Week of October 6 , 2003
Coldwater Heritage Partnership Grant Program – To Protect Coldwater Streams
KETCHUM, Okla. -- The biggest and fastest growing kids fishing derby program is about to get even bigger.
Over 300,000 kids up to age 16 participated in 1,822 Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby events in 2003. Registration has now been opened for 2004 and organizers predict the biggest year ever in the 18 year history of the program which already reaches all 50 states.
Hooked On Fishing International (HOFI) now invites qualified agencies and organizations to register for a free fishing derby kit with a how-to handbook, prizes, name tags, goodies for each participant and almost everything else they will need to hold their own on-the-water fishing event in 2004.
Local events last typically half-a-day and usually include snacks and drinks for the youngsters. They are staffed by adult volunteers from the community, typically from organizations like the Optimists, Lions, Kiwanis, Elks, Chambers of Commerce and Jaycees, angling and various outdoor organizations, scout groups, parks and recreation departments, and others.
HOFI has designed the official web site for on-line registration to be as easy as 1, 2, and 3.
(1) On the Internet go to www.kids-fishing.com
(2) Click the yellow box in the middle of home page: The box reads "Registration is now open! Click here to Apply On-line."
(3) Complete the application and submit it on-line.
HOFI provides the fishing derby kits free of charge to qualifying organizations. The deadline for submitting an application for the 2004 program is February 15, 2004. All derby kits will be shipped to the designated organization representative on or about March 15, 2004.
In addition to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the Kids All-American Fishing Derby program benefits from its 2003 partnerships with Bar-S foods Company, Berkley PowerBait, Berkley Trilene, ConAgra Foods, Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum, Eagle Claw, EverStart Batteries, FishingWorld.com, Fujifilm, Johnson & Johnson First Aid Pocket Pals, Kellogg's, Kraft Foods, Laker Fishing Tackle, and Zebco.
Moeller's monster bullhead is new Indiana state record
Indiana DNR has certified an extraordinary 7-pound brown bullhead caught on July 13 by Ronald Moeller of Dyer, Ind. as a new state record fish.
Moeller's bullhead clobbers the existing 4.9 lb state record set in 1994. The biggest-ever Indiana bullhead also tops the current 6.5 oz IGFA all-tackle world record brown bullhead caught in New York. Moeller pulled the monster world-class bullhead, measuring two feet in length, from a floodwater retention pond near U.S. 41 in Schererville.
"My wife and some friends and I were bottom fishing with nightcrawlers for catfish. About an hour before dark a big fish grabbed the bait. I thought it had to be a big carp or something until it surfaced," said Moeller.
Thinking he might have a state record fish, Moeller weighed the fish on a state-certified scale and took the fish to local DNR fisheries biologist Jason Doll, who verified
Moeller's species identification. The scale showed the fish weighed 6.955 lbs.
While not one of the more sought after species, it is a world record and that does give Moeller some bragging rights. Fishing being what it is, not too many of us will see our names in the record column.
Bullhead catfish are among the first fish catches of many Hoosier youngsters. Their extreme willingness to swallow almost any bait, hook, line, and sinker makes them an easy target for kids. They also thrive in waters too warm for other fishes, and will feed actively on even the hottest Indiana summer evenings.
The Schererville yellow belly is also bigger than the 6.2 oz Mississippi catfish listed by the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as the all-tackle world record brown bullhead. A 2-pound, 15-ounce yellow bass fished from Hamilton County's Morse Reservoir in 2000 by Jim Raymer of Greenfield, Ind. is also a Hoosier all-tackle world record.
Washington, DC: Top federal land management agency officials and heads of seventeen sportsmen's conservation organizations joined at the Department of the Interior to support the need for a coordinated effort to improve access for hunters and anglers to the nation's federal public lands. The Sportsmen's Access to Federal Public Lands Memorandum of Understanding was coordinated by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and is the first partnership agreement between these groups addressing the issue of declining access.
"When faced with a declining base of hunters and anglers, access becomes not just a point of frustration, but a very real barrier to recruiting and retaining sportsmen. Adequate access to public land is one of the most fundamental issues facing the sportsmen's community," commented Melinda Gable, Executive Director for the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. "Today's MOU signing is much more than signatures on a piece of paper, it is the first
time that both federal agencies and conservation groups have committed to work together to develop solutions to this growing problem. This agreement takes us beyond talking about the problem to committing us to doing something about it."
The document codifies the goals of a new Sportsmen's Access to Federal Public Lands Working Group. The Working Group meets regularly to outline problems and to develop solutions to address declining access.
Representatives who signed the MOU include the USFWS, Forest Service, BLM, ASA, Boone & Crockett Club, Bowhunting Preservation Alliance, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, International Association of F/W Agencies, NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, NWTF, Pheasants Forever, Pope & Young Club, Public Lands Foundation, RBFF, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, SCI - First for Hunters, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and Wildlife Management Institute.
WASHINGTON — Congressional investigators generally approve of the way the
Fish and Wildlife Service is putting science into its endangered species
program but say improvement is needed in decisions to protect habitats
needed for species to recover.
as of June.
said peer reviewers "overwhelmingly supported the science" behind decisions
on which species should be on the list, courts seldom overturned those
decisions, and "only 10 of the more than 1,200 domestic listed species have
been delisted" because of new and contradictory scientific information.
Get your "oohs" and "ahs" polished up and ready to go. All year long Indiana has beautiful landscapes. But this time of year the scenery outdoes itself. It's time to start watching the fall colors of Indiana.
To help you plan your enjoyment of our beautiful fall colors, the DNR has a 24-hour "Fall Foliage Line" to get an update about the status of fall colors. Just call (317) 232-4002, any time day or night, and get the latest information.
Or, for those who want to see how the leaves are doing, visit the Indiana Tourism Leaf Cam. Just log onto the World Wide Web and point your browser to www.IN.gov/dnr or
www.enjoyindiana.com and click on the Leaf Cam logo. You will see live pictures of the fall scenery from
* Pokagon State Park in Steuben County,
* Walnut Creek Golf Course in Grant County,
* Indianapolis Museum of Art in Marion County,
* the marina at Patoka Lake in Dubois, Orange and Crawford counties and, of course,
* Brown County State Park...Indiana's most popular state park.
And please remember, as the leaves begin to fall and dry out it gets easier to accidentally start a fire...so let's be careful.
Out-of-state gate admission fee to go up beginning November 1
Indiana Dunes State Park remains one of Indiana's most popular places to visit all year round. Whether swimming, camping, or hiking, an average of 800,000 people a year make it Indiana's third most popular park.
A new family campground has been a high priority for a number of years. Over time, the density of campsites increased, often resulting in crowded and disappointed campers. Currently the park has 80 "class A" campsites, those with electric hook-up and 121 "class B" or non-electric sites. Further, the campsites do not comfortably accommodate the larger modern camping units and RVs.
Construction will begin next spring. The improved family campground will be built in its present location with 141 generously sized campsites, each having electric service. Other improvements to the family campground area will include:
* new access roads,
* additional parking,
* access drive and parking for the camp store,
* playground to meet Americans with Disabilities standards,
* two new comfort stations,
* eight drinking fountains,
* all new utilities (water, sewer and electric).
The total cost of the improvements is estimated to be almost $3.4 million. Specific plans have not been finalized and bids have not yet been let. The DNR expects the project to be completed by April 2005.
Funds for the improvements will come primarily from the DNR's repair & rehab fund for state parks, and DNR funds earmarked for water and waste treatment at DNR's state parks and reservoirs. The monies for the new roads will come from the Indiana Department of Transportation.
As a part of an on-going plan to improve routine park operations, the state Natural Resources Commission raised the non-resident, or out-of-state, fee for the park to $8.00 per vehicle. The increased fee for out-of-state visitors will begin November 1, 2003. The annual entrance permit for non-residents will remain at $30.00. Fees for Indiana residents are $4.00 for daily and $24.00 for an annual entrance permit.
Because of its ease of access from interstate highways, Indiana Dunes State Park is a popular destination for tens of thousands of out-of-state visitors each year. A recent survey by the DNR estimated that 80% of all visitors between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year are non-residents. This is also when the majority of the costs to maintain the park occur. The out-of-state fee increase will be dedicated to maintenance
daily operation of the park.
The final volunteer stream monitoring workshop of 2003 will be held at Pokagon State Park on October 16. The training is free, but class size is limited to 12 participants. 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 16, from 9 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
The Riverwatch training also is being offered as a pre-conference workshop for persons attending the Environmental Education of Indiana conference October 17-19, 2003, at Pokagon State Park. For more information about the EEAI conference, visit www.eeai.org.
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. "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, contact Marie Collins at the IDNR's Natural Resources Education Center at email@example.com or 317/562-1338.
For more info about the Riverwatch program: www.in.gov/dnr/soilcons/riverwatch
Michigan conservation officials announced the 2003 waterfowl hunting season prospects for regions throughout the state, based on weather and habitat conditions as well as field observations.
Waterfowl breeding habitat conditions in the mid-continent prairie and parkland regions were better this year than last year. The relatively high number of ponds and mid-continent mallards counted during this spring's survey resulted in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offering another 60-day duck season in 2003-04.
However, according to DNR Waterfowl Specialist Greg Soulliere, late spring and early summer conditions were dryer in Michigan and western Ontario, which supply most of Michigan hunters_ mallards, black ducks, green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks and buffleheads. The Michigan mallard population has actually declined by 50 percent since 1998, and the fall flight for Michigan duck hunters will probably be somewhat smaller than what they saw just a few years ago.
The best hunting will likely be early to mid-season, when wood ducks and teal are available in good numbers. During an average year, wood ducks remain common in Michigan through mid-to-late October. Although most blue-winged teal have moved through the state by Oct. 10, green-winged teal remain abundant through late October. Some years, spectacular green-wing flights occur even through mid-November.
Soulliere noted that a considerable percentage of the diving ducks harvested in Michigan originate from the mid-continent prairie, north to the Canadian boreal forest. Fall flights of scaup, redheads and canvasbacks should be improved from last year, and these birds are normally available in Michigan between Oct. 15 and Nov. 15.
Duck season opening dates are Sept. 27 in the Upper Peninsula (North Zone), Oct. 4 in the Northern Lower Peninsula (Middle Zone), and Oct. 11 in the Southern Lower Peninsula (South Zone).
Pintail and canvasback seasons this year are only 30 days long, compared to 60 days for other species. Pintail season will be open the first 30 days in each zone, whereas canvasback season will be open the last 30 days, starting on Oct. 27 in the North Zone, Nov. 3 in the Middle Zone, and Nov. 10 in the South Zone.
The outlook for Canada goose numbers is similar to last year, but much of the state will enjoy a longer regular season. Goose season on the north and west sides of Michigan is 55 days long. Soulliere said the increased season length is the result of higher numbers of breeding Mississippi Valley Population (MVP) geese on Hudson Bay this spring, plus an adjustment in the flyway harvest management plan for these birds. Resident giant Canada geese make up about 70 percent of Michigan's goose harvest, with MVP geese second in importance to Michigan hunters. Local giant populations have declined in Michigan over the past three years. This decline, plus weather related factors, resulted in hunters seeing fewer birds during the 2003 early September season. As molt migrants return to the state, local Canada goose numbers will rise.
Regular goose season in the MVP Zone is Sept. 20 to Nov. 6 and Dec. 13-19. The season in the Southern James Bay Population Zone, located in the southeast third of the state, is Sept. 20 to Oct. 12 and Dec. 13 to 19. Southern Michigan hunters will again enjoy a late Canada goose season established to help control resident goose numbers. That season will be Jan. 3 to Feb. 1, 2004.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials announced the 2003 Statewide Deer Hunting Prospects report.
The report, compiled and released annually, provides hunters a Wildlife Management Unit analysis of what they can expect from the state deer herd. The assessments in the report are compiled by local DNR biologists based on a variety of biological evaluations including estimated previous winter losses, weather conditions and field observations throughout the year.
Biologists estimate that, weather permitting; the deer
harvest will be similar to last year's estimated harvest of 480,000 deer for the hunting seasons combined.
Hunters throughout Michigan who plan to travel for hunting opportunities this year are reminded of the state's continued fight against Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species that destroys ash trees. Hunters who reside in the quarantine counties of Southeast Michigan should observe the state's continued firewood transport ban to help prevent the spread of this pest and ensure the future health and safety of their favorite hunting areas. For more information about the firewood ban and emerald ash borer, visit the state's EAB web site at www.michigan.gov/mda .
Walleyes biting on Miltona and Ida in 40-50 feet of water on minnows. Also try Darling, Carlos and Le Homme Dieu for walleyes in 20-25 feet of water. The cabbage weed edges scattered throughout the Le Homme Dieu Chain are holding crappies. Minnows and plastics your best option. Largemouth bass action is picking up on the shallow weed edges of most area lakes.
Clearwater Lake is producing walleyes in 9-15 feet of water. Cedar and Sugar also producing walleyes in deeper water. For panfish and largemouth bass, try Twin, Sylvia and Pleasant in 10-12 feet of water. Muskie anglers reporting more follows on Sugar. The fish still aren't attacking the baits yet.
Nice walleyes coming out of Bemidji, some between snow showers. Jig and minnow in 25 feet of water and some down to 30 feet. Most fish coming off the shoreline drops and points. Waterfowl opener was good with good numbers of woodies and mallards in the bag, few teal and some goldeneyes. Deer registrations seeing plenty of intensive harvest tags filled with about a half a dozen nice bucks checked in. Grouse numbers reported good, hard freeze should drop some leaves and make hunting easier.
BIG STONE -
Angling on the Minnesota River by the Hwy 75 Dam is good for walleyes on jig and twister or jig and minnow. Duck opener was good on places with water. Deer registrations are up from last year, mostly management tags being filled right now.
Walleye bite spotty, Blackduck bite has been sporadic. Rabideau walleyes and crappies have been hitting. Waterfowl opener was good for pond jumpers, good numbers of ringnecks reported in the bag. Grouse numbers reported good, tough shooting with the leaves.
BOWSTRING LAKE AREA -
The walleye bite has started to pick up. Limits of nice size walleyes are being caught in 9-10 feet of water near the rock pile using a jig and a minnow. Crappies have slowed down but a few can still be caught in deeper water around 15 feet using a jig and a minnow. Northerns continue to hit along the weedlines using spoons or Rapalas.
Brainerd Lakes Area -
A combination of cold temperatures, strong winds, and rain showers made for some harsh fishing conditions this last week in the Brainerd Lakes area. But for those anglers that were willing to brave the elements, North Long, Hubert, Gull and Pelican continued to produce walleyes. The walleyes remained scattered throughout the week. The fish were holding in water depths that ranged from 12-32 feet of water. Just about any type of jig/minnow or Lindy rig combo has been working. The key has been locating the schools of fish. Fast dropping breaks that quickly fall from 15-50 feet of water have been prime locations. Shore fishermen and evening trollers have been reporting good success in 4-6 feet of water well after dark. The shore fishermen have been finding success with creek chubs on three way rigs. The trollers have been pulling #13 to #18 floating raps. The crappies are just starting to show up on the deep weed points. Caught a few nice once on redtails while fishing for walleyes this last week. This action should only improve as the fall progresses.
CHISAGO CITY -
Numbers of sunfish reported in 10-12 feet of water on Sunrise, Little, Center and Chisago. Green Lake producing walleyes in 8-10 feet of water. Bass are active, but scattered throughout the shallow and deep weeds on area lakes.
The change in the weather should turn on the walleyes on most area lakes. Cooler temps will bring fish up shallower. Lindy rigs or jigs fished in 12-24 feet of water with shiners or rainbows should provide the most action. Bass action continues to be very good with most fish being taken along the weedlines with spinnerbaits or surface plugs. Northern continue to hit spinner rigs tipped with pike minnows worked next to the weeds. Crappie and panfish action has been spotty with some fish being found suspended in 18 feet of water, try small jigs and minnows.
DETROIT LAKES -
The walleye bite has really picked up in the Detroit Lakes area. Lindy rigs and minnows or jigs and minnows are turning the majority of the fish. Pelican, Ottertail, Island, White Earth, Round, Big Cormorant, Lizzie and Lida are all producing fish. The bluegills are going well on the deepwater weedlines and humps on small jigs and waxworms. Northern pike continue hitting on area lakes on spoons and sucker minnows. The muskie bite in the area is really taking off on bucktail spinners and large stickbaits. The duck opener was very good in our area and the grouse hunting is picking up as the leaves are really starting to fall off the trees.
Lake trout season closed, but the salmon are showing up for shore fishermen. Some fish reported in the Lester and other area streams. Spoons working off the lake. Yarn flies best bet in the Rivers. More rain would really bring the fish into the river. Best fishing just before sunset. Walleye fishing in the St. Louis River has been good in 10 feet or less.
Goose hunting was good on duck opener.
GRAND RAPIDS -
Angling action for walleyes best on Winnie and Bowstring. Fish up shallow in 3-8 feet of water and hitting jigs tipped with a fathead. The rockpile near grouse bay has been good as well as the river channel. East side of Winnie has been hot. A few crappies coming out of Spider Lake and Sand Lake moving out to 20-25 feet of water on a jig and minnow. Duck opener was sporadic with some hunters having decent shooting on woodies and teal. The hunters jumping beaver ponds had good success.
The onset of cold weather and strong northwest winds churned up the warm waters, dropping the lake surface temperatures 10+ degrees. Anglers are finally reporting lots of activity in the deeper waters, indicating fall fishing patterns may have arrived. Walleyes are hitting jigs with minnow or slip sinker rigs and minnow at 30- to 45-foot depths with some regularity. The east end of Kabetogama and Namakan seem to be the most consistent areas to fish for walleyes and saugers. Northern pike are reportedly very active outside the weedlines, slammin' spoons and spinners. Occasional walleyes are coming out of the weeds for the same artificial offerings. Some reports of lead line using Rapalas produced nice fish prior to the weather changes.
LAKE OF THE WOODS -
Rainy River anglers saw river temperatures at or near 58 degrees this past week. Northerns biting, reports of a 36-inch northern pike caught and released in the river as well as several large sturgeon and sauger. Jigs tipped with emerald shiners brought walleye success in 20 feet of water near Wabanica Church. Walleyes were in the 16- to 18-inch size range. Fishermen reported anchoring and the bite was immediately on. The annual fall shiner run is just barely starting (the walleyes will migrate to more shallow shoreline areas as well as up the Rainy River). Large flocks of Canadian geese have been seen flying over the river, at least 100 geese in each flock. The Northwest Angle and Islands area report awesome walleye fishing in 6-12 feet of water using hammered gold and chartreuse tackle, jigs and spinners. Fishermen report muskies and crappies actively biting. The ducks have moved into this area, lots of bluebills and mallards have been spotted. On the South Shore, bait fishing has been good over the weekend. Anglers report fishing is plentiful by Morris Point Gap and all the way up to Garden Island. A couple slot northerns were caught and released in this area. Fishermen also report plenty of opportunities for walleyes, trolling in the flats. The numbers and size caught varied by
location, but overall the bite was very consistent. The water temperatures are dropping with the air temperatures. Current surface temperatures are running in the low 60s. Sportsmen have had excellent luck duck hunting at the Swift Ditch, Zippel Bay and the Rainy River.
Try Lake Washington for crappies and sunfish in 12-14 feet of water. Madison Lake narrows producing a few walleyes early and late in the day, 18 feet of water. Jig and minnow combinations a great choice. Catfish action on the Minnesota River remains above average.
Sylvia Twin and Clearwater Lake walleyes coming around 18 feet on slip bobbers at night. Archery registration good with a 9-point and a 15-point registered. Duck opener was excellent with good reports of limits. Plenty of mallards and woodducks and some teal reported. Goose hunting also reported good in the area.
MILLE LACS -
Stay near/on the shallow rock reefs in 12 feet of water or less for your best walleye action. The day bite is tough without a walleye chop - the evening/night bite has been much more consistent. The most effective method is split evenly between a leech/slip bobber/jig combination and trolling crankbaits (Rogues, F13's and Rebel Minnows).
Anglers catching fish on Lac qui Parle, fishing closes south of the Milan Bridge October 10. Jigs and minnows and shallow crankbaits on the south end of Lac qui Parle Lake has produced walleyes in 6-8 feet of water. Duck opener reported a variety of ducks in the bag. Good numbers of woodducks reported on the river bottoms. Hunters report seeing good pheasant numbers.
Walleyes being caught on Gull Lake with minnows. Deeper depths during the day, and shallower at night. Bass are also biting on most area lakes.
PARK RAPIDS -
Fish Hook and Potato are producing walleyes in 18-26 feet of water. For pike, try Big Mantrap Lake with sucker minnows along the 12- to 14-foot weed edges. Try the Crow Wing Chain for panfish in 12-14 feet of water.
RAINY LAKE -
The autumn color is at peak, or near peak. Fishing has slowed down a little, but fish are still out there for the patient angler. The average depth walleye are being caught 40 feet or deeper around reef structures. To improve your chances of catching walleye, boat up to the Kettle Falls area and fish near the dam. Where there is current, there will be fish. Fish at around 16-18 feet, use small minnows with a Lindy type snell, or jig. Northern pike are hanging out with the walleye. Smallmouth bass fishing action has slowed down. Try tube jigs or jerk baits, and cast toward rocky, clean bottom shorelines. Bass anglers report catching a few hungry northern pike in these areas as well. The United States Coast Guard's navigational buoys on Rainy Lake will not be removed until around October 14.
SAINT CLOUD -
Best lakes for sunfish and crappies are Becker, Horseshoe and Cedar Island in 8-10 feet of water. The Mississippi River is low, the deeper holes are holding numbers of smallies and a few walleyes. Koronis giving up walleyes in 22-25 feet of water during the day, and in 10-12 feet of water at night. Minnows best during the day, crankbaits best after dark. Grand and Pleasant are good choices for largemouth bass and pike.
SAINT CROIX -
The walleye bite south of Stillwater to Prescott is hot and cold, with some days being great and others slow. According to the average angler the fall bite is not here yet On the good days nice-sized walleyes in the 16- to 18-inch range are being caught mixed in with saugers as well. Best depths have been fairly consistent from weeks past in 18-24 feet and deeper as well. Various presentations working with trolling crankbaits and spinners being most popular, but snap jigging blade baits and plastics as well as rigging large minnows are also taking walleye. The baitfish clouds on the depthfinder are present and then gone indicating a constant baitfish movement, more movement than normal. Y.O.Y. shad are good sized and seeing 16-inch walleye coughing up a five in shad is not unusual. White bass are thick in the shallow river narrows and can be caught easily on a three-way swivel rig (Wolf River Rig) with a silver and black floating minnow imitator style bait. The above sea level mark is 675.2l feet, water clarity is good and temperature is 64 degrees.
Walleyes are going during the day on jigs and minnows in 12-15 feet off the points. Good numbers of fish, with perch in the same areas as the walleyes. Long Lake to the west walleyes are going on shallow cranks trolled or cast in 3-4 feet of water. The Chippewa River near Benson has produced some good catches of walleyes on frogs. The waterfowl opener was better than expected with good shoots reported on local mallards, woodducks and teal. Goose hunters have been having a slower time of it locally. Archery deer tags have been mostly management tags.
LAKE VERMILION AREA -
Go deep with a jig and minnow or downrigger with cranks if you want to catch walleyes on Lake Vermilion. You can still find a few fish in 14-18 feet of water but they are smaller in size. The better fishing right now is in 25-40 feet of water. White, gold and orange seem to be the best colors, and 3/8-1/2 ounce is the choice for weights. Perch or minnow colored floating or shallow shad raps are the choice if you're downrigging. Muskie hunters are proving fishing this time of year can produce monsters if you're willing to brave the elements. A 51.5-inch muskie was caught and released this past week and many in the upper 40¹s were caught and released also. The rock piles and rocky points are the places to concentrate on this time of year and speed trolling big cranks or pitching bucktails is your best choice for success. Small area lakes are producing nice size crappies and you can find them in deep water in their winter haunts. This time of year they are schooled up and once you find the crappies they are easy to catch. Try using jigs and small minnows. Rainbow trout fishing is hot right now and if you want great fishing try trolling small spoons or small cranks in pits or designated trout lakes. Stream trout are very active right now and easy to catch.
Panfish action great. Big bluegills near west Newton off the wingdams on waxies and redworms. Crappies in the same location on minnows. Walleye bite slow, but the striper bite has been good. Northern pike action on sucker minnows still good in the main channel and deeper backwaters. Duck opener was better than the past few years. Good mixed bag, but teal and woodducks were plentiful.
Largemouth bass action good in the weeds and on the rocks. Muskie reports also good on the 12- to 15-foot reefs scattered throughout the lake. Sunfish and crappies biting in the 10- to 12-foot weeds.
Walleyes still going on the deep edge of the weeds in 15-20 on rainbows and shiners on rigs. Some bigger fish coming off the deep rocks in 35-40. Plenty of northern pike action continues, suckers on a spinnerbait still hot. A few accidental muskie catches reported up tight on the big weed flats, bucktails or big spinnerbaits. Panfish action is spotty but the fish are tight in the weeds. Crappies up towards the top, sunfish near the bottom.
Green Lake walleye bite good on minnows in shallow and deep water. Smallmouth bass also biting in 10 feet of water. Try Eagle and Diamond for a few walleyes. Andrew and North Long producing panfish.
Courtesy - Minnesota Office of Tourism
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is gathering input from several sources on potential options to keep Asian carp species, particularly bighead and silver carp, from establishing populations in the Mississippi River upstream of Lock and Dam No. 8 (near Genoa, Wis.) and other Minnesota waters.
The two species of Asian carp are invasive fish spreading to lakes and rivers in several areas of the Mississippi River basin, including rivers in Iowa. Both bighead and silver carp, which can grow to four feet in length and weigh over 60 pounds, reproduce quickly and can establish large populations. Both species are also known to leap several feet out of the water at the sound of a boat motor.
Because bighead and silver grass carp feed on plankton, these fish compete for food directly with native organisms including mussels, all larval fish and some large fish such as paddlefish. Their establishment could also be harmful to native game fish, waterfowl, and other wildlife in the state. In some locations on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers they are replacing large percentages of the native fish.
"We feel these fish represent a very serious threat to the health and use of the Mississippi River and eventually to other state waters," said Jay Rendall, DNR exotic species coordinator. "It's necessary to explore all options in preventing them from establishing populations in any Minnesota waters."
Among those providing input on Asian carp species and potential efforts to limit their spread are: DNR representatives from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geologic Survey, the University of Minnesota, and Smith-Root - a private company that designs fish barriers. Smith-Root recently visited the state at the request of the DNR to tour areas along the Mississippi River where the carp may first appear in the state.
Bighead and silver carp were imported into North America in the early 1970s to remove algae from aquaculture ponds. Silver and bighead carp escaped to open waters of the Mississippi River basin in southern states by the 1980s. Other pathways that could contribute to their spread in Minnesota and other states include the unintentional use of juveniles, which can resemble several species of baitfish, as bait and the illegal release of adult fish into waters.
Boaters and anglers on the Mississippi River below Winona should keep an eye out for the jumping fish. Characteristics of bighead and silver carp include a low-set eye; large upturned mouth without barbells, scaleless head and small scales on the body. "Bighead and Silver Carp Watch" identification cards are available from the DNR Information Center 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) and Minnesota Sea Grant Program (218) 726-8712.
Anyone who sees or catches a bighead or silver carp is asked to report it and bring it to their local DNR fisheries office for identification.
These fish should not be thrown back in the water if they jump into a boat or are caught.
Four species of Asian carp- bighead, black, grass, and silver - are "prohibited exotic species" and their possession, sale, and transportation other than to the DNR is illegal/prohibited.
Biologists with the Minnesota DNR confirmed the discovery of the harmful exotic spiny waterflea in Saganaga Lake in northern Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) after studying samples collected by a summer resident.
Saganaga Lake, located at the end of the Gunflint Trail in northern Cook County, is the third inland water body in the state to be infested with the tiny exotic zooplankton since it was discovered about 20 years ago in Lake Superior. Shortly after its discovery in Lake Superior, the spiny waterflea was also found in Island Lake and Fish Lake. Both of these lakes are about 20 miles northwest of Duluth and popular destinations for anglers who also fish Lake Superior.
The spiny waterflea takes its name from the barbs on a long tail filament, which can catch on fishing lines and downrigger cables. These tiny barbs can also stop small fish from eating this animal.
Biologists hope to monitor the lake to see if the tiny (less than ½ inch long) exotic affects fish populations or other aquatic life in the lake. "We can't really predict what impacts this exotic may have in Saganaga Lake," said Gary Montz, DNR aquatic invertebrate biologist. "Spiny
waterflea can compete with other zooplankton in lakes. They may reduce the numbers of other native waterfleas preferred by fish." Smaller fish can't eat spiny waterfleas, so large numbers of spiny waterflea could have impacts in the food chain. However, larger fish can eat this exotic, so the impacts from this infestation are difficult to predict.
Because of the potential impacts on aquatic life it is important that people visiting infested waters take time to avoid spreading this harmful exotic species. Clumps of spiny waterflea can become entangled in fishing lines, down rigger cable or other gear. While the adult animals will die out of water, the spiny waterflea can produce a resting egg stage, which is resistant to drying and freezing. It is important to clean off any equipment that may have spiny waterflea attached to prevent moving these resting eggs, which can create new populations.
In Minnesota, the spiny water flea is a regulated exotic species and may not be introduced in state waters. State regulations require that anglers drain all lake water from their boats, including live wells, bait buckets and bilge areas before leaving the access of waters infested with spiny waterfleas. Signs reminding anglers and boaters of these preventative actions will be posted at public access areas. Spiny waterflea identification cards are available from the DNR Information Center at 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) and the MN Sea Grant at (218) 726-8712.
The Minnesota Supreme Court on Sept 25 ruled that Minnesota DNR conservation officers may search boats and live wells without probable cause. The ruling reversed a lower court's decision that had prohibited them from conducting inspections of fish in angler's live wells.
"The Supreme Court carefully balanced privacy rights and resource conservation interests," said DNR Enforcement Director Mike Hamm, "and ruled in favor of limited inspections by conservation officers to help sustain our natural resources." The DNR, along with angling and sporting groups, had been very concerned with a lower court decision that stated officers were required to have probable cause to inspect anglers' boats.
"This ruling will help Minnesota conservation officers, who have protected the State resource since 1887, preserve these resources for generations to come, " Hamm said. Fishing plays an important role in the lives of many Minnesotans and the corresponding need for effective regulation to protect the viability of the state's fish and game resources was confirmed today by the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision on this matter, Hamm noted.
The decision does not grant conservation officers powers
beyond that of other law enforcement officers. Instead, recognizes that fishing is largely a recreational privilege and those "who chose to apply for this privilege accept the conditions imposed to the sport of game fishing."
The ruling is consistent with other cases, including Montana's Boyer case in which the Montana Supreme Court ruled "no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy exists when a wildlife enforcement officer checks for hunting and fishing licenses in open season near game habitat, inquires about game taken, and requests to inspect game in the field."
"The ruling recognizes how absurd it would be - because fishing can take hours or even days over broad areas - for conservations officers to individually watch every angler to determine if probable cause existed," Hamm said. This case differs from State v. Larsen (in which the Minnesota Supreme Court prohibited the search of an ice fishing house without probable cause). The court's position is that fish shelters are erected to protect occupants from the elements and often provide eating, sleeping and other facilities that allow for a reasonable expectation of privacy.
That's different than an open boat.
COLUMBUS, OH - It is time for hunters to make preparations for Ohio's upcoming fall wild turkey hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The 16-day fall wild turkey hunting season begins Saturday, October 11 and runs through Sunday, October 26. The fall archery-only wild turkey season opens Monday, October 27 and ends Sunday, November 30. Additionally, Highland County will be open for the first time, bringing to 36 the total number of counties open for fall turkey hunting.
"Although the breeding success for Ohio turkeys was below average for the third consecutive year, Ohio supports an abundant and widespread wild turkey population," said Dave Swanson, ODNR Division of Wildlife turkey management leader. "Hunters should have no problem locating a flock of wild turkeys in any of the open counties." Swanson said Ohio's statewide wild turkey flock now numbers more than 200,000 birds.
Fall wild turkey season hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset during the 16-day regular fall turkey season and one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset during the archery only season. The bag limit is one turkey of either sex per hunter per season. A fall turkey permit is required in addition to a current Ohio hunting license. All harvested turkeys must be taken to an official turkey check station by 8 p.m. the day of harvest.
Dogs may be used to assist in taking wild turkeys during the fall hunting season, but not during the spring season.
Hunters should be aware that because of the increased number of turkey hunting days, the season will partially overlap the Special Area Primitive Season (October 20-25) deer hunt on three state-owned areas: Wildcat Hollow and Salt Fork state wildlife areas, and Shawnee State Forest. Turkey hunting will not be allowed on these areas during those dates. More than 27,000 hunters pursued wild turkeys in the state last fall, harvesting 2,394 turkeys. The first fall wild turkey hunting season in Ohio was in 1996.
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 will now be issued on an alternating, bi-weekly schedule. Three regions will be covered in each report, with the other three reporting the following week.)
Smallmouth bass fishing has been pretty good lately on the Susquehanna River throughout the county. The best lures seem to be those that imitate crayfish and tube-type baits.
Anglers at Beltzville Lake are catching smallmouth bass from the shoreline along the boat rental area. Minnows are the preferred bait. Overall, most other fishing action seems to be slow.
Anglers are doing well catching panfish at Mauch Chunk Lake. Most anglers are using minnows or worms as bait.
The Lehigh River is flowing high due to recent rain. Fishing action has been slow. Some anglers are catching rock bass near the Bowmanstown pool of the river.
Damage was moderate from the hurricane and some streams may be high for a couple days. Those interested in paddling sports may want to be alert for strainers (trees fallen into water). These can be very hazardous, trapping an unsuspecting boater as the force of the stream holds you against the branches. Even if a stream was clear the last time you were on it, things may have changed, especially true after the wind damage to trees caused by Isabel.
Big brown trout are hitting in Loyalsock Creek. Live minnows seem to be working the best right now. A good bet for the fly fishermen are stonefly nymphs.
Most Huntingdon County streams continue to run high and muddy due to recent rains. If the rain holds off and Trough Creek can calm down, the holdover trout should become more active with the cooler temperatures.
The Orbi/Rockhill Sportsmen have been having problems with growing trout that are too large, and will be having an emergency stocking to thin some out in the next week or so. Plans are to stock the Orbisonia section of Blacklog Creek.
The spillway below the Dam on Raystown Lake is alive with many anglers catching nice rock bass. Anglers are all over Raystown Lake, but are reporting limited results.
The Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers continue to run high and muddy, and little fishing is possible at this time.
Holman Lake in Little Buffalo State Park is a good location to check out for fall angling, including fishing for tiger muskellunge. Try using large suckers suspended under a bobber to coax these large predator fish into biting.
Walleye and bass fishing on the most of Susquehanna River in York County has been slow due to the water conditions from all the recent storms. On the other hand, fishing for channel catfish has been very productive below the York Haven Dam and at the PFBC Goldsboro Access. Anglers are using chicken livers, nightcrawlers, shrimp, and cut bait.
Pinchot Lake, Lake Redman, and Lake Williams are producing a few bass and walleye. Anglers are using a wide range of natural and synthetic baits for both species. Crappies are being caught on all three lakes in small numbers on jigs and minnows.
Conneaut Lake: Northern pike are hitting on surface lures and spinners.
Woodcock Creek Lake: Anglers are beginning to pick up a few walleye below the dam. All other fishing is slow.
Allegheny River The river is high and the fishing was not very productive this past weekend. Some smallmouth bass were landed and several anglers reported catching rock bass.
Salmon Creek and East Hickory Creek (Delayed Harvest Area): Water levels are excellent and temperatures are good for productive trout fishing. Most of the other approved trout waters in Forest County still hold many trout from this past spring.
The Clarion River is high but fishable and produces some excellent fall smallmouth bass and trout fishing.
Shenango Lake: Nice crappie are being caught off Golden Run and Stewart’s Bay. The water level is above summer pool, which provides good boating conditions.
Oil Creek: Fishing should be good on both of the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) areas. Try medium to large sized lures or dark colored woolly buggers or streamers to catch large trout. Remember that these areas are catch-and-release only at this time of year.
Allegheny River: Northern pike, musky, and smallmouth bass are being caught with fair success on minnows. White bass are still being caught in the Kinzua Dam tailrace area on a variety of baits. Walleye fishing has not been very good. The river is high and unsettled.
Allegheny Reservoir: The fishing has been poor. Not much of anything being caught.
Approved trout waters: Although these waters have not been stocked recently, some brown trout and rainbow trout are being caught.
Although boaters are still going out for perch and walleye north of Walnut Creek, wind and waves permitting, steelhead are the story now. Significant precipitation this past weekend again has helped to keep the tribs at excellent fishing levels. The water temperatures have dropped significantly and fish have steadily moved in. Even with high muddy conditions, the Walnut Access area was packed this past Sunday. The Manchester Hole and the Project waters were elbow to elbow.
Gov Rendell Signs Exec order to protect & promote outdoor heritage
HARRISBURG: Governor Edward G. Rendell today signed an Executive Order establishing the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hunting, Fishing and Conservation to provide advice on protecting, promoting and enhancing the outdoor heritage of the Commonwealth.
"Pennsylvania is blessed with a rich outdoor heritage and abundant natural resources," Governor Rendell said. "In addition, our outdoor recreational activities help support more than 100,000 jobs and provide significant economic benefits to our state. I am confident that the Council will provide an important voice in our efforts to not only maintain our resources for sportsmen and women, but see that we improve them as well."
Rendell said the Council will consist of between 12 and 21 members, representing a broad-based group of stakeholders who have an interest in the wildlife resources of the Commonwealth. Members of the Council will be appointed to one-year terms and will serve until their
successors have been appointed and qualified.
The Council will work with Robert Miller, the Governor’s Advisor for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation. Miller advises the Governor on matters affecting sportsmen and the management of the Commonwealth’s natural resources by state agencies. As the Governor’s Advocate, Miller will act as a liaison between the Council and the Governor, making recommendations based on a consensus of opinion from Council members and presenting the Governor with the Council’s policy recommendations.
Each year, nearly 2 million people fish in Pennsylvania. Residents and visitors combined to take some 18 million fishing trips in the Commonwealth annually. The USFWS estimates fishing and fishing-related activities generate more than $1.6 billion for Pennsylvania’s economy each year. Hunting also is a major Pennsylvania tradition, as the state sold 1,017,154 general hunting licenses in 2002.
The Executive Order also creates the Governor’s Youth Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation to help enlist a new generation of individuals committed to protecting, promoting and enhancing the state’s outdoors heritage.
DALLAS, Luzerne County - Pennsylvania Game Commission Northeast Region Director Barry Warner announced that the agency is seeking information about the person or persons responsible for killing an immature bald eagle in Athens Township, Bradford County. Warner noted that Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Matthew Grebeck is investigating this incident, and is asking the public for information about the person or persons responsible.
Bald eagles are a state endangered species and, like all birds of prey, protected by both state and federal law.
A resident in the area found the dead eagle in Athens Township on Aug. 30, and reported it to the Game Commission. WCO Grebeck took the eagle carcass to
USFWS Special Agent Barry Jordan, who arranged for a
necropsy to determine cause of death. The necropsy determined that the eagle was shot and likely died where it was shot due to the injuries sustained to its wing. "This was a senseless act," Grebeck said. "To have someone shoot a bald eagle, or any bird of prey, is an absolute shame.
"I am asking the public for help. If anyone knows or hears anything about this illegal shooting, they can call the Northeast Region Office toll free at 877-877-9357. I will be grateful for any and all assistance. Any information we do receive will be held in the strictest confidence."
While the state's bald eagle population has increased by more than 150 % over the past five years, it remains on Pennsylvania's endangered species list.
READING -- Pennsylvania Game Commission officials announced they are seeking information about the shooting of a peregrine falcon in the Mt. Joy, Lancaster County area. Peregrines are a state endangered species and, like all birds of prey, protected by both state and federal law.
The peregrine was wearing a leg band, which identified it as one of the birds that was hatched on the Rachel Carson State Office Building in downtown Harrisburg in 2002.
The peregrine was found injured along the railroad tracks by a rail line inspector. The inspector turned the bird over to Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Jason DeCoskey, who transported the peregrine to Beth Carricato, a wildlife rehabilitator. When the bird was X-rayed, it was determined that its injuries were due to being struck with lead shot. The bird had wounds to the wings, talons and upper body.
"Local vets have offered to donate their time to help this bird recover," WCO DeCoskey stated. "With surgery and a long rehabilitation period, we hope that the bird will make a full recovery and be able to be released next year." DeCoskey turned the information regarding the shooting
over to WCO Jonathan Zuck, who supervises the area where the incident occurred.
"We don't know if this was done intentionally or if the peregrine was shot by mistake," Zuck said. "Due to the appearance and nature of the wounds, we believe the bird was shot in flight on either Sept. 17 or 18. "Our investigation is continuing, but we need the help from the public to crack this case."
Any information regarding this violation should be directed to the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Southeast Regional Office at 877-877-9470 (toll free), and all information will be kept strictly confidential.
The peregrine falcon is widely known as the world's fastest flying bird. This species declined during the early decades of this century in the United States and across the world primarily because of DDT contamination.
A nationwide reintroduction program was initiated by the Peregrine Fund, based at Cornell University, during the 1970s and 1980s. Hundreds of captive-reared young were released in urban areas and from coastal towers in a process known as "hacking." Birds released by this method tend to return to the area to rear their young.
To Protect Pennsylvania’s Coldwater Streams
The Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) has announced the opening of the Coldwater Conservation Grants Program to protect and conserve the health of Pennsylvania’s coldwater ecosystems. The CHP is a cooperative effort of Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited (PATU), the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and the PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).
Applications for grants up to $5,000 will be accepted through December 15, 2003. The Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) urges watershed groups, conservation districts, municipalities and local chapters of Trout Unlimited to apply.
"Recent watershed efforts have dramatically improved the health of waterways in Pennsylvania," DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. "Thanks to grants like those offered by the Coldwater Heritage Partnership, we can sustain these efforts, and address the many streams still facing threats and degradation. This partnership provides the much-needed funding to continue the long-term stewardship of our world-class coldwater streams."
The grants are designed to help develop preliminary assessments that identify the values and threats to the health of coldwater ecosystems. This information can be used as a catalyst for more comprehensive planning or for development of watershed improvement projects.
“Pennsylvania is home to 83,000 miles of rivers and streams,” Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Deputy Executive Director Dennis Guise said. “The CHP program focuses on protecting some of the finest jewels among Pennsylvania’s many precious waters, the Commonwealth’s highly productive, naturally reproducing trout streams.”
Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited President George Mellinger said the Coldwater Heritage Partnership was formed to provide leadership, coordination, technical assistance and funding support for the evaluation, conservation and protection of Pennsylvania’s coldwater streams.
“The Coldwater Conservation Grants are one way to make that happen,” Mellinger said. “The partnership will award grants of up to $5,000 to organizations to outline strategies that best conserve and protect coldwater fisheries.”
Besides offering grants, CHP works to: foster greater public understanding of watershed characteristics and how they affect coldwater ecosystems; identify special areas of concern, such as areas with exceptional water quality and high potential for impacts; and provide technical assistance and financial opportunities to organizations dedicated to protecting our coldwater ecosystems.
All three partnering organizations have contributed funds for the effort. Other groups have come forward to help fund the program, including the Western Pennsylvania Watershed Program (WPWP). “Coldwater resources are a unique heritage that we should leave for the enjoyment of future generations,” states John Dawes of the WPWP. “It is my hope that this grant program will stimulate the desire to protect our coldwater fisheries and conserve these priceless ecosystems.”
Anyone interested in applying to be an elk guide for the upcoming elk hunt should submit a completed application to the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Bureau of Law Enforcement by Friday, Oct. 31. Elk guide permits cost $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents.
Guides may provide assistance in locating or tracking elk, but may not harvest an elk. Permit applications may be obtained from the Game Commission's Harrisburg headquarters by calling 717-787-5740.
The Board of Game Commissioners created the elk guide permit to allow experienced individuals, especially those who live in the elk range or are familiar with the elk herd, to serve as guides for those who receive an elk license. Elk guide permits are not required for those who only plan to aid a successful elk hunter to remove an elk from the field.
"Since only properly licensed hunters may take part in the hunt, and since the agency is awarding only 100 licenses, the guide permit will remove any legal concerns about an elk hunter taking someone along to participate in the hunt," said Michael Dubaich, Game Commission Bureau of Law Enforcement director.
All elk guide applicants are required to attend this year's orientation program on Sunday, Nov. 9. Only those who attend the orientation program will receive an elk guide permit.
"There have been several changes made from last year, including changes in elk management units, and elk hunters and guides will not be permitted to drive or herd elk," Dubaich said. "Therefore, we believe it is important to have all of the elk guides attend the orientation program."
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