger Knight, Lake Erie Administrator, Ohio DNR

Jerry McClain, Station Chief, USFWS, Alpena, MI

Dr. Mohamed Faisal, Fish Health Committee, GLFC-MSU

 

Accommodations: 

On your own, but we will list some on our web site – with price breaks. The Ottawa Cty CVB can help you also.  800-441-1271

 

Cost:

There is no cost for the meeting, but please register as space is limited.

 

Registration:

The registration form is available at: http://www.great-lakes.org/glsfc-meeting.html

Complete form: mail, e-mail or fax completed registration form to:

GLSFC, P.O. Box 297, Elmhurst, IL

 

Info??

meeting@great-lakes.org

630-941-1196  fax

630-941-1196  Ph

 

Deadline:  October 15

 


Bill would ban foreign ships' ballast water

Rule would override EPA, save Lakes from some species

Foreign salties entering the Great Lakes may find the going a little rougher -- from legislation introduced to keep invasive aquatic species from the Great Lakes and other national waterways.  U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, introduced legislation in Congress last week that would require foreign ships to unload 95 % of their ballast before entering the Great Lakes.

 

Miller said her legislation's goal is to offset the EPA ruling.  "The rules the EPA signed pretty much left it up to the Coast Guard to do inspections, but this bill makes it mandatory," Miller said.  Miller said the change is in response to a decision by the USEPA last week not to require ships to have permits, under the U.S. Clean Water Act, to discharge their ballast

water.

 

The proposed law would require ships to get rid of 95% of their ballast water in the ocean before entering the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway, Miller said. She is also looking at legislation that would require ship operators to chemically treat the silt in the bottom of their ballast tanks to kill any remaining marine animals and plant life. "This (the ballast tanks) is where the invasive species are coming from," Miller said.

 

Miller said her legislation's goal is to offset the EPA ruling. "The rules the EPA signed pretty much left it up to the Coast Guard to do inspections, but this bill makes it mandatory," Miller said.


General

California Bans Spam - all of It

We need such a law for the whole country

California Governor Gray Davis has signed a law that criminalizes the sending of commercial email to people who have not explicitly requested it. There are no exceptions to this law, no loopholes to exploit. If it is an email sent in bulk, advertises any product and the recipient did not request it, a crime has been committed.

 

Civil action can be undertaken by the state, by e-mail providers that have to handle spam and by the recipient. Backers of the new law say that giving individuals the right to file lawsuits against offenders will ensure that the law is enforced, even if the government itself decides not to enforce it.

If proven to have spammed a Californian resident, a spammerbreaking this new law will face fines up to $1,000 for each unsolicited message sent and up to $1 million for each email campaign. The bill also puts the burden on the sender of the emails to determine if a person is a California resident, something which is not easy to do.

 

It is unclear whether Davis is just pandering for support in the upcoming recall vote and whether or not this law will survive legal challenges by direct marketing lobbyists.

 

If you have not requested mailings about new products or have not done business with the company, then that company has no right to email an advertisement to you.


Illinois

IL - Fall Trout Opener – October 18

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. - Illinois’ annual fall catchable trout fishing season opens on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 5 a.m. at 35 ponds and lakes throughout the state, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold announced.

 

"Autumn is a great time for fishing in Illinois and thousands of anglers enjoy the opportunity to fish for trout as part of our annual fall trout season,” Brunsvold said. “I would like to encourage anyone interested in having a great day fishing to get a trout stamp and catch some trout this fall.”

 

No trout may be taken at any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the legal opening of the trout season at 5 a.m. on Oct. 18. More than 70,000 trout will be stocked prior to the opening day of the season. Each of the fish stocked is approximately 10-12 inches long and weighs about one-half pound.

The catch limit for each angler is five trout per day. To take trout legally beginning Oct. 18, anglers must have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp, unless they are under 16 years of age, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from the Armed Forces.

 

While the season opens at 5 a.m. on Oct. 18, not all locations may be open that early in the day. Anglers are encouraged to call ahead of time to check opening times for the trout locations.

 

For more info, contact the IDNR Division of Fisheries at 217-782-6424. Anglers interested in site regulations and other fishing information may also call 1-800-ASK-FISH  (800/275-3474).

 

Licenses and trout stamps are available at bait shops, and other vendors, IDNR offices, or credit card at the IDNR web site at: http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/index.htm#OnlineLic


IL – Handgun deer hunting approved

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – DNR Director Joel Brunsvold announced regulations governing sportsmen using handguns during this year’s firearm deer season.

 

"Many hunters have asked for this additional deer hunting opportunity and we’re pleased to be able to provide it this fall," Brunsvold said. "This is one of a number of increased opportunities we are bringing to sportsmen."

 

Handguns are being allowed during the regular firearm deer season for the first time this year. Illinois’ firearm deer hunting season is Nov. 21-23 and Dec. 4-7. A change in state law adds handguns to the already authorized use of shotguns and muzzleloading rifles as allowable firearms for hunters to use during the state’s firearm hunting season.

 

The regulations will allow any hunter with a permit for the firearm deer season to use centerfire revolvers or centerfire single-shot handguns of .30 caliber or larger with a minimum barrel length of four inches. Hunters can take a shotgun, muzzleloading rifle and/or a handgun with them during this season.

 

The legal ammunition for handgun hunting will be a straight-walled centerfire cartridge of .30 caliber or larger that is available as a factory load with the published ballistic tables of the manufacturer showing a capability of at least 500 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. Non-expanding, military-style

full metal jacket bullets cannot be used to harvest deer. Only soft point or expanding bullets, including copper or copper alloy rounds designed for hunting, are legal ammunition.

 

These regulations differ somewhat from past regulations for Illinois special handgun season held each January. The new regulations allow the use of a wider variety of centerfire handgun calibers. IDNR will continue its handgun-only season Jan. 16-18, 2004, in select counties to remove surplus deer.

 

While individuals with muzzleloader-only permits can hunt during the second half of the firearm deer season, individuals with those permits can use only muzzleloading rifles.

 

Hunters are reminded that all firearms, including handguns, should remain unloaded and in a case while being transported in any type of vehicle.

 

Deer hunters have a wealth of hunting opportunities in Illinois. In addition to the firearm and handgun-only seasons,

 

Illinois has muzzleloader-only and archery deer seasons. The muzzleloader-only season is Dec. 12-14 and thousands of additional permits have just been made available for this year. The archery deer season opens Oct. 1 and runs through Jan. 15. The archery season is closed during firearm season, except in Cook, DuPage, Kane and Lake Counties where firearm deer hunting is not permitted.


Indiana

IN - Sylvan Lake Turn Around

A Mecca for northern Indiana anglers

Nearly 20 years after one of the most successful fish management projects in northern Indiana, Sylvan Lake is still a Mecca for area anglers.   Based on early success of a walleye stocking program started two years ago, the 669-acre lake could draw even more anglers in the future.

 

"Walleye fishing at Sylvan is really going to take off," said DNR fisheries biologist Jed Pearson.  Pearson conducted a fish population survey there in early June and found young walleyes present throughout the lake. Pearson says anglers are also catching several walleyes, although most haven't yet grown to the 14" minimum size limit, so they must be released.

 

During the June survey, biologists captured 103 walleyes ranging in length from 6 to 25". One-year-old walleyes stocked last fall now average 8" long. Two-year-olds stocked in 2001 now average 12½".

 

Pearson says nearly all of these two-year-old walleyes will likely exceed the size limit later this summer. When stocked, they were about 6" long.  Four 22- to 25" walleyes were also caught during the survey. These fish are the few survivors that remain from a stocking of 2" fingerlings in 1996.

Twenty years ago, Sylvan Lake was overrun with carp, suckers and small crappies. Carp muddied the water, uprooted aquatic plants, damaged fish habitat and hurt fishing.  In 1984, DNR biologists treated Sylvan Lake and many of its tributaries with rotenone to remove the carp and establish a sport fishery comprised of bass, bluegills and channel catfish. Water quality and fishing improved dramatically.

 

Walleyes were added as a bonus, but later stockings were not very successful and were discontinued. Since the renovation, carp reproduction has slowed due to a dense population of predatory bass, which are protected by a 14-inch minimum size limit. At the time, cost of the lake renovation project was $125,000, paid by funds from fishing licenses and from the federal sport fish restoration program.

 

"I think anglers, lake residents and the entire Sylvan Lake community has gotten back more than their money's worth of investment in the lake," said Pearson.  "What we did to turn the lake around in 1984 and the larger walleye fingerlings we are now stocking should continue to pay big dividends in the future."

 

Sylvan Lake is in Noble County, adjacent to Rome City, on County Rd 9 in northeastern Indiana.

 


IN - Volunteer stream monitoring workshops October 2 and 3 in Newton County

The old song calls for us to go "down by the riverside" and this year more Hoosiers will be heeding that message. Hoosier Riverwatch, a DNR/Purdue University sponsored education program, are continuing to hold workshops around the state.

 

The next volunteer stream monitoring workshops will be held at the Brook Conservation Club in Newton County on October 2 and 3, 2003. The training is free, but class sizes are limited to 24 participants for level one, and 16 participants for level two. Persons interested in participating must make a prior reservation.

 

"Education is an important mission of the DNR," said John Goss, DNR director. "These local stream monitor volunteers will take home knowledge and a commitment that they will pass on to others who will, in turn, bring more people into the circle of those committed to protecting and improving our resources. When we accomplish widening that circle we are successful."

 

A level one training workshop will be held Thursday, October 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop will provide general education in water quality issues and introductory-level training in monitoring the health of rivers and streams through physical, chemical, and biological testing. After completion of this training, volunteers can perform stream testing, submit data to

the statewide volunteer stream-monitoring database www.HoosierRiverwatch.com , and teach students how to monitor.

 

A Level II training workshop will be held Friday, October 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Level II training includes a complete review of Level I training, hands-on practice using the Hach Stream Survey chemical testing kit, learning advanced water quality monitoring techniques, and training in quality assurance procedures to ensure the validity of collected data. Level II certification is available only to those who have completed a full-day level one introductory workshop.

 

"The training is for anyone interested in learning about water quality and gaining hands-on experience in monitoring rivers and streams," according to Lyn Hartman, Hoosier Riverwatch coordinator. People interested in the environment, especially local educators, are invited to attend the workshop.

           

"The volunteer stream monitoring program fits easily into elementary, middle and high school classes, including biology, chemistry, math, language arts, and social studies," Hartman said. 

 

For reservations and directions, contact Carla Orlandi at the Newton County Soil and Water Conservation District at carla-orlandi@iaswcd.org  or 219/285-6802 ext. 3.


IN - Dog days record fish - August moon lights up record fish lines

Bloomingdale youth garners gargantuan gar

Bloomfielder weighs in next day with exotic carp

In the predawn darkness of Aug. 6, Jeff Schmeltz of Bloomingdale, Ind. found quite a surprise on the end of his Sugar Creek catfish line -- a new state record longnose gar.

 

Schmeltz had recently taken up stream fishing for flathead catfish, and was catfishing through the night with his dad on Sugar Creek between Turkey Run and Shades state parks. The 46", 12 lb carnivorous torpedo attacked the 15-year-old angler's minnow bait around 4 a.m.

 

The first, and only other, Indiana longnose gar record stood 

less than a year. Tim Ries of Scottsburg had been awarded the first certified state record for an 11 lb Ohio River longnose gar catch in Sept. 2002.

 

Indiana anglers usually hook gar accidentally while fishing for other fish species. These long, scaly fish with bills full of needle sharp teeth are common in Indiana streams and lakes. They usually lurk in ambush and let slow currents bring them prey.

 

Shortnose and spotted gar are sometimes confused with the more abundant longnose gar. A longnose gar has a "needlenose," while the shortnose has a stubby snout. The spotted gar is the only gar that has dark face spots, or "sees spots before its eyes."


IN - West Fork of the White River yields exotic fish entry

Daniel Keller of Bloomfield has entered the first, and so far only, silver carp for state record certification. The 15-pound, 8-ounce invasive fish was caught from the West Fork of the White River in Greene County on Aug. 7.

 

Silver carp are strange-looking fish with upside-down-looking faces. The new immigrants to Indiana waters have joined another recent invader and similar nuisance fish -- the bighead carp.

 

These Asian carp species were accidentally introduced to the Mississippi River watershed in the 1980s, and have recently appeared in Indiana's portion of the Ohio River and southern sections of the Wabash and White rivers. These prolific fish feed mostly on plankton and compete with native larval fishes

and mussels for food.

 

To protect our wildlife and environment, Indiana law requires that silver and bighead carp, along with other non-native aquatic invaders like snakehead fish, walking catfish, round goby, zebra mussels and white perch, be killed if caught and not returned to the water. The invasive white perch are east-coast cousins to striped and white bass. They are not the common freshwater drum that are sometimes called white perch or sheepshead.

 

Both fish were certified this week by the DNR as state records. The Indiana record fish program tracks the largest fish of 50 species caught with hook and line in the state.

 

Record longnose gar and silver carp photos and information on Indiana's record fish program:

www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/recordfish/record_fish_main.htm


IN - Wetlands workshop scheduled for October 1 in Indianapolis

A wet and wonderful workshop about Indiana wetlands is now available to all Hoosiers from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River. The program, sponsored by the Indiana DNR, will provide a jam-packed day full of fantastic information about some of Indiana's most precious natural resources. 

 

The workshop will be Wednesday, October 1 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Ft. Harrison State Park in the Natural Resources Education Center. A $10.00 charge includes the workshop fee, lunch and snacks. The number of participants is limited. Registrations and fee must be received by September 26, 2003 and is non-refundable after the 26th.

This workshop is open to all. The workshop will be of special value to those who have had training in project WET, WILD, Learning Tree or Go FishIN. Workshop sessions include:

 

*What is a wetland

*Current wetland issues

*Wetland metaphors;

*Project Learning Tree and wetlands

*Project WILD in the wetlands; and

*Project Go FishIN and wetlands.

 

For more info or to register:  www.IN.gov/dnr/nrec/ ,  e-mail rec@dnr.state.in.us  or  317-562-1338.

 


Michigan

MI - Hunt for diseased muskies is fruitless

The Michigan DNR didn't have much luck last week in its quest to find diseased muskies in Lake St. Clair. Fish biologist Mike Thomas was looking for muskies infected with the disease "iscirickettsia," a nonfatal red lesion that is rare in the US.

 

Michigan State University is studying muskies with the

ailment and Thomas needed more fish for the research. Only two muskies were caught but neither had the disease. Thomas said he will resume efforts next year to find more of the diseased fish. Thomas first discovered the infected fish two years ago. Scientists do not know what causes the disease.

 


MI - Cool approves river protection for Pine, Upper Manistee

Michigan DNR Director K.L. Cool has approved a proposal to add the Pine and Upper Manistee rivers to the state's list of Natural Rivers.

 

The Natural Rivers Program, initiated in Michigan in 1970, preserves rivers by carefully managing development on and immediately near the water. Each of the state's Natural Rivers has its own unique plan, articulating development requirements. The program allows local government units to partner with the state by adopting zoning language that reflects Natural Rivers plans.

 

DNR conservation experts worked since 1994 to produce the proposals signed by Cool today. More than 100 meetings were held to craft the proposals. The proposals were presented at nearly two dozen informational and

 public comment meetings statewide. More than 1,000 public comments were recorded, and the plans were amended early this summer following the final round of public comment to reflect concerns expressed by landowners and conservation groups. Overall, testimony favored the proposals by a 3-1 margin.

 

The Pine and Upper Manistee rank among the most popular rivers in the state for angling, canoeing, and other outdoor recreation. They are located in one of the most rapidly developing areas in the state. 

 

Governor Granholm applauded today's decision.

 

The action makes the Pine and Upper Manistee the 14th and 15th Natural Rivers, respectively. The last Natural River designated in Michigan was the Fox River in 1988.


 MI - Silver lamprey making comeback

The silver lamprey is making a comeback in Lake St. Clair, an indication that the water in the lake and the St. Clair River where they spawn is of good quality, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources concluded.

 

The silver lamprey population declined in the 1970s and 1980s in Michigan lakes and rivers because of poor water quality, but the U.S. Clean Water act of 1972 led to anti-

pollution measures that improved the water, Lake St. Clair fisheries biologist Mike Thomas said.

 

Fisheries scientists believe their resurgence is attributable to an abundance of food -- mostly big fish such as carp and muskies. Although silver lampreys suck body fluids from their host fish, they do not harm or kill the fish as do the sea lamprey, Thomas said.


MI - Assistance needed from successful bear hunters

State Conservation officials today announced they are seeking participation from successful Lower Peninsula bear hunters the help the DNR evaluate the size of Michigan’s bear population.

 

Wildlife biologists ask successful bear hunters to submit small amount of hair and tissue samples from harvested bears. Newly collected hair and tissue will be compared to more than 1,000 hair samples gathered from baited hair snares across the northern Lower Peninsula earlier this summer. Researchers use the bear’s own genetic “fingerprint” to identify individual bears. It is the same DNA-based techniques used with humans to identify crime suspects.

 

The DNR uses population models to estimate bear numbers and is evaluating a new method for estimating the size of the northern Lower Peninsula black bear population.

“Biologists would like to collect a small piece of muscle

tissue and a small hair sample from all harvested bears,” said DNR biologist Dwayne Etter. “The piece of tissue can be any bit of muscle that is still fairly fresh and clean, and needs to be about as big as the tip of your little finger. The hair sample needs to be a couple of strands of hair pulled from the hide with the follicles attached.”

 

Bear check stations will have all of the instructions and equipment needed to collect the muscle tissue and hair follicle samples. Tissue and hair collection will not interfere with any potential taxidermy work or meat processing.

 

This project is a cooperative effort between the DNR Wildlife Division, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University, the U.S. Forest Service, the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The Safari Club International – Michigan Involvement Committee and the Michigan Bear Hunters Association also made financial contributions to this project.

 


MI - Patch available to successful youth deer hunters

 State conservation officials today announced 20 deer check stations will be available throughout Michigan during the two-day youth firearm deer season, Sept. 27-28.  Visit the DNR web site, www.michigan.gov/dnr  to find the location and hours of available check stations.

 

Since 1972, the Department of Natural Resources has

offered a Successful Deer Hunter/Deer Management Cooperator patch to hunters who bring their deer to DNR check stations. Young hunters who present their deer for biological data collection will receive this year's commemorative patch. The patch also will be available to any hunter that brings a deer to a designated deer check station from Oct. 1 through Jan. 9, 2004.

 


Minnesota

MN - No largemouth bass virus found upstream of Pool 3 in Mississippi River

Largemouth Bass Virus, which was discovered in the Mississippi River south of the Twin Cities last year, has shown no evidence of spreading upstream, according to the Minnesota DNR.

           

Joe Marcino, a pathologist with the DNR's Ecological Services Division, said DNA tests showed no sign of the virus in 60 largemouth and smallmouth bass collected between Little Falls and St. Paul this fall.

           

The disease was discovered last year in fish collected by the USFWS from Mississippi River in Pool 3 (near Red Wing) and Pool 7 (southeast of Winona). Largemouth Bass Virus has killed largemouth bass in more than 24 locations nationwide. However, it does not kill entire largemouth populations. Surveys on lakes following a kill suggest fish populations remain within normal ranges.

 

Other members of the sunfish family known to become infected with the virus include the spotted bass, Suwanee bass, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, white crappie and black crappie. So far, the virus has proved fatal only to largemouth bass.

 

"There is no evidence that Largemouth Bass Virus has killed any fish in Minnesota," Marcino said. "We're very pleased not to find evidence that the disease has moved upstream," Marcino added. "We will continue to monitor fish populations in the Mississippi, inland lakes and private hatcheries for Largemouth Bass Virus and several other diseases."

 

The DNR fish and wildlife pathology laboratory has been

testing fish for the disease for the last two years. Largemouth and smallmouth bass from state and private fish hatcheries have been examined for the presence of the virus. The disease has also not been detected in Minnesota's inland lakes.

           

Infected fish are safe to handle and eat. Largemouth Bass Virus is one of more than 100 naturally occurring viruses that affect fish but not humans or warm-blooded animals. Its origin is unknown, but it is related to a virus found in frogs and other amphibians. It is nearly identical to a virus isolated in fish imported to the United States for the aquarium trade.

 

Anglers can help prevent the spread of Largemouth Bass Virus, other fish diseases, and the spread of exotic species by taking the following steps:

 

● Don't transport live fish and stock them in another water body; a permit is required

● remove plants & animals from boats, trailers and other equipment before leaving any water body

● Drain water from motor, live well, bilge and transom wells at the ramp access before leaving

● Dump unwanted minnows and leeches on shore; never release live bait into a water body,

● Wash and dry boats and boating equipment that normally gets wet in order to kill exotics and pathogens that were not visible at the boat launch.

 

Recent research has determined that Largemouth Bass Virus can live for several hours in water, confirming the importance of this practice.

 


MN - DNR requests comments on proposed lake sturgeon regulation changes

The Minnesota DNR will host three public meetings and take public comments in October on a proposal to reduce lake sturgeon harvest on Minnesota's border waters with Canada.

           

"The proposed regulation is based on a single principle," said Ron Payer, DNR Fisheries Division director. "We want to continue to provide sturgeon anglers with a quality experience without jeopardizing the recovery and long-term health of lake sturgeon stocks on border waters."

           

The current lake sturgeon regulation on Minnesota-Canada border waters allows possession of one fish per license year. Only lake sturgeon from 45 to 55" may be harvested, all fish smaller than 45" or greater than 55" must be returned to the water immediately. The season is closed from May 1 - June 30 to protect spawning fish.

           

The proposed regulation would reduce the fishing season length and limit harvest to fish between 45 and 50 inches in length or greater than 75 inches. The limit will remain at one fish per year.

           

A registration system is also being developed, similar to that required to register big game animals. The proposal includes a spring harvest season from April 24 - May 7 and a summer harvest season from July 1 - Aug. 31. The season would be closed from May 8 - June 30 to protect spawning fish. Anglers would be allowed to practice catch

and release fishing for sturgeon the remainder of the year.

 

The following public meetings have been scheduled to gather input on this or other ideas:

 

● Tuesday, Oct. 21, 7 - 9 p.m., Lake of the Woods School choir room (Room E139) in Baudette. DNR representatives will be on hand to provide information, answer questions and take input.

 

● Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 7 - 9 p.m., Room SC115 (next to Student Commons) at Rainy River Community College in International Falls.  The meeting will begin with an informational session, followed by an opportunity to ask the DNR questions and provide input on the proposals.

 

● Thursday, Oct. 23, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., DNR Central Office, 2nd Floor, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.  This event will be an open house where citizens will have an opportunity to review background information and comment on the proposal.

                       

Written or telephone comments will be accepted at the DNR Area Fisheries Office at 204 Main Street East, Baudette, MN 56623, (218) 634-2522, or DNR Area Fisheries Office at 392 East Highway 11, International Falls, MN 56649; (218) 286-5220. Comments can be e-mailed to mike.larson@dnr.state.mn.us  or kevin.peterson@dnr.state.mn.us  

           

All comments must be received by Nov. 3, 2003.


MN - Earthworms are not as helpful as many people think

Gardeners, anglers and other outdoors enthusiasts are likely to encounter earthworms; those earthworms found in Minnesota are exotic species from Europe and Asia. Aside from their use for bait and composting, most people don't know the rest of the story. A group of scientists think they should.

 

Minnesota has no native earthworms, angle worms or night crawlers. Those that have been introduced here are harming many native forests, reducing wildflower populations, and may be causing increased erosion and reduced water quality.

           

Research conducted by staff and graduate students from the University of Minnesota - Center for Hardwood Ecology is documenting the harmful effects of exotic earthworms. "Our research is verifying what others have observed in Minnesota and Wisconsin forests," said Cindy Hale, who

has been doing worm research for several years. "The worms are not as good as we were all led to believe."

 

Steve Mortensen, biologist from the Leech Lake Reservation, added, "We have observed the leaf litter in forests disappearing and along with it the native wildflowers, ferns and tree seedlings. Once earthworms have invaded, they cannot be removed."

           

Experts encourage anglers and others not to spread earthworms to new areas. DNR Exotic Species Program Coordinator Jay Rendall suggests disposing of unwanted earthworms used as bait in the trash and not at boat landings, roadsides or in the woods. It is also possible to unknowingly spread the worms by moving soil, compost and mulch, even in small amounts, from one place to another.

           

For more info visit the Minnesota Worm Watch at www.nrri.umn.edu/worms


MN - Mistaking a swan for a goose is costly

The Minnesota DNR reminds hunters not to mistake a trumpeter swan for a Canada goose during the September Canada goose hunt that begins on September 6.  The cost is high for people who shoot swans in Minnesota with stiff fines up to $700, possible confiscation of their shotguns, and restitution charges of $1,000 for a trumpeter swan.

 

To avoid accidentally shooting a swan during the waterfowl season, hunters should become familiar with the differences in both size and markings, according to Steve Kittelson, DNR Trumpeter Swan Restoration Project leader.

 

"Swans are three to four times the size of a Canada goose," Kittelson said. "The all-white adult swans and the

light gray young swans (cygnets) are much larger than geese and have necks equal to their body lengths. The much smaller, dark gray Canada goose has a distinctive black head with white check patches and its neck is half of its body length."

 

Minnesota now boasts the highest number of trumpeter swans in the Midwest.  Kittelson noted, due to their increased numbers and expanding range, trumpeter swans may be found in areas where they were never seen before.  "The DNR urges hunters to help teach young hunters in identifying swans by their long necks and all white bodies."

           

To learn more about identifying trumpeter swans and their calls, visit the DNR's Nongame Wildlife Program at www.dnr.state.mn.us .


New York

NY - DEC Announces Release of Pheasants for 2003 Hunting Season

Pheasant Raising Programs Bolster Hunting Opportunities

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Erin M. Crotty announced that approximately 25,000 adult pheasants will be released on lands open to public hunting for the fall pheasant hunting season.

 

The pheasant hunting season begins on October 1, 2003, in northern and eastern portions of New York, October 20, 2003, in central and western portions, and November 1, 2003, on Long Island.

 

The pheasants were raised at DEC's Reynolds Game Farm in Ithaca, Tompkins County. The majority of the pheasants will be released on State wildlife management and cooperative hunting areas, prior to and during the fall hunting season. All release sites for pheasants provided by state–funded programs are open to public hunting. A list of statewide adult pheasant release sites is available on DEC's website at:  www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/

wildlife/wildgame/pheasant.htm

Hunters who plan to use private lands should ask permission from the landowner. In addition, hunters are also encouraged to hunt with a trained bird dog to improve their chances of finding pheasants and locating downed game.

 

In June 1999, DEC officially adopted a 10–year management plan for ring–necked pheasants in New York. The plan includes 31 activities for wild pheasant management and artificially propagated pheasants. Activities contained in the plan carry through 2009.

 

Boundaries for pheasant hunting zones conform to Wildlife Management Units (WMAs) used for management of other upland wildlife. Hunters are advised to review the 2003-2004 New York State Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide for complete regulations and other important information before going afield. WMU boundary descriptions can also be found on the Department's website at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/wmunits.html

 

 


Ohio

OH – Rainbows to be released in waterways

COLUMBUS, OH -- Approximately 30,000 rainbow trout, measuring 10 to 13", will be released into 27 Ohio waterways this October, according to the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife.

 

Targeting inland waters, the annual fall trout stockings provide added recreational opportunities for Ohio's anglers.

"Fishing is a great family activity, these stockings provide an excellent opportunity for anglers of all ages to catch fish," said John Navarro, fisheries biologist with the ODNR Division of Wildlife. "You don't need a boat or expensive equipment in order to catch these lively trout."

 

The trout will be stocked in state park lakes, community

park ponds and many other easy-access lakes throughout the state. Anglers age 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license. Those anglers age 66 and older may obtain a free fishing license from any Ohio license vendor. The 2003 annual resident fishing license costs $15 and is valid through the last day of February 2004. A one-day fishing license may be purchased for $7. The one-day license may also be redeemed for credit toward purchase of an annual fishing license during the same license year.

 

Additional information about fall trout releases is available from ODNR Division of Wildlife district offices in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay, and Xenia; or by calling toll free 1-800-WILDLIFE.


OH – Thousands of Muskie Fingerlings to be released this fall

Two educational events open to the public will coincide with stockings

COLUMBUS, OH - More than 16,000 muskellunge (muskie) fingerlings will be stocked into eight lakes across the state this fall, according to the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife. State fisheries biologists will stock the 8 - 12" fingerlings into Alum Creek, Caesar Creek, Clear Fork, Cowan, Leesville, Piedmont, Salt Fork, and West Branch lakes in September and October.

 

This year's stocking program will include two, special educational events for the public at Clear Fork Reservoir in Morrow and Richland counties, and at Leesville Lake in Carroll County.

 

"Anyone interested in learning more about muskies, observing these fish up close, or wanting to watch the stocking activity is encouraged to attend," said John Navarro, administrator for Ohio's fish hatchery program. "Muskies capture people's interest because of their large size and fighting ability."

 

The first educational program will be held at Clear Fork Reservoir's new boat ramp on Thursday, September 25 at 10:30 a.m. The second event is slated for Friday, October 3 at 12:30 p.m. and will be held at Camp Muskingum.

The muskie fingerlings were raised at Kincaid State Fish Hatchery in Pike County and London State Fish Hatchery in Madison County. The 8 to 12 inch muskie fingerlings will grow to a catchable size of 30 - 36" in three to four years. Muskellunge are long, slender fish with a large duckbill shaped mouth and needle sharp teeth.

 

Prime muskie habitat is found in heavily vegetated lakes with plentiful tree stumps and bays.  Prime stream habitat for muskies includes long pools with a minimum depth of at least 3 to 4 feet and an abundance of submerged woody structure.  The state record muskie is listed at 50.25" long and weighing 55.1 oz. It was caught in 1972 from Piedmont Lake in southeast Ohio.

 

Bait casting and trolling are the most popular ways to catch Ohio muskies. A wide variety of lures are used successfully, including pikie minnows, bombers, daredevils, spoons and various spinners and artificial worms.

 

Casting to the edge of vegetation beds and submerged cover and using a fast retrieve is often productive. Trolling with deep running lures, like the bomber, during the summer months takes numerous muskies. Muskies are strong fighters and provide a great thrill to anyone lucky enough to hook one.


OH – Biologists develop new method of estimating deer population

COLUMBUS, OH - A new method of estimating the state's white-tailed deer herd is providing state wildlife biologists a clearer picture of Ohio's deer population, according to the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife. The Division of Wildlife estimates Ohio's deer herd to be approximately 681,000 this fall.

 

"Our previous model was based on a formula that used data primarily from the deer gun hunting season," said Dave Risley, executive administrator of ODNR's Wildlife Management and Research Group.

 

"Hunting methods have changed with the times, and the steadily growing numbers of successful archery and muzzleloader hunters have caused us to revise our method of estimating the deer population."

 

The new, refined survey method shows a larger deer herd than measured by the previous method. State wildlife biologists point out that the deer population now is actually lower than it was at this time last year. Last's year's population was estimated at 575,000, but using this year's method, the deer population would have been estimated at 685,000.

 

The new method incorporates the total deer harvest in each county, along with birthrates, into models that project population size. Wildlife biologists point out that while the previous technique was useful in monitoring population trends, it likely underestimated the actual number of deer in Ohio.

Deer densities vary widely across Ohio. East-central and southeastern Ohio densities are between 25 to 35 deer per square mile. Densities are much lower in agricultural areas

of central and western Ohio, about 5 to 10 deer per square mile.

 

Excellent weather and unrestricted Sunday hunting contributed to a record harvest of 204,652 deer last year. Lower deer densities than in many surrounding states have allowed Ohio to maintain high antler quality and healthy deer. Ohio has long been recognized as having a high-quality and healthy deer herd. Ohio ranked fourth nationally in the combined number of entries into the Pope & Young and Boone & Crockett record books from 1990 to 1999. Testing in 2002 found no evidence of Chronic Wasting Disease or tuberculosis in Ohio.

 

"We expect to have a great deer season in 2003 and are excited about the new youth deer gun season," said Risley. "If conditions are normal we expect a total harvest of 185,000 to 195,000 deer this year for all the deer hunting seasons."

 

The archery season opens October 4 and lasts through January 31, 2004. A new youth deer gun season will be held on Saturday, November 22 and Sunday, November 23 on both private and public lands. The statewide deer gun season will be held from December 1 through December 7. The statewide primitive or muzzleloader season will open on December 27 and run four days through December 30. Special area primitive hunts will be open October 20 to 25 at Salt Fork, Shawnee and Wildcat Hollow state wildlife areas for antlered deer only.

 

A detailed list of deer hunting rules is contained in the 2003-2004 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest that is available where licenses are sold, or may be viewed online at www.ohiodnr.com


OH – Archery deer hunting season opens Oct 4

Popular season runs through January 31

COLUMBUS, OH -- Approximately 200,000 bowhunters are expected to participate in the statewide archery deer hunting season, which opens on October 4, according to the Ohio ODNR Division of Wildlife. During last year's four-month archery season, bowhunters took a record 48,904 deer, up 18 percent from the previous season's record harvest of 41,526.

 

Both longbow and crossbow kill totals set records last year. Crossbow hunters totaled 28,352 deer, and longbow hunters took 20,552 deer. Overall, archers accounted for 24 percent of the 204,652 deer taken during Ohio's combined 2002 archery, primitive and gun seasons.

 

Licking County led the state in crossbow and longbow harvest. Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Holmes and Guernsey counties rounded out the top five counties in crossbow kills. Completing the top five list for deer taken by a longbow were Knox, Coshocton, Holmes and Muskingum counties.

 

"Archers should expect another fantastic season in terms of deer numbers and opportunities to harvest one of Ohio's Buckeye Big Bucks," said Mike Tonkovich, wildlife biologist for ODNR's Division of Wildlife. "We're expecting a statewide archery harvest similar to last year."

 

This year's statewide archery season is open from October 4 through January 31, 2004 including the week of deer-gun season, which is December 1 through December 7. Wildlife biologists estimate Ohio's deer herd at 681,000 prior to the start of hunting season.

 

Archery hunters may hunt one half-hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, except during the statewide gun and primitive

seasons when they are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. During the statewide gun and primitive seasons, archery hunters are reminded that they must meet the hunter orange requirements of those seasons.

 

To hunt deer in Ohio, hunters must possess a deer permit ($20) in addition to a valid hunting license ($15). State law allows hunters to take only one antlered buck per year, regardless of the type of deer season, deer permit or implement used for deer hunting.

 

Ohio is divided into three deer hunting zones. Zone A consists of 29 northern and western counties, which have a one-deer limit. The 54 counties in Zone B, mostly in southern and eastern Ohio, have a two-deer limit. And a restricted zone, Zone R, encompasses five northwest Ohio counties with a one-deer limit with special restrictions during the gun season.

 

Hunters may purchase up to four urban deer permits at a cost of $10 each to take antlerless deer only within the urban deer zones or during a special controlled hunt. Urban deer zones are located around Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton and Cincinnati.

 

In addition to the statewide deer gun season, archers may also participate in the special area primitive season held October 20 through 25 on Salt Fork, Shawnee and Wildcat Hollow public hunting areas as well as the statewide primitive season December 27 through 30.

 

A detailed listing of deer hunting rules is contained in the 2003-2004 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest that is available where licenses are sold, or may be viewed on-line at www.ohiodnr.com


Pennsylvania

PA - Fishing and Boating Report - Sept 24, 2003

 

The briefs included in these reports are provided by the PFBC's field staff - Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and Aquatic Education Specialists - from across the Commonwealth.  As we enter fall, reports will continue to be offered on a weekly basis.   However, reports from the Commission's six regions are now being issued on an alternating, bi-weekly schedule.  Three regions will be covered in each report, with the other three reporting the following week.)

 

SOUTHEAST REGION

 

Chester County

Recent heavy rains in the past two weeks, coupled with high winds, have affected fishing in much of the county.  However, small impoundments, including Chambers Lake in Hibernia County Park, have produced nice catches of bass and sunfish. Also, most local trout streams clear within 2-4 days of even the heaviest rains, provided that no new rainfall comes, so they will be ready to fish soon. 

 

Lehigh County

High water continues to affect most local trout streams, but this can mean big trout to those who fish when the water is just starting to clear again.  Anglers on the Little Lehigh Creek have taken some large brown trout recently, and anglers should watch carefully for when slightly turbid conditions become available again.  The best baits in these situations are night crawlers, minnows, large crankbaits, and spinners.  Remember to check your fishing summary and any posted regulations prior to fishing.

 

Delaware County

The Delaware River has been fishing rather well for catfish in Delaware County.  Striped bass are also being seen in low numbers, with additional fish expected through the fall. Anglers should remember that a fishing license is needed for those individuals required to possess one on the entire Delaware River within the state of Pennsylvania.  There are no exceptions relative to tidal areas.

 

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

 

Centre County

Spring Creek at the Heritage Trout special regulations area of Fisherman's Paradise is high and slightly brown but still fishable.

 

Bald Eagle Creek is high and muddy.

 

F.J. Sayers Lake in Bald Eagle State Park is high, but relatively clear for fishing. It's always a good spot for crappies and perch.

 

Clinton County

The Trophy Trout and Catch & Release areas of Fishing Creek are running fast and are slightly colored but still fishable. Fishing Creek from Mill Hall to Lock Haven is high and muddy. 

 

The best bet for clear trout water is the Approved Trout sections of Young Woman's Creek and Hyner Run in the north part of the county.

 

The Susquehanna River downstream of Lock Haven is high and colored by the outflow of Bald Eagle Creek but still fishable for catfish and bass. Best access site is the PFBC Pine Access in Wayne Township.

 

Lycoming County

Pine Creek is high and slightly brown. The water depth is perfect for a canoe trip but the fish might be a little hard to catch.

 

Potter County

Nelson Falls at Cowanesque Lake is producing bass in the legal size range.  The hot baits are crayfish and worms.  The lake is giving up some panfish, but the bite is slow.  Boaters are urged to be cautious due to submerged logs and debris on the lake.

 

Potter County streams are all fishable.  The West Branch Pine Creek and Pine Creek are the hotspot with redworms being the preferred bait to catch holdover stocked trout.

 

Tioga County

The effects of Hurricane Isabel were minimal.  With about 1 inch of rainfall received locally, area lakes and streams are in fine shape.  Falling water temperatures are revving up the autumnal panfish bite.  Hills Creek Lake is a good spot for bluegill, sunfish and crappies.

SOUTHWEST REGION

 

Allegheny / Beaver / Fayette / Greene / Washington Counties

Lock chamber fish sampling took place last week on the Monongahela River at Braddock L&D; Maxwell L&D; and Grays Landing L&D; and on the Ohio River at Montgomery L&D. Freshwater drum, white bass, channel catfish, and carp had the highest numbers in the catch. A few walleye, sauger, and smallmouth bass were collected. Unusual species collected included an American eel and a paddlefish.

 

Allegheny County

Rain from Hurricane Isabel did not significantly impact the Ohio River.  Water level rose approximately two feet throughout Friday and Saturday.  The water level is expected to drop about a half foot over the next few days, returning the river to normal pool level. Reports have been received of good walleye and hybrid striper catches in the Dashiel pool on the Ohio River over the weekend. The Kilbuck Access is open, however the floating dock has been removed for the season.

 

The Monongahela and Youghiogheny River water levels rose with the passing of Hurricane Isabel.  Several fishermen braved the high water and reported a poor catch.

 

Several Skipjack Herring over 16 inches have been caught in pools 2 & 3 on the Allegheny River in the past week.  Skipjack Herring are a threatened species and must be return to the water.

 

Beaver County

Poor fishing conditions reported over the weekend do to the rising water from the rains from Hurricane Isabel.

 

Cambria County

There are reports of nice trout being caught from Chest Creek in the delayed harvest area over the weekend.

 

At Blacklick Creek, trout are being caught on natural bait.

 

Hinkston Dam is a good spot for catching large bluegills on minnows.

 

There were reports of a few walleye in the 18" range being caught at Glendale Lake off the submerged roadbed located between the Sailboat Area launch and Range Road launch on night crawlers.  Walleye were also being caught off the rocky points on the main body of the lake between the Prince Gallitzin Marina launch and the campground peninsula.  One angler caught and released two muskellunge over 31-inches while trolling the old streambed between the Sailboat Area launch and Muskrat Beach. 

 

Also at Glendale, crappies in the 8-inch range continue to be caught on small minnows or jigs while fishing around the bridge abutments at the causeway on Wyerough branch.  Crappies in the 8 - 10" range are being caught in the Crooked Run branch just out from the Campground Beach.

 

Fayette / Greene Counties

Saugers are hitting live minnows on the Monongahela River in the Port Marion area.

 

Somerset County

Reportedly, nice trout were caught from Laurel Hill Creek in the delayed harvest area over the weekend.

 

Water level on the Youghiogheny Lake is at summer pool level.

 

Lake Somerset produced several fair sized channel catfish over the weekend.

 

Washington / Fayette Counties

Walleye are biting on nightcrawlers at the Maxwell Lock & Dam, Monongahela River.  An angler reported catching a 30" walleye over the weekend below the dam.

 

Washington County

Carp and catfish are biting live bait at Canonsburg Lake.

 

The cooler weather has turned on the bass at Cross Creek Lake.   Top water lures are the ticket in the early morning with the bass hitting plastic baits later in the day.

 

LAKE ERIE

Perch fishing continues to be good and walleye are still being brought in. Boat anglers are targeting steelhead both near shore at the tributary mouths as well as along the south side of the first trench. Anglers have been having success "float tubing" just off of Trout Run.


PA - Commission clarifies fire extinguisher requirements

 The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has taken action to clarify existing regulations on the types of watercraft required to carry approved fire extinguishers on board.  The amended regulation stops short of requiring all motorboats to carry extinguishers. Instead it closely follows federal regulations on fire extinguishers for motorboats and clarifies specific instances where motorboats are required to have such devices.

 

The new regulation was adopted during the PFBC's fall quarterly meeting September 21-22 in Harrisburg.

 

After reviewing public comment and exploring other regulatory alternatives, the Commission concluded such a broad provision was unnecessarily restrictive.

 

The new regulation reads:

§97.2.  Fire extinguishers.

(a)  All motorboats shall carry at least the minimum number of Coast Guard approved hand portable fire extinguishers required for their class as specified in

Appendix A, except that motorboats less than 26 feet in length, propelled by outboard motors and not carrying passengers for hire, need not carry fire extinguishers if the construction of such motorboats will not permit the entrapment of explosive or flammable gases or vapors. Fire extinguishers shall be carried on motorboats that meet one or more of the following conditions. The motorboats have:

 

(1) closed compartments under thwarts and seats where portable fuel tanks may be stored;

(2) double bottoms not sealed to the hulls or which are not completely filled with flotation material;

(3) closed living spaces;

(4) closed stowage compartments in which combustible or flammable materials are stowed;

(5) permanently installed fuel tanks; or

(6) are carrying passengers for hire.

 

The following conditions do not, in and of themselves, require that fire extinguishers be carried:  (1) bait wells, (2) glove compartments, (3) buoyant flotation material, (4) open slatted flooring, and (5) ice chests

 


PA - Commission action updates

The Commission tabled consideration of a proposal to solicit public comment on raising the minimum age of operation for personal watercraft (such as jet skis® and the like) from 12 to 16.  Under current regulations, all operators of personal watercraft must possess a boating safety education certificate. 

The Commission also:

 

● removed miscellaneous special trout fishing regulations for Duck Harbor Pond, Wayne County.  Duck Harbor Pond will now be considered approved trout waters open to year-round fishing. Trout may be harvested during the regular and extended trout seasons in accordance with statewide regulations.

        

● designated Raccoon State Park Upper Pond, Beaver County, as a no-kill zone.

        

● adopted a 2 fish creel and 28" minimum length limit for striped bass from the Delaware River taken during the harvest season.

● proposed regulations that would allow an angler while ice fishing to fish with a maximum of five fishing devices that may consist of hand lines, tip ups or fishing rods or any combination thereof.

 

● moved to seek public comment on limiting boats to slow, minimum height swell speed in the main channel of the Lehigh River, Northampton County in an areas 150 feet upstream and 150 feet downstream from the Route 33 access ramp.

 

● proposed a clarification to the regulations outlining the definition of persons with disabilities at fishing at Lake Scranton, Lackawanna County.

       

 ● moved to seek public comment on a proposed change to filleting rules for officially licensed fish cleaning stations.

        

● established the dates for the 2004 Commission meetings as January 26-27, April 19-20, July 26-27, and October 4-5.


PA - PFBC Photography Competition

Fall Fishing and Boating Shots Perfect for Photography Competition

Summer may be fading fast, but there is still plenty of time to participate in the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's annual amateur photography contest.  In fact, a winning shot may already be in your camera, waiting to be developed. 

 

Do you have a great shot of your granddaughter beaming from ear to ear with her first fish?  Have you captured the magic of morning mist rising from the local lake?  What about paddlers skillfully navigating a series of rapids?  If not, grab your gear and hit the water.  Shots like those - and others - could be just the pictures the judges are looking for.

To enter, amateur photographers may submit original

works taken in Pennsylvania that illustrate the beauty of the Keystone State's fishing, boating, and aquatic resources.  Images may be entered in one of five categories: seasonal fishing/boating, family fishing/boating, young anglers/boaters, fishing/boating resources and reptiles/amphibians/aquatic invertebrates. Applicants are limited to a maximum of two entries per category.

 

Contest winners will receive a set of limited edition PFBC patches.  Winning photographs may be featured in Pennsylvania Angler & Boater Magazine, the Keystone State's Official Fishing and Boating Magazine, on the Commission's web site, and in publications and exhibits.

 

For full contest rules, and an entry form, visit the Commission's web site at www.fish.state.pa.us .

Entries must be received on or before December 31, 2003.


PA - Game Commission offers Bowhunter Education course

Do you want to be a better bowhunter? The Pennsylvania Game Commission sponsors a voluntary bowhunter education program that is designed for those hunters interested in learning more about bowhunting, improving their skills or for those individuals requiring certification to bowhunt in another state or province where this bowhunter training is mandated.

 

"Across the nation, bowhunter education is contributing to increased satisfaction and hunting success of program graduates," said Keith Snyder, Game Commission Hunter-Trapper Education chief.  "The course meets the International Hunter Education Association's bowhunter education standards, and is designed to promote safe, responsible, knowledgeable and involved bowhunters. Program participants will learn skills, concepts, socially acceptable attitudes and behaviors focused on enhancing the image and effectiveness of bowhunting.  Graduates will have a better understanding and appreciation for the ethical use of the environment and our resources."

 

Classes are open to anyone interested in learning more about bowhunting, but limited to 30 persons per course. In many cases, classes are comprised of adult students with some previous hunting experience. However, youngsters and novices are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Students must be at least 11 years old to enroll in a course. There is no maximum age for enrollment, and parents are encouraged to attend the course with their children.

 

The course is has two parts - home study and classroom.  After students register for a class, they receive an independent study kit in the mail.  The kit consists of a student manual, workbook and video.  On average, it takes about four to six hours to complete the home study part of the training.  Students then attend a one-day, eight-hour class.

 

There is an $18 fee required when you register for the course. This fee is used to offset costs and to directlysupport the bowhunter education program.  Students keep the independent study kit and training

video as part of the course.  The bowhunter education course does not replace basic hunter-trapper education (HTE) training. All first-time hunters must successfully complete an HTE course before purchasing a license.

 

The course includes lessons on: becoming a responsible bowhunter; preparing for the hunt; big game anatomy and effective shot placement; hunting methods and techniques; survival and first aid; map and compass basics; distance estimation; care, use and shooting of bowhunting equipment; treestand use and safety; and big game recovery and care.

 

Classroom teaching aids include 3D models and anatomy flip charts to reinforce shot placement concepts. Teaching methods include videos, demonstrations, group discussions, dilemma exercises and role-playing activities. Field exercises include simulated blood trailing, shooting of bows and shot placement exercises, scouting for game sign and treestand use and safety exercises.  The course emphasizes hands-on learning with nearly half the training done outdoors.

 

This is a certification course that requires students to attend the entire course and achieve a passing score on a written exam to successfully complete the training. A certificate of training is awarded to graduates at the course's conclusion. Students will need this certificate to bowhunt in other states mandating this training. This certificate is not required to purchase an archery license in Pennsylvania.

 

Classes are conducted throughout the state at 50 designated course locations. These sites are chosen for their suitability and proximity to major population centers. Archery and sportsmen's clubs are typical course sites. Trained and certified volunteers under the guidance of the Game Commission teach the classes. Most classes are scheduled from April through September. Additional courses may be available on a more limited basis.

 

For a county-by-county listing of bowhunter education courses, go to:  www.pgc.state.pa.us , click on "Education" and then choose "Bowhunter education course schedules by county."


PA - Commission launches Pilot HTE Program

HARRISURG - To test its new curriculum for the basic Hunter-Trapper Education Program, which is mandatory for all first-time hunters and trappers in the Keystone State, the Pennsylvania Game Commission conducted one pilot class in September and has another class scheduled for October.

 

"The new curriculum is designed to meet standards established by the International Hunter Education Association in 1999," said Keith Snyder, Game Commission Hunter-Trapper Education chief.   "The standards define a host of knowledge-based and skill-based learning objectives for all students to achieve as part of their hunter education training.  The skill-based objectives involve hands-on training with both inert and functional firearms, plus hunting-related equipment, including live-fire exercises.  Hunter education training based on these standards is universally recognized throughout North America."

 

The pilot courses feature two different learning options.  The first option requires students to attend two evening classes as part of their knowledge-based training.  The second option will allow students to study independently at home.  This independent study option can be done by computer on the Internet or, if the student prefers, through the use of a combination manual/workbook.  About half of the students who enroll in each of these classes will be asked to participate in the independent study option. 

"With today's busy schedules and demanding lifestyles, home study opportunities are a growing trend across the nation," Snyder said.  "To make hunter education more accessible and user-friendly, Pennsylvania is preparing to join that trend with these new teaching options."

 

All students enrolled in the pilot classes will be required to attend a skills-day training session on the last day of their respective course, which is a Saturday.  Students will select either a morning or afternoon session, each of which will last about five hours.  Therefore, those students enrolled in "Option 1" will attend a total of three class sessions, or about 13 hours of training.  Students selecting "Option 2," or the independent study choice, will only need to attend the final skills-training session on the last day of the course.  Most Option 2 students will, however, spend about 8 to 10 hours of study on their own

before they arrive.

 

At the skills-training session students will rotate through a series of stations that feature exercises designed to make them not only knowledgeable, but safe and responsible hunters and trappers.  One station will focus on safe firearm handling.  Another features exercises in matching ammunition to firearms, plus loading, unloading and clearing firearms.  A third station provides training in safe and effective shot placement through the use of airguns fitted with lasers and a video. 

 

The fifth station is the marksmanship and live-fire activity, where students will learn the basics of shooting a firearm.  The training will use bolt-action .22 caliber rifles and will focus on basic shooting concepts.  This will be the only time during the training that fully functional firearms will be used. 

 

All students must demonstrate their newly learned skills at the end of each station.  Also, at the conclusion of their skills-training session, students will need to pass a written exam designed to measure their knowledge from their previous study or training.  Students who successfully complete the course of instruction will be issued a training certificate that will enable them to purchase their hunting or furtaker license.

 

"The new curriculum, skills-training exercises and the independent study options should provide a refreshing change and modernization to hunter-trapper education in Pennsylvania," Snyder said.  "The next step of this development process is planned for 2004, when six counties across the state will offer this new format and curriculum as an extended pilot.  If all goes well with the pilot efforts, final, statewide implementation is anticipated in 2005."

 

The first of two pilot classes was held at the Mt. Holly Fish and Game the week of Sept. 15.  The second pilot class is scheduled for Oct. 8, 9 and 11 at the Game Commission's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. 

 

For a county-by-county listing of basic HTE courses, go to:  www.pgc.state.pa.us , click on "Education" and then choose "Hunter-Trapper Education course schedules by county."


PA - More than 26,500 apply for elk hunt drawing

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross today announced that hunters submitted 26,577 applications for the public drawing to award 100 licenses for the 2003 elk hunt.  As part of the 2003 Elk Expo, the public drawing will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Elk County Fairgrounds in Kersey.

 

Last year, 31,789 hunters submitted an application for the public drawing to award 70 licenses.  In 2001, as part of the state's first elk hunt in seven decades, 50,697 hunters submitted applications for the public drawing to award 30 licenses.

 

"The next task will be to cross-reference the information supplied on the applications to ensure no one submitted more than one application, and that all applications have been completed properly," Ross said.  "Duplicate and incomplete applications will be ineligible for the public drawing."

 

Ross noted that, based on a preliminary review of the applications received, up to 160 may be declared ineligible because of duplicate filings or incomplete forms.  Once the review is completed, relevant information about all eligible applicants will be printed on three-by-five inch cards to be deposited in a single container for the public drawing on Sept. 27. 

 

 Members of the Safari Club International's Lehigh Valley Chapter have donated to the Game Commission a container large enough to properly handle up to 100,000

applications.  Expo attendees will be selected to participate in the drawing. The first 20 applications drawn will be awarded antlered elk licenses, and the next 80 will be awarded antlerless elk licenses.

 

The Game Commission received 12,215 applications via the Internet, and 14,362 by regular mail.  Pennsylvania residents accounted for 24,013 applications, and nonresidents for 2,564 applications.  Applications were received from all 67 Pennsylvania counties, with the top five counties being: Allegheny (1,343); Westmoreland (1,270); York (1,104); Lancaster (1,068); and Berks (878).

 

In addition to Pennsylvania, applications were received from 48 other states, with the top five states, other than Pennsylvania, being: New York (680); Ohio (516); Maryland (266); New Jersey (201); and Virginia (109).  Applications were not received from the District of Columbia or Kansas.  There were 11 applications received from citizens of Canada.

 

Those interested in serving as guides for hunters who receive an elk license still may apply for a permit with the Game Commission.  Guides may provide assistance in locating or tracking elk, but may not harvest the elk.  Guide permits are $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents.  Permits may be obtained from the Game Commission's Harrisburg headquarters. 

 

Based on recent trends, the elk herd conservatively is estimated to number between 650 and 700. The elk population has been climbing steadily since the late 1980s, growing anywhere from 10 to 14 % annually.

 


Wisconsin

WI – Snakehead fish found in Wisconsin

Photographed and released by DNR as a bowfin

JANESVILLE, Wis. – A giant snakehead – known for its voracious appetite and ability to crawl overland - has been found in southern Wisconsin's Rock River.

 

The discovery of the 2-foot-long fish by the state fishery biologists in the Rock River south of Janesville marks the first time the snakehead, a native of Asia, has been found in Wisconsin waters. "This was a real wake-up call" said Mike Staggs, Wisconsin Fish Chief. We have been concerned about people releasing the snakehead here in Wisconsin and this is prima facie evidence.''                         

 

Wisconsin biologist Joe Hennessy holds a giant snakehead that was found in the Rock River.

 

    

                       

The giant snakehead can grow to more than three feet in length, and fish managers say that with no natural predator, it could change the resident fish population and introduce new diseases. 

A year ago, wildlife officials in Maryland killed six adult and more than 1,000 juvenile northern snakehead, a close relative to the giant snakehead, found in a pond. The northern snakehead was described then as ``Frankenfish'' for its ability to survive in oxygen-depleted water, move from pond to pond and eat other fish.

 

The DNR found the giant snakehead during a routine fish survey of the Rock River Sept. 4.  The DNR said an employee misidentified the fish as a native bowfin. It was photographed and released before the DNR later concluded it was a snakehead.  Two crews were sent back to the river last Thursday and three more crews went back Tuesday to look for evidence of snakeheads but found none, Staggs said.

 

Staggs said the results indicate the fish does not appear to be widespread in the river, and the individual snakehead likely was released by a hobbyist after outgrowing an aquarium. Releasing aquarium fish into the wild in Wisconsin is illegal.

 

It's unlikely the giant snakehead could survive the cold water of a Wisconsin winter, Staggs said. The DNR favors legislation that would ban the ownership of snakeheads.

 

The USFWS lists all snakeheads as injurious species, meaning the federal government bans importing the fish or moving them within the United States. But the ban does not make it illegal to own the fish in Wisconsin.

 


Ontario

ON - Lake Erie Commercial fined $2750

Failed to report catch & exceeded whitefish quota

CHATHAM -A Lake Erie commercial fishing boat captain was fined $2750 on September 18 after pleading guilty to not reporting all of his day’s catch, not reporting his catch of a sturgeon and exceeding his 2003 whitefish quota.

 

Shawn Cook of Port Stanley, captain of the commercial fishing vessel ‘LR Jackson’, was fined $2750 after pleading guilty to six counts of violating terms of his commercial fishing licence. He was fined $1000 for failing to record all his catch on his daily catch report, fined $250 for not reporting his catch of a sturgeon, and fined $1500 for exceeding his whitefish quota.

 

On June 10, 2003, conservation officers from the Lake Erie Management Unit were on patrol on Lake Erie off Erieau when they passed behind the LR Jackson and encountered a debris field of discarded dead fish extending behind the vessel. Officers observed walleye, freshwater drum (sheepshead), whitefish and a sturgeon in the water.

When the officers examined the Daily Catch Report for the vessel later in the day, they found that not all fish caught had been landed on board the boat and recorded on the catch report. In addition, the licence does not allow the harvest of sturgeon. If a sturgeon is caught and is no longer alive, the fish must be separated from the rest of the catch, recorded on the Daily Catch Report and turned over to a Fishery Officer. If the sturgeon was still alive when caught, it must be returned to the water.

 

In another investigation, a conservation officer found that Cook had caught his 2003 whitefish quota on June 5. He continued to fish for and caught 548 kilograms of whitefish on June 8-10 and June 13. As an act of restitution, Cook has transferred whitefish quota from another licence to compensate for the over harvest.

 

Justice Hoffman heard the case in Ontario Court of Justice in Chatham on September 18.

 


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