Week of October 3, 2005

World

National

 

Regional

General

2nd Amendment issues

Lake Michigan

Lake Superior

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Minnesota

       Weekly News Archives

                         or

       New Product  Archives

World

Giant Squid Photographed for First Time

TOKYO (AP) -- The giant squid can be found in books and in myths, but for the first time, a team of Japanese scientists has captured on film one of the most mysterious creatures of the deep sea in its natural habitat.

 

The team led by scientists from the National Science Museum in Tokyo, tracked the 26-foot long Architeuthis as it attacked prey nearly 3,000 ft deep off the coast of Japan's Bonin Islands.  The camera was operated by remote control during research at the end of October 2004, said Kyoichi Mori, a marine researcher.  The giant squid, purplish red like its smaller brethren, attacked its quarry aggressively, calling into question the image of the animal as lethargic and slow moving.

 

"Contrary to belief that the giant squid is relatively inactive, the squid we captured on film actively used its enormous

tentacles to go after prey," Mori said.  "It went after some bait that we had on the end of the camera and became stuck, and left behind a tentacle" about six yards long."

 

Researchers ran DNA tests on the tentacle and found it matched those of other giant squids found around Japan.

 

"But other sightings were of smaller, or very injured squids washed toward the shore - or of parts of a giant squid," Mori  said. "This is the first time a full-grown, healthy squid has been sighted in its natural environment in deep water."  Mori said the giant squid's tentacle would not grow back, but the squid's life was not in danger.

 

Giant squid have long attracted human fascination, appearing in myths of the ancient Greeks, as well as Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Scientific interest in the animals has surged in recent years as more specimens have been caught in commercial fishing nets or found washed up on shores.


National

Recreational boats a Security Risk – Coast Guard

NEW YORK (AP) - The Coast Guard says millions of pleasure craft, fishing boats and ferries fall outside its security nets, hampering its ability to safeguard thousands of miles of coastline against terrorist attack.

"How do we include recreational boats — some 58 million in this country — into our security regime without infringing upon the liberty of boaters?" Admiral Thomas Collins, commandant of the Coast Guard, said last week.

 

Boaters are proud people who "toot around on the water" and don't want the government to tell them where they can go, Collins said following an address at the U.S. Maritime Security Expo, a conference on protecting ports, harbors, ships and cargo against terrorists, thieves and other threats.  "But some of those yachts are big," he said, "and can hold lots of good stuff and bad stuff."

 

The Coast Guard has identified 50 areas in which the maritime system is vulnerable to a terrorist attack, Collins said. It is working on solutions to blend everyone's needs: to close the gaps and mitigate the risks while not impinging on boaters' rights or interfering with the flow of commerce.

Specific initiatives will be presented to President Bush as part of a National Maritime Security Plan.  Among the Coast Guard's targets are recreational boats, an estimated 110,000 fishing vessels, and ferries that carry tourists and commuters, Collins said.

 

"How do we screen for explosive devices on a ferry system that moves millions of people, particularly commuters, without constipating the whole system?" Collins asked.  Better technology for detection of explosives on ferries and cargo ships is needed, he said.  "Right now the most capable technology we have," Collins said, "is dogs." At least 95 % of the goods coming into the country arrive on ships, according to Collins, and cargo security is crucial.

 

But Collins said he believes it is "illogical" to screen each cargo container, and inspecting millions of containers would be impossible. "The issue is inspecting the right one," he said.  That goal can be reached by targeting those ships that have been identified through intelligence reports as having anomalies in the crews, cargo or containers, he said.  "You want to inspect the highest risk," he said, "not every ship that comes into our port."

 


Rewards Offered for Information about Eco-Terrorists

The FBI and a building advocacy group will offer monetary rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of eco-terrorists, especially those involved with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).  It was ELF activists who claimed responsibility for recent construction site fires in the state of Washington.

 

Authorities in the FBI's Seattle office and the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) have posted $100,000 rewards to combat eco-terrorism, particularly ELF attacks. For more than a decade, ELF has claimed responsibility for dozens of arsons and eco-terror attacks that have caused upwards of $100 million in damages.

The FBI and BIAW officials say they are concerned about the escalating severity of ELF's alleged activities.  They fear future eco-terror attacks could result in injury or death.  The FBI considers ELF and other radical environmental activist groups the top domestic terrorist threats in the United States.

 

Legislation to curb the intimidation campaigns and terror tactics employed by animal rights fanatics to advance their agenda has been signed into law in Arizona and is being considered in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  These bills contain provisions modeled after the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act.  The draft bill we prepared by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance as part of a nationwide campaign to end the increasing threat of animal and eco-terrorism.  For more information, contact (614) 888-4868 or info@ussportsmen.org


Major Victory for Firearms Owners in Louisiana

On September 22, NRA filed a motion in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana seeking a temporary restraining order to block authorities from confiscating law-abiding citizens' firearms in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  On Friday September 23, we are happy to report, the Court sided with NRA and issued a restraining order to bar further gun confiscations from peaceable, law-abiding victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

 

Federal Judge Jay Zainey granted NRA's motion for an indefinite temporary restraining order and ordered  those in power to cease and desist gun seizures.  The authorities were also ordered to return guns seized by them or their agents to anyone "...who lawfully possessed them, upon presentation of identification and execution of a receipt therefore."

 

Commenting on the ruling, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said, "This is a significant victory for freedom and for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The court's ruling is instant relief for the victims who now have an effective means of defending themselves from the robbers and rapists that seek to further exploit the remnants of their shattered lives."

 

"This is an important victory. But the battle is not over” said LaPierre.  “The NRA will remedy state emergency statutes in all 50 states, if needed, to ensure that this injustice does not

happen again."

 

The controversy erupted when The New York Times reported that the New Orleans superintendent of police directed that no civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to have guns and that "only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons." ABC News quoted New Orleans' deputy police chief, saying, "No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons."

 

NRA also pledges that it will continue its work to ensure that every single firearm arbitrarily and unlawfully seized under this directive is returned to its rightful law-abiding owner.

 

Although this is great victory, the NRA still needs to hear from members who have been a victim of this gun confiscation initiative.  If you have personally had a gun confiscated in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina hit, please call (888) 414-6333.  Be prepared to leave only your name and immediate contact information so we can get back to you. The NRA is seeking contact information from actual victims of gun confiscation in Louisiana only.

 

Apparently, some social engineers believe the Second Amendment to the Constitution can be canceled whenever the mood strikes them.


Congressional 2004 Report on the Status of Marine Fisheries

 Information provided by NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

The National Marine Fisheries Service released its 2004 Report on the Status of Fisheries on August 31, 2005.

This report presents the status of U.S. marine fish stocks for 2004. Ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks to the level that provides maximum sustainable yield is a high priority for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the eight regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils). Together, we are dedicated to achieving the goal of sustainable fisheries envisioned by the Congress in the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996.

 

This report documents status changes for previously assessed stocks and new determinations for stocks assessed for the first time in 2004.

 

NMFS has increased the number of assessed stocks over the last several years, and this trend will continue. In 2004, NMFS completed 84 stock assessments, of which 10 were for stocks not previously assessed. Stock assessments are the foundation for sustainable U.S. marine fisheries management. These assessments provide the information to determine if the proportion of a stock taken by a fishery is too high (overfishing) or the biomass of a stock is too low (overfished).

 

Overall, 81% of the stocks and stock complexes with known status are not subject to overfishing, and 72% of the stocks and stock complexes with known status are not overfished. For stocks that transitioned from an unknown status to known, 87% are not subject to overfishing and 78% are not overfished. It is important to note that appropriate management measures can end overfishing quickly, but subsequent rebuilding of the stock takes time for reproduction and growth to result in increased biomass.

 

We approved 5 fishery management plan amendments in 2004 to implement final rebuilding plans for 23 stocks in the Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and Alaska regions. This is a significant accomplishment, establishing new management measures to rebuild these stocks.

 

The following is a brief summary of how the status of our

marine fisheries changed in 2004.

 

One stock, Pacific whiting, has been fully rebuilt, and overfishing is no longer occurring. This highly productive west coast groundfish stock rebuilt very quickly following a 2002 determination that the biomass had declined below the overfished threshold.

 

Mid-Atlantic black sea bass is no longer overfished, and overfishing has ended. Three more stocks have increased in abundance to the point they are no longer overfished (lingcod, pacific ocean perch, and king mackerel – Gulf group). Rebuilding measures for all these stocks will continue until each stock has fully rebuilt to the level that provides maximum sustainable yield. Additionally, Gulf of Mexico red drum is no longer subject to overfishing.

 

Three previously assessed stocks were determined to be overfished. Two of these are Alaska crab stocks which already have rebuilding plans and fishing is not allowed. The third stock is butterfish, and rebuilding measures are being developed.

 

Seven stocks or stock complexes were determined to be subject to overfishing (Atlantic sea scallop, summer flounder, Gulf of Mexico greater amberjack, shortspine thornyhead, black rockfish – North, Hawaii bottomfish complex, and large coastal sharks). Appropriate management measures will be implemented to lower the fishing mortality rate for these stocks or complexes.

 

A majority of our assessed fish stocks are not overfished or subject to overfishing. However, NMFS and the Councils will continue working toward the goal of rebuilding all stocks and maintaining them at highly productive levels. We also are committed to increasing the number of stocks that are assessed.

 

We will face challenges - the natural environment is unpredictable; management measures may not always work as planned; and as new information about a stock becomes available it may alter our view of its potential yield and status. We are addressing these challenges and will continue to improve the status of U.S. marine fisheries.

 


Judge Grants Partial Dismissal of Lawsuit to Close Hunting on Refuges

(Columbus) – A federal district court Judge September 26 granted a motion for partial dismissal of a lawsuit brought to ban hunting on the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) System.  The victory sets a precedent that will protect hunting in future federal cases.

 

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund (SLDF), Safari Club International,   and the U.S. Department of Justice moved for a partial dismissal of the suit brought by anti-hunters.  It claimed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) violated federal policy by not assessing environmental impacts before publishing its 2000-2005 Strategic Plan.  The plan calls for an increase in wildlife dependent recreation, including hunting.

Judge Ricardo Urbina, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia, granted the motion for partial dismissal, ruling that since the goals outlined in the strategy are not final agency action there is no need for comprehensive environmental studies.

 

A key element of the decision supports the SLDF’s argument that the USFWS is not required to complete environmental assessments for each individual refuge that it opens to hunting. It may prove to be a major factor in resolving the case in favor of sportsmen and wildlife managers. The judge underscored the fact that the ultimate decisions regarding the use of the refuges, including hunting, are made at the individual refuge level.

 


Commercial anglers may soon own shares in fish stocks

Would authorize a state license system for salt water recreational fishing

WASHINGTON (AP) - Last week an outfit called Environmental Defense applauded Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez's effort to modernize how the federal government governs fishing. Guitierrez is proposing amendments to the nation's primary fisheries management law. One of those proposals includes giving commercial fishermen ownership shares in the stock of the fish they target, called dedicated access privileges (DAPs) in fishery law terms.

 

The proposed amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act explicitly authorize doubling the existing number of these programs. Commercial fishing groups enthusiastically support any plan for owning shares in available fish stocks.

  

Environmental Defense claims catch shares are one of the most economically attractive ways to fish. Under this system, fishermen are allocated shares of the annual catch, which 

they can buy and sell with other boats to meet their business needs. Instead of government mandates limiting fishermen's flexibility, catch shares allow fishermen to work year-round when they judge market and weather conditions to be right. Catch shares help save fishermen money by cutting harvesting costs, improving the quality of their fish and dockside prices and saving millions of fish each year.

 

Meanwhile, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership's Marine Conservation Working Group, expressed particular support for federal provisions that can improve recreational data collection in federal and other coastal waters.  The TRCP-MCWG is made up of the American Sportfishing Association, the Coastal Conservation Association, the International Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and Environmental Defense.

 

The coalition is focused on implementing a state license system for salt water recreational fishing; establishing appropriate marine protected areas guidelines; reducing the use of destructive fishing gear; and improving allocation of the marine fishery resource.


FWS Seeks Public Comment for Black Carp Listing

A reminder regarding the open public comment period on the proposed rule to add all forms of live black carp to the list of injurious species under the Lacey Act. The comment period is open until October 31, 2005. The Federal Register notice solicits data and comments on our preferred alternative as

well as an alternative of listing only diploid black carp.

 

The notice also announces the availability of the draft environmental assessment and draft economic analysis related to the proposed rule. Follow this link:  http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/Issues/InvasiveSpecies.cfm


Katrina boat damage may reach $750 million

Last month’s Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $650 to $750 million in damage to recreational boats in the Gulf Coast region, according to BoatU.S.

 

“After a fair amount of research, we think that’s a pretty good

estimate,” Carroll Robertson, senior vice-president of claims, said today. About half of that estimated damage is not insured, Robertson says, either because it involved smaller, older boats or because boat owners simply did not take out insurance. Robertson anticipates more insurance claims will be filed as boat owners finally get to inspect their vessels.


Study suggests Mercury in Fish not Dangerous

U. Of Rochester says Americans carry one-sixth the amount of Seychelles kids

Fifteen years have passed since medical researchers started scrutinizing the brains of 700 children from the Seychelles whose mothers ate great amounts of mercury-contaminated fish during their pregnancies.  As the children from this archipelago nation off Africa's eastern coast move toward adulthood — their verbal, motor, memory and reasoning skills are subjected to a battery of tests every few years — and they continue to be the picture of health.

 

Researchers still have found no significant evidence that mercury is affecting the children's abilities, said Dr. Gary Myers of the University Of Rochester Medical Center on September 26, 2005.  Myers calls mercury a "terrible toxin" at high levels, but a decade and a half of research have led this pediatric neurologist to question whether tiny amounts of the pollutant affect brain development.

 

Fish, and the fatty acids they contain, can actually be crucial nutrition for a baby's developing brain.  "It really is a matter of degrees," Myers said.

 

Some environmental groups argue that as many as 630,000 American babies born each year could suffer neurological and kidney damage because of the mercury content of their mothers' blood. The statistic was based on the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention's estimate that 6 % of Americans' bodies contain more than the "safe" level of mercury.

 

Yet the mothers in Myers' study averaged 6 parts per million of mercury in their bodies, while on average, Americans carry just one-sixth that amount. Hundreds of mothers were surveyed because every person's body handles mercury differently.

 

Though they all ate fish daily, some Seychellois women had levels as low as 1 part per million and one peaked at 27 parts per million. With such high concentrations, Myers and his colleagues had expected to see an impact in the islands' children immediately. But in each successive round of testing, the children's results could not be linked to mercury levels.

 

Meanwhile, environmental groups recently have raised concerns that federal recommendations aren't stringent enough, pushing the Food and Drug Administration to recommend that pregnant women avoid all fish.  The concern is relevant in the Great Lakes where many of the species are considered inedible because of contamination.

 

But no large-scale studies like the Seychelles project have been done in the United States, because the average mercury levels are so low, Myers said.


Regional

Virus strikes Warren Hatchery lake trout

Lake Trout for Lake Ontario

A serious disease has been discovered at the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery, says NYSDEC Fisheries Expert Bill Culligan. Hatchery biologists have found Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN), which will require destruction of all fish and sterilization of the Hatchery.  This will have a very serious impact on Lake Trout stocking in Lakes Erie and Ontario in the spring of 2006 and possibly in 2007 as well.

    

USFWS and NYSDEC fisheries folks are currently looking at alternatives to redirect some Lake Trout destined for other New York waters to Lake Ontario in 2006, and making plans to collect extra eggs from the Finger Lakes to help with shortages anticipated in spring 2007. 

Almost 1 million trout and eggs will be lost; about 620,000 of the infected fish are lake trout, destined for stocking Lake Erie and Lake Ontario next spring. The rest of the infected fish are rainbow and brook trout being raised for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to stock state waterways near the Allegheny National Forest.

 

Although IPN poses no threat to humans who consume infected fish, IPN does have up to a 90% mortality rate in young fish. Those that don't die from it become lifetime carriers and can infect other fish and their own eggs.  In addition, the hatchery facility also will lose its 2,500 brood stock that are responsible for the hundreds of thousands of eggs hatched there each year, as well as 230,000 lake trout eggs.


More Shipwrecks found in St. Clair River

During Side-Scan Sonar Work in the North Channel

While mapping the North Channel of the St. Clair River, Biologist from Alpena FRO and USGS Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) in Ann Arbor Michigan discovered a Great

Lakes shipwreck. The side-scan research taking place in the North Channel during the summer of 2005 is part of a collaborative effort between Alpena FRO and its partners to better understand the habitat needs of lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for September 30, 2005

Lake Level Conditions:

Lake Superior is currently 4 inches lower than last year, while the remaining lakes are 4 to 8 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.

 

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 30 in ft

601.5

577.7

573.7

571.1

245.0

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

+5

+2

+17

+23

+20

Diff from last month, in inches

-1

-3

-3

-1

-3

Diff from last year in inches

-4

-6

-6

-4

-8


General

Pure Fishing to be FLW Sponsor

Berkley Tackle folks to become long-term title sponsor

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa -- FLW Outdoors announced that Pure Fishing -- with its leading portfolio of fishing brands including Berkley, Abu Garcia, Stren, Spiderwire, Fenwick, Sevenstrand, Mitchell and Johnson -- has signed the largest, most comprehensive widespread sponsorship agreement in FLW Outdoors history.

 

The multiyear sponsorship agreement will commence in conjunction with the 2006 tournament season. Pure Fishing's sponsorship will include participation in all of the FLW Outdoors tournament trails. Pure Fishing's Berkley brand will be the exclusive fishing line of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. New in 2006, the Stren Series (formerly known as the EverStart Series) will showcase Pure Fishing's premier Stren fishing-line brand and will serve as bass fishing's pathway to the FLW Tour.

 

Additionally, Pure Fishing's Abu Garcia brand of reels and rods will share title sponsorship of the successful Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail.

 

Pure Fishing will promote several of its renowned brands through innovative grassroots marketing and a variety of media formats, including the "Wal-Mart FLW Outdoors" TV program on FSN (Fox Sports Net), FLW Outdoors Magazine and FLWOutdoors.com. Several of the Pure Fishing brands will also be publicized through signage at tournaments and through inclusion in tour promotional and public relations materials.

 

In 2006, Pure Fishing will also field a team of professional anglers. This contingent will consist of anglers who compete on the FLW Tour, the Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.

Irwin L. Jacobs, chairman of FLW Outdoors, said he couldn't be more pleased to partner with the largest fishing-tackle company in the United States, and a technologically cutting-edge industry leader.

 

Jacobs said: "In partnering with FLW Outdoors, Pure Fishing has clearly proven its uncompromised and dedicated commitment to growing the sport of fishing. Their actions clearly demonstrate the strength of their commitment."

 

Jacobs went on to say: "With this new historical, illustrious partnership between Pure Fishing and FLW Outdoors, I am sure there can be no questions in the days and years ahead as to the continued growth of professional tournament angling throughout the United States."

 

Claudio Garcia, global marketing officer for Pure Fishing, stated: "Being a worldwide fishing-tackle industry leader, it only makes sense to be collaborating with the largest tournament organization in the world. Our sponsorship with FLW Outdoors allows us to communicate with the millions of anglers and their families. FLW Outdoors is an outstanding organization; we are proud to partner with them and help grow the sport of fishing in the years ahead."

 

Wal-Mart and many of America's most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit www.FLWOutdoors.com sponsor page.

 

For more information about FLW Outdoors tournaments, visit www.FLWOutdoors.com   or call (270) 252-1000

 


Fayetteville Angler Reels in Record Catfish from Cape Fear River

RALEIGH, N.C. Late last year, Brian Newberger predicted to family and friends that he would set a new state record for a flathead catfish by the end of 2005. Shortly after midnight on Sept. 17, Newberger's prediction became a reality when the Fayetteville angler hauled in a 78 lb, 52" flathead from the Cape Fear River above Lock and Dam #3 in Cumberland County.

 

Newberger landed his record-breaking fish using live eel as bait and a Bass Pro Catmaxx rod and Penn Jigmaster reel spooled with 50 lb test Sufix line.  The monster flathead, measured an impressive 39 inches in girth.  Newberger spent 45 minutes getting the fish in the boat and into his 125-gallon live well, and another seven hours tending to it, waiting for Riverside Sports Center in Fayetteville to open so he could have it weighed on certified scales.   

 

"It was 1:00 in the morning - nothing was open," Newberger

said. "So, I stayed up with the fish all night, kept the pumps running and kept fresh water on it. It didn't mind."

 

Once his fish was weighed on certified scales and verified by N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Biologist Keith Ashley, Newberger released it unharmed back into the Cape Fear River shortly after 10 a.m., nearly 11 hours after it first hit the eel. 

 

The current world record flathead is a 123-pounder caught from Elk City Reservoir in Kansas on May 14, 1998.

 

The previous North Carolina record weighed 69 pounds and was hauled from the Cape Fear River by Edward C. Davis in July 1994.  For a list of all freshwater fish state records in North Carolina, visit the Wildlife Commission's Web site, www.ncwildlife.org .

 


 

2nd Amendment issues

Did the Second Amendment wash away, too?

By DAVE WORKMAN

Special to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

After New Orleans, will American firearms owners ever again be able to trust government, and especially police officers -- even ones they know personally?

 

A simple look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina reveals a disturbing chain of events that had the issue to do with anything but guns, there would have been an uproar in the media.

 

But this is about firearms and the law-abiding people who own them -- people who have had their guns, their private property, forcibly taken from them by what amounts to imperial edict without due process, without the benefit of warrant and, according to various legal experts, in direct conflict with Louisiana statute and the state and federal constitutions.

 

In at least one instance, a gun seizure took place before television cameras and was broadcast by San Francisco's KTVU and then circulated across the Internet.

 

That video shows an older woman declining to be evacuated, holding a small revolver in her left hand. She appears rational and tells police -- visiting officers from the California Highway Patrol -- that she simply wants them out of her home. In the next frame, we see her gang-tackled by at least two officers and subsequently led from her home in visible anguish.

 

New Orleans police officials ignited this fire-storm by declaring that they would confiscate everybody's firearms. They didn't cite any statutory authority or emergency regulation -- they just did it. Why?  Because apparently that's the way that New Orleans Police Superintendent P. Edward Compass III wants it. His infuriating quote to The New York Times: "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons."

 

His deputy chief, Warren Riley, told ABC News: "No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons."

 

Who made these guys kings?

 

I asked the department under what authority they were taking guns, where they are being kept and when they will be returned. As of this writing, I was still waiting for a reply.

 

Gun rights activists look at the film clip and statements from these law enforcement officials as disturbing evidence that, given the opportunity, police and government will disregard the Fourth Amendment while trampling the Second Amendment into oblivion, and it deeply troubles them.

Street cops insist that they are "only following orders." Where have we heard that before?

 

In the anarchy that reigned in New Orleans after the hurricane, it was more often than not legally armed citizens who provided the only semblance of law and order.

 

There were numerous reports of armed citizens protecting their homes, businesses and neighborhoods from roaming gangs of thugs and looters who were ultimately deterred by the muzzle of a gun or a warning shot fired over their heads.

 

Where were the police? Some left their posts; others turned in their badges. Some participated in the looting.

 

As order has slowly returned to New Orleans, those who survived -- many times in homes and businesses that were left high and dry even after the dikes ruptured -- have been ordered out and their guns confiscated.

 

One Associated Press report noted that "in the city's well-to-do Lower Garden District, a neighborhood with many antebellum mansions, members of the Oklahoma National Guard seized weapons from the inhabitants of one home. Those who were armed were handcuffed and briefly detained before being let go."

 

Last time I checked, Oklahoma was hard-core gun rights country. I wonder what they'd think about this back home.

 

According to gun rights legal expert David Kopel, Louisiana law allows for "regulating and controlling" possession, storage, display, sale and transport of firearms during extreme emergencies, but not their prohibition or confiscation.

 

The law, he notes, does not supersede the state constitution, which says: "The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person."

 

Traditionally, gun owners have been the strongest supporters of police officers, and that's as it should be. The concern is that the images from New Orleans could irrevocably change that. American citizens who have committed no crime should never be expected to meekly surrender their property -- in this case, firearms -- or their right to have a gun, and subsequently their right of self-defense, just because a police chief says so.

 

This is still the United States, not a police state.   http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/opinion/12731059.htm

 


 

Lake Michigan

Lake's Ups And Downs Recorded In River Valley

Ann Arbor, MI — The sediments in the mouth of the Pigeon River near Sheboygan, WI, provide a 7000-year recorded history of rising and falling water levels in Lake Michigan. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin - Baraboo / Sauk County collected long cores of sediment from the river valley and examined various textures, colors, and shells in the sediments to describe changes in the lake level of Lake Michigan.

 

"The results have implications not only for the history of lake level, but also for processes in small stream basins and, of course, for processes in freshwater estuaries," states one reviewer.

 

Cores were collected from many locations in the river valley for analysis. The cores revealed early times of rapidly flowing river water, suggesting a very low lake level. By 5500 years ago the lake level had risen to its present level, causing flooding of the

lower part of the valley and swampy conditions. Falling levels between 5000 and 2000 years ago caused erosion of the river valley. During the past 2000 years, the river and lake levels were similar to those of today. The river sediments relate an interesting story of changing lake levels, corroborating the most popular method of determining water-level changes - the study of beach ridges.

 

Contacts

For more information about the study, contact Diann Kiesel, Department of Geography and Geology, University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County, Baraboo, Wisconsin 53913; dkiesel@uwc.edu ; (608) 356-8351 x223.

 

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.


Lake Superior

Lake Herring Survive Cooling Events

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Lake herring were important to the commercial fishery in Lake Superior until populations collapsed in the 1960s due to overfishing. Stocks have failed to recover largely due to limited production of young lake herring. Researchers are unsure why so few fish survive to adulthood.

 

"Lake herring are also an important food item for a number of other fish in Lake Superior," states Trent Sutton, a researcher at Purdue University. "A continued lack of production of lake herring could also impact recovery or establishment of other important species, such as lake trout and Chinook salmon."

 

Sutton and fellow researchers studied juvenile lake herring physiology and survival in a series of laboratory experiments conducted at Purdue University during 2002 and 2003. They discovered that rapid cooling events, such as might occur following strong weather fronts, do not negatively affect lake 

herring survival during fall or spring months when these types of water temperature changes might occur.

 

The researchers also found that differences in body size and energy levels of young lake herring did not influence the ability of fish to survive these events. These results indicate that rapid changes in thermal regimes in Lake Superior have not limited production of young lake herring in Lake Superior.

 

Contacts:

For more information about the study, contact Trent M. Sutton, Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, 195 Marsteller Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907; tsutton@purdue.edu ; (765) 496-6266.

 

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


Illinois

Museum Discovers 2,300 Year Old Bison Kill Site

SPRINGFIELD - Bison remains and a spear point excavated this summer by archaeologists from Dickson Mounds Museum and the Illinois State Museum, provide tangible evidence of the first known bison kill site in Illinois.  Numerous partial bison skeletons were excavated along the shoreline of the Illinois River, south of Peoria. 

 

Originally believed to be the remains of animals that died from

natural causes 200-300 years ago, radiocarbon dates and the recent discovery of stone artifacts, including a spear point, now suggest that local American Indians hunted the bison approximately 2,300 years ago.  This bison kill site is 1,700 years earlier than most other archaeological finds of bison in Illinois and provides a new and more complex perspective on the region’s natural history and human interaction with prehistoric animal populations.

 


Indiana

O'Bannon Woods hosts Autumn Camping Weekend Oct. 7-9

The heat of summer is past, and clear, brisk fall days - perfect for camping - beckon. O'Bannon Woods State Park will host a fall camping weekend October 7-9.

 

Planners of the Autumn Camping Weekend have arranged campfire programs, a pumpkin-carving contest, an 1850 haypress demo, a living 1830 farmstead, a live snake program, a brisk autumn stroll, and more.

 

The weekend schedule is as follows:

 

Friday, October 7

6:30-8:30 p.m. - Welcome Campfire - stop by anytime for hot apple cider and marshmallow toasting over the fire.

 

Saturday, October 8

11 a.m.-3 p.m. - living 1830 farmstead demo

11:30 a.m. - pumpkin-carving contest

1 p.m. - 1850 haypress demo

2 p.m. - autumn colors t-shirt project (bring your own shirt)

3 p.m. - "Snakes Alive" program

6:30 p.m. - campfire

 

Sunday, October 9

11 a.m. -  "Hickory Hollow Scavenger Hunt" for the whole family

 

For a full schedule of Autumn Camping Weekend and other activities going on at O'Bannon Woods State Park, go to www.interpretiveservices.in.gov , click on "programs," and look for the autumn events listing under "O'Bannon Woods Autumn Camping Weekend."  Or call 812-738-8234.

 

O'Bannon Woods is one of Indiana's "Hidden Jewel" properties, with discounted camping rates. To reserve a site for the weekend, go to www.camp.IN.gov   or call 1-866-6CAMP-IN.  Hickory Hollow Interpretive Center is located in O'Bannon Woods State Park, 10 miles west of Corydon off State Highway 62.  All events and

programs run on Eastern Daylight Time, or "fast time." 

 

Programs are free except for the $4-per-vehicle gate fee ($5 for out-of-state vehicles).


DNR names Bivans new chief of wildlife

The Department of Natural Resources has named Wayne Bivans, former director of its fish and wildlife division, as the agency's new chief of wildlife.

 

Bivans served as Indiana's fish and wildlife director from 1991 to 1993. He has worked for the DNR since 1970, when he was a reservoir specialist/biologist at Mississinewa Lake. He joined the Division of Fish and Wildlife as chief of operations in 1984, and served that division in various capacities until moving to Michigan as regional director for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 1994.

 

The chief of wildlife is responsible for running the division's wildlife section, which consists of fish and wildlife properties 

programs, private lands programs, and the research/speciesmanagement programs.

 

Bivans said he hopes to build relationships with groups that have an interest in Indiana's wildlife resource, work on the scientific management of the state's wildlife resource, and identify and potentially purchase critical lands that will benefit wildlife and people who appreciate it. Also, "since most wildlife in our state is on private land, we must increase those programs that positively affect wildlife populations on those lands," Bivans added.

 

Bivans, a Zionsville resident, is a wildlife biology graduate of Purdue University, and has a degree in public administration from Indiana University.


Michigan

Salmon Available to Purchase at Various Local Distributors

Each fall, a large number of chinook and Coho salmon return to the rivers where they were stocked to spawn. The Department of Natural Resources has contracted with a private vendor to collect these fish at the weir facilities which can then be used for public consumption or marketed in other meaningful ways.

 

The DNR has contracted with American-Canadian Fisheries (AC), a private vendor, to help harvest the fish. AC pays the DNR a flat rate by the pound for the fish and their eggs. The eggs are sold to bait dealers and fish that are not edible can go for pet food or fertilizer. AC makes the fish available wholesale to any and all local distributors that would like to market the fish to the public. A list of retailers marketing the fish is attached to this press release.

 

The DNR maintains multiple locations where fisheries biologists and technicians harvest broodstock for eggs. At these locations, weirs or blockages prevent fish from moving upstream. The fish are guided into harvest raceways so the DNR can take eggs and milt (sperm) from them. It is at the weirs that the DNR often stocks fish in very high numbers.

 

There is no fish health consumption warning for mercury in Great Lakes salmon. The Michigan Department of Community Health states that Lake Huron and Lake Michigan salmon can be eaten without restriction by men and recommends one meal per month for women of child bearing age/concern and children.

Michigan Retailers Selling Salmon Harvested at DNR Weirs:

 

Pappy's Bait and Tackle

17092 Caberfae Hwy.

Wellston, MI 49689

 

Tippy Dam Campground

17974 Old House Road

Wellston, MI 49689

 

Andy's Tackle Box

14573 Coates Hwy.

Brethren, MI 49619

 

R & J Resort

3070 Keith Rd.

Brethren, MI 49619

 

Black Bear Store

16431 Coates Hwy.

Brethren, MI 49619

 

Lixie's Fish Market

2699 Lixie Beach

East Tawas, MI 48060

 

Wellman's Bait & Tackle

410 S. State Street #309

Oscoda, MI 48750

 


Crystal Falls DNR Law Supervisor Graduates from FBI Academy

Lt. Thomas P. Courchaine, a Department of Natural Resources law supervisor in Crystal Falls, has become the second DNR law enforcement officer to graduate from the prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy at Quantico, Va.

 

Courchaine's training at the FBI National Academy covered 10 weeks and included advanced investigative, management and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals within their agencies, said DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Alan Marble.

           

Courchaine was one of 247 law enforcement officers who graduated from the program on Sept. 16. The academy consisted of men and women from 48 states, the District of Columbia, 21 international countries and four military

organizations and four federal civilian organizations. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was the principal speaker at the graduation ceremony.

 

Training for the program is provided by the FBI Academy instructional staff, special agents, and other staff members holding advanced degrees, many of whom are recognized internationally in their fields of expertise. Courchaine's participation in the academy was supported by the FBI.

 

Courchaine has been with the DNR Law Enforcement division for 25 years, and has served as a conservation officer in Delta and Marquette counties; a sergeant in Chippewa and Mackinac counties, a lieutenant in District 12 (Plainwell) and currently in District 3 (Crystal Falls). He resides in Crystal Falls with his wife Sherie and three children, Michael, Amanda and Matthew.

 


Minnesota

Waterfowl hunters reminded to avoid spreading invasive species

The Minnesota DNR reminds waterfowl hunters to take steps to avoid inadvertently transporting invasive species during the upcoming hunting season.

 

Without the proper precautions, invasive species such as purple loosestrife, Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels could be transported in waterfowl hunters' boats, decoys or blind material. Invasive species can damage habitat for fish, waterfowl and other wildlife.

 

"Take a few minutes to clean and drain water from boats and equipment," said Heidi Wolf DNR watercraft inspection coordinator. "It's the key to avoiding the spread of invasive

species."

 

In addition to draining water and removing plants and animals from boats and trailers, the DNR offers the following tips for waterfowl hunters:

- switch to elliptical, bulb-shaped or strap decoy anchors that won't collect submergent aquatic plants as easily

- inspect and remove aquatic plants, zebra mussels and mud that are attached to decoy lines or anchors and waders

- drain the water from boats and equipment.

 

To kill invasive species that are not visible, the DNR recommends boaters use a high-pressure spray, rinse or dry boats for five days before launching in another water body. Rinse water should be at least 104 degrees.


Poacher fined $6,000, jailed

A Detroit Lakes man has plead guilty to poaching charges in Becker County District Court.

 

Minnesota conservation officers ticketed Walter David Draack, 30, last October with three gross misdemeanors after a search warrant was served. Draack admitted to illegally spearing a muskie, taking deer over the limit and shooting a 500 lb black bear without the required game tag.

 

Draack pled guilty Sept. 6 to all three counts, paid $5,100 in restitution, was sentenced 365 days in jail (320 days stayed), was fined $3,000 plus court costs ($2,000 stayed). He was placed on two years probation with condition that he doesn't hunt or fish anywhere in the world for two years.

 

He lost his hunting and fishing licenses for five years in Minnesota and the other 17 states that comprise the Wildlife

 

Violator Compact for five years. Compact states include Minnesota, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Draack will be immediately remanded to jail and serve the entire sentence if he violates any provisions of his probation.

 

Draack's father, Walter Robert Draack, 57, Frazee, was also charged in the incident and pled guilty to three misdemeanor counts of possessing an untagged gill net, possessing ducks taken illegally and possessing untagged waterfowl. He was fined $500.

 

Anyone witnessing a wildlife violation is encouraged to contact the nearest conservation officer or call the toll-free Turn In Poachers hotline at 1-800-652-9093.


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

arrowUSFWS Press Releases  arrowSea Grant News

State Fish Pages

Illinois - Indiana - Michigan - Minnesota - Ohio - Pennsylvania - New York - Wisconsin - Ontario

 

Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links

Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives 


All contents Copyright © 1995 - 2005, GLSFC All Rights Reserved.

Web site maintained by JJ Consulting