Week of October 15, 2007

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National

Bush pushes ahead with North American Government

Plan will bypass and ignore existence of Congress, Constitution

If you're looking to understand what's behind the chatter about Bush's Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) as a possible prelude to a North American Union (NAU), similar to the European Union (EU),  read the 35-page White Paper published recently by the prestigious Hudson Institute called "Negotiating North America: The Security and Prosperity Partnership." This Washington, DC think tank is blunt and detailed in describing where SPP is heading.

 

Here's how Hudson defines SPP's goal: "The SPP process is the vehicle for the discussion of future arrangements for economic integration to create a single market for goods and services in North America." The key words are "economic integration" (a phrase used again and again) into a North American "single market" (another phrase used repeatedly).

 

"Integration" with Mexico and Canada is exactly what North American Union means, but there's a big problem with this goal. "We the people" of the United States were never asked if we want to be "integrated" with Mexico and Canada, two countries of enormously different laws, culture, concept of government's role, economic system, and standard of living.

 

Here's how Hudson explains SPP's process: "The most important feature of the SPP design is that it is neither intended to produce a treaty nor an executive agreement like the NAFTA that would require congressional ratification or the passage of implementing legislation in the United States. The SPP was designed to function within existing administrative authority of the executive branch."

 

Hudson explains further: "The design of the SPP is innovative, eschewing the more traditional diplomatic and trade negotiation models in favor of talks among civil service professionals and subject matter experts with each government. This design places the negotiation fully within the authority of the executive branch in the United States."

 

Indeed, SPP is very "innovative." The arrogance of SPP's "design" to give the executive branch full "authority" to "enforce and execute" whatever is decided by a three-nation agreement of "civil service professionals," as though it were "law," is exceeded only by its unconstitutionality.

 

The Hudson White Paper admits the problem that SPP completely lacks "transparency and accountability." Hudson freely admits "the exclusion of Congress from the process"; constituents who contact their Congressmen discover that Members know practically nothing about SPP.

 

Hudson states that, under SPP, one of the U.S. challenges is "managing Congress." Is Congress now to be "managed," either by executive-branch "authority" or by "dozens of

regulators, rule makers, and officials working with their counterparts" from Mexico and Canada?

 

The Hudson White Paper reminds us that the 2005 Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) document called "Building a North American Community" bragged that its recommendations are "explicitly linked" to SPP. The CFR document called for establishing a "common perimeter" around North America by 2010. Hudson praises the CFR document for "raising public expectations" about what SPP can accomplish. Hudson explains that, while immigration is not an explicit SPP agenda item, "mobility across the border is central to the idea of an integrated North American economic space."

 

"Harmonization" with other countries is another frequently used word. One of SPP's Signature Initiatives is "Liberalizing Rules of Origin."

 

The Hudson Paper reveals SPP's cozy collaboration with "some interest groups and not others." Translated, that means collaboration with multinational corporations, but not with small business or citizen groups. After the heads of state of the United States, Mexico and Canada met in Waco in March 2005 and announced the creation of SPP by press release, the North American Competitiveness Council emerged as "a private sector forum for business input" to SPP working groups. But, according to Hudson, it wasn't merely "private" because it was "given official sanction."

 

After the three amigos met in Cancun in 2006, Bush provided taxpayer funding for a think tank called the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to meet secretly and produce a report called "The Future of North America." That document's favorite catchword is "North American labor mobility," which is a euphemism for admitting unlimited cheap labor from Mexico.

 

The Hudson White Paper states that "SPP combines an agenda with a political commitment." That's exactly why those who want to protect American sovereignty don't like SPP.

 

Among the people who take SPP seriously is Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) who introduced House Congressional Resolution 40 opposing a North American Union and a NAFTA Superhighway, similar resolutions introduced into the state legislatures of 14 states, and Rep. Duncan Hunter's (R-CA) amendment to prohibit the use of federal funds for SPP working groups, which passed the House by the remarkable bipartisan vote of 362 to 63 on July 24, 2007.

 

The Hudson White Paper suggests that it might be "necessary" for SPP to change its name and acronym. It is unlikely that a change of name will silence the American people who are outraged by the SPP's goals and process.

 


Regional

Great Lakes Water Levels for Oct 12, 2007

Weather Conditions

Record warmth early this week was quickly ushered out of the Great Lakes basin by a series of strong cold fronts.  Temperatures fell from near 90 on Monday to the 40s and 50s by Wednesday, with many locations picking up significant rainfall. To date in October the Lake Superior basin has received precipitation each day and only the Lake Erie basin has a rainfall deficit. Seasonable temperatures are on tap for the weekend, with another storm system poised to bring more wet weather to the region early next week.

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior has received persistent precipitation since the beginning of this month, causing it to rise substantially.  Lake Superior is now 2 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 3 to 4 inches lower than last year’s levels, while Lake Ontario is 10 inches below its level of one year ago.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to drop 1 and 2 inches, respectively, over the next month.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are projected to decline 3 to 5 inches during the same period.  Lake Superior is predicted to remain at about the same level as last year over the next few months, but the lower lakes are forecasted to remain below their water levels of a year ago.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be well below average for October. Flows through the St. Clair and Detroit

Rivers are also predicted to be lower than average this month. In addition, flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are expected to be near average.

Alerts

Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Superior basin up until this month, Lake Superior’s water level is still below chart datum and is expected to remain at or below datum over the next six months.  Lake Michigan-Huron is also below chart datum, and is also projected to remain below datum over the next six months.  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. 

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Oct 12

601.0

577.1

573.2

570.7

244.3

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-2

-4

+11

+18

+12

Diff last month

 +6

-3

-6

-7

-5

Diff from last yr

+2

-4

-3

-4

-10


General

Steelhead Hatcheries Cause “Stunning” Loss of Reproductive Ability

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The rearing of steelhead trout in hatcheries causes a dramatic and unexpectedly fast drop in their ability to reproduce in the wild, a new Oregon State University study shows, and raises serious questions about the wisdom of historic hatchery practices.

 

The research demonstrates for the first time that the reproductive success of steelhead trout, an important salmonid species, can drop by close to 40 % per captive-reared generation. The study reflects data from experiments in Oregon’s Hood River.

 

“For fish to so quickly lose their ability to reproduce is stunning, it’s just remarkable,” said Michael Blouin, an OSU associate professor of zoology. “We were not surprised at the type of effect but at the speed. We thought it would be more gradual. If it weren’t our own data I would have difficulty believing the results.”

 

Fish reared in a hatchery for two generations had around half the reproductive fitness of fish reared for a single generation. The effects appear to be genetic, scientists said, and probably result from evolutionary pressures that quickly select for characteristics that are favored in the safe, placid world of the hatchery, but not in the comparatively hostile natural environment.

 

“Among other things, this study proves with no doubt that wild fish and hatchery fish are not the same, despite their appearances,” said Michael Blouin, an OSU associate professor of zoology. “Some have suggested that hatchery and wild fish are equivalent, but these data really put the final nail in the coffin of that argument.” Even a few generations of domestication may have significant negative effects, and repeated use of captive-reared parents to supplement wild populations “should be carefully reconsidered,” the scientists said in their report.

 

Traditionally, salmon and steelhead hatcheries obtained their brood stock and eggs from fish that were repeatedly bred in hatcheries – they tended to be more docile, adapted well to surface feeding, and they thrived and survived at an 85-95 percent level in the safe hatchery environment.

 

More recently, some “supplementation” hatchery operations have moved to the use of wild fish for their brood stock, on the theory that their offspring would retain more ability to survive and reproduce in the wild, and perhaps help rebuild threatened populations.

“What happens to wild populations when they interbreed with hatchery fish still remains an open question,” Blouin said. “But there is good reason to be worried.”

 

Earlier work by researchers from OSU and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife had suggested that first-generation hatchery fish from wild brood stock probably were not a concern, and indeed could provide a short-term boost to a wild population. But the newest findings call even that conclusion into question, he said.

 

“The problem is in the second and subsequent generations,” Blouin said. “There is now no question that using fish of hatchery ancestry to produce more hatchery fish quickly results in stocks that perform poorly in nature.”

 

Evolution can rapidly select for fish of certain types, experts say, because of the huge numbers of eggs and smolts produced and the relatively few fish that survive to adulthood. About 10,000 eggs can eventually turn into fewer than 100 adults, Blouin said, and these are genetically selected for whatever characteristics favored their survival. Offspring that inherit traits favored in hatchery fish can be at a serious disadvantage in the wild where they face risks such as an uncertain food supply and many predators.

 

Because of the intense pressures of natural selection, Blouin said, salmon and steelhead populations would probably quickly revert to their natural state once hatchery fish were removed.

 

However, just removing hatchery fish may not ensure the survival of wild populations. Studies such as this consider only the genetic background of fish and the effects of hatchery selection on those genetics, and not other issues that may also affect salmon or steelhead fisheries, such as pollution, stream degradation or climate change.

 

Blouin cautioned that these data should not be used as an indictment of all hatchery programs.  “Hatcheries can have a place in fisheries management,” he said. “The key issue is how to minimize their impacts on wild populations.”

 

This research was conducted through use of 15 years of DNA tracking technology of fish breeding in Hood River, a mountain stream that flows northward off Mount Hood into the Columbia River. DNA analysis with scales was done with about 15,000 fish since 1991. This research has been supported by the Bonneville Power Administration and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.


Avoid the six most common Winterizing mistakes

Free BoatU.S. Winterizing Guide Available

With winter approaching BoatU.S. Marine Insurance has reviewed its claim files and reports the following six most common mistakes made when winterizing a boat:

 

1. Failure to winterize the engine: Freezing temperatures occur in all 50 states and while they are taken seriously up north, it’s the balmy states of California, Florida, Texas, Alabama and Georgia where boaters are most likely to have freeze-related damage to engine blocks. It routinely occurs to boats stored ashore here. Boats left in a slip are less susceptible to sudden freezing as the surrounding water retains heat longer than air.

 

2. Failure to drain water from sea strainer: If your winterizing plan calls for draining the engine, the seawater strainer must be winterized or residual water could freeze and rupture the watertight seal. Sometimes you won’t know it’s damaged until spring launching and water begins to trickle in.

 

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

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

 

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

 

5. Leaving open boats in the water over winter: Boats with large open cockpits or low freeboard can easily be pushed underwater by the weight of accumulated ice and snow. Always store them ashore.

 

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

 

To get a free copy of the Winterizing Guide go to: http://www.BoatUS.com/Seaworthy  and click on “Winterizing Your Boat,” or call 800-283-2883.


Clean air settlement to cost AEP over $4.6 billion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It will cost giant utility American Electric Power more than $4.6 billion to comply with a settlement with the U.S. government to reduce harmful air pollution from 16 coal-burning power plants, the Environmental Protection Agency said last week.  In what the EPA called the single biggest environmental enforcement  settlement in U.S. history, Ohio-based AEP agreed to end an8-

year lawsuit brought by the federal government for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

 

AEP also agreed to pay $15 million in civil penalties and $60 million in pollution cleanup costs to end the "new source review" case brought by the feds in 1999.

 


Bass Pro Shops opens in Pearland, Texas Oct 18

Bass Pro Shops will celebrate its 46th store’s Grand Opening

October 18 at Pearland, TX.  The new store is located at the crossroads of two major freeways—Beltway 8 and 288.


 

Illinois

State sites opening for youth waterfowl hunting seasons

Youth hunt weekends precede start of regular waterfowl seasons in each zone

SPRINGFIELD, IL - A number of Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas, conservation areas and recreation areas will be open to youth waterfowl hunting during the 2007 North, Central and South Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunts, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today.

 

At most sites, regulations that apply during the regular waterfowl hunting season apply during the Youth Hunt (hunters should check for site-specific regulations, including changes in legal shooting hours).  During the Youth Hunt, the bag limits are the same as during regular seasons.

 

The youth hunt is also open on all private land or waters where a hunter has permission from the landowner or tenant to hunt.

 

As part of the Youth Hunt, hunters age 15 or younger may hunt

ducks, geese, coots and mergansers as long as they are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The accompanying adult cannot hunt these species, but may participate in other open seasons.

 

Youth hunters must have a hunting license. The youth hunter or his or her accompanying adult must have a valid FOID card. The supervising adult does not need to have a hunting license if they are not hunting other species. Youth hunters age 15 or younger are not required to have a state or federal duck stamp.

 

All waterfowl hunters, including those participating in the Youth Hunt, are required to register with the Harvest Information Program. In order to register with HIP, hunters will need to have their hunting license number available. Hunters should register for HIP at the license vendor when they buy their hunting license or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648) or online through the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us .


Indiana

Conservation Officers bust international caviar ring

Most would not view the Hoosier homeland as the base of an illegal six-figure-per-year seafood operation but that's what Indiana Conservation Officers found on the tributaries of the Ohio River, in Vevay.

 

Undercover officers posing as illegal fishermen for 1˝ years infiltrated the ring, the members of which were illegally harvesting and selling caviar from the river's paddlefish.

 

Twelve arrests were made today on a combined 39 felony charges. A charge of "illegal sale of a wild animal" was included in each individual's list of charges. Officers also

confiscated four boats, three vehicles, processing equipment,

fishing equipment and records. Illicit drugs and large sums of cash were also taken from some of those arrested.

 

Technically, caviar is sturgeon eggs; however, there is a shortage of sturgeon in the Caspian Sea, the main source for the culinary delicacy. That has created a lucrative worldwide market for paddlefish eggs, which have a similar taste, look and consistency to the real thing.  One paddlefish can yield $600 to $800 in eggs.

 

Annual income for illegal harvesting is $100,000 to $400,000 per year per fisherman.


Michigan

DNR Basic Archery Instructor Courses Scheduled in November

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering free basic archery instructor (BAI) courses for physical education teachers who are interested in offering archery in their classes.

 

Training dates:

Saturday, Nov. 10, at West Hills Middle School in West Bloomfield, located in Oakland County

Saturday, Nov. 10, at Pigeon Community Center in Pigeon, located in Huron County

Tuesday, Nov. 13, at North Dickinson County School in Felch, located in Dickinson County

 

Teachers attending the sessions can receive .7 SB-CEUs from the Michigan Department of Education.  Classes scheduled on Nov. 10 will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The class on Nov. 13 will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Central Standard Time. Each eight-hour session is for physical education teachers who wish to join the DNR’s Archery in the Schools program.

Archery in the Schools introduces international-style target archery to students in 4th through 12th grade physical education classes. The in-school curriculum’s core content covers archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement. To date, more than 180 schools across Michigan have implemented the program.

 

“Target archery is a safe sport, in which students of all skill levels can be successful regardless of age, size or physical ability,” said Mary Emmons, coordinator for the Archery in the Schools program. “Incorporating archery as a school sport choice in the physical education curriculum creates an opportunity to engage students who otherwise may not participate in traditional athletics, and is an individual sport they can enjoy throughout their lifetime.”

 

To register for this BAI class or for more information on Archery in the Schools, contact Mary Emmons at 517-241-9477 or by email at emmonsm@michigan.gov . Information also is available online at www.michigan.gov/dnrarchery .

 


Minnesota

Lake Mille Lacs walleye net catches lower than expected

While the walleye population in Lake Mille Lacs remains healthy, it may be smaller than expected, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

 

This fact was discovered during recent routine test netting to monitor the size and abundance of walleye. The DNR reports near-shore test nets caught only half as many walleye as the long-term average from 1983-2006. Nets placed in deeper water also caught fewer walleye than previous years.

 

"Lake Mille Lacs continues to have a large number of walleye in a wide range of sizes," said DNR Fisheries Chief Ron Payer. "That's good. And we expected some decline in walleye numbers based on a number of factors, including a weak 2004-year class of walleye. But the magnitude of this year's decline was unanticipated."

 

Payer said near-shore net catches this autumn averaged 7.2 walleye per net. This compares to an average of 15.4 from 1983-2006. Last year's catch rate was 20.4 walleye per net. The DNR did not catch as many medium- and large-sized walleye as expected. He attributed the decline, in part, to higher than normal mortality due to unusually warm water temperatures, especially in June. Higher water temperatures stress fish and hooking mortality increases as water temperature increases.

 

Payer said anglers should know Mille Lacs continues to hold good numbers of spawning-sized fish. Still, the new data means the DNR will need to revisit regulations to ensure the lake's walleye harvest stays within the safe harvest level and the state's allocation. No walleye harvest overage will be allowed in 2008 due to the lower than anticipated number of walleye in recent population assessments.

 

Lake Mille Lacs is managed differently than any other lake in

Minnesota. Its safe harvest level is set following meetings

between the DNR and Chippewa Indian bands that signed the 1837 Treaty. Fisheries biologists have estimated that 549,000 lbs. of walleye can be safely harvested from Mille Lacs from Dec. 1, 2006, through Nov. 30, 2007. The eight bands set their harvest at 100,000 lbs., leaving 449,000 lbs. for non-band anglers.

 

The state may take up to 22 % more than the allocation of 449,000 lbs. Currently state-licensed anglers have harvested about 470,000 pounds, which is more than the allocation but within the 547,800-pound cap.

 

Current regulations on Mille Lacs allow anglers only to keep walleye between 14 and 16 inches, and not more than one walleye longer than 28 inches. The limit is four. This regulation is more restrictive than the regulation that was in effect during the early part of the fishing season because the estimated walleye harvest exceeded 365,000 pounds by July 1, a threshold that triggered a need for a regulation change to stay within the harvest cap. That regulation is scheduled to expire on Nov. 30 and a 20- to 28-inch protected slot would go into effect on Dec. 1.

 

Payer said DNR Fisheries managers recently met with the Lake Mille Lacs Advisory Group to discuss fishing options for this winter. No decisions were made at that meeting though participants attending the meeting favored retaining the 20- to 28-inch protected slot starting Dec. 1. This regulation would include a bag limit of four and only one walleye 28 inches or larger.

 

A final decision on winter regulations will be made next week. Regulations for the 2008 open water season will be established in February 2008 and go into effect with the walleye opener on May 12.

 


Second bighead carp netted

Continued need for Prevention efforts on the Mississippi River

The capture of a second bighead carp in Lake Pepin last week does not suggest the invasive fish has established itself in Minnesota waters, but it does reiterate the critical need for federal help to slow the northward spread of Asian carp, according to the Minnesota DNR.

 

"It's unfortunate that a second bighead carp was found in Lake Pepin," said Kevin Stauffer, DNR area fisheries supervisor in Lake City. "But this is only the second adult fish we have confirmed in four years and we have not had any indication of an established population or reproduction."

 

A commercial seine operation targeting buffalo and common carp in Lake Pepin netted the 39.4-inch, 28.7-lb. bighead carp on Oct. 3 near Frontenac. Following the provisions of a new state law enacted this year, the commercial fisherman who netted the fish immediately reported it to the Lake City DNR fisheries office. DNR fisheries staff responded to the call and positively identified the fish, which was still alive, as a bighead carp.  The first confirmed bighead carp in Lake Pepin was captured in October 2003.

According to fisheries biologist reports from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, the northern-most established population of bighead carp is in Pool 16, which is near Muscatine, Iowa. With the exception of the two fish from Lake Pepin and one from the St. Croix River in 1996, there are no confirmed reports of bighead carp north of Pool 16.

 

Bighead carp, which were brought to the United States in 1960s and 1970s for aquaculture, escaped into natural waterways during Missouri's major floods in 1993. The fish are considered threats to aquatic resources because bighead carp feed on the small organisms that are the primary food source for many native species of fish, mussels and other aquatic species. Adults can weigh as much as 100 lbs. Their sheer size, combined with their reproductive capacity, means that the invasive fish would consume more of the food on which native species depend.

 

"Prevention is the first phase of battling invasive species," said Jay Rendall, DNR invasive species prevention coordinator. "A barrier project could help prevent unabated upstream movement of invasive fish and allow the DNR and other resource management agencies time to determine what additional steps can be taken to stop the potential spread."


DNR announces 2007 whitefish-tullibee sport-netting dates and regulations

The Minnesota DNR has announced the 2007 dates for the start of the whitefish-tullibee sport-netting season and a new regulation related to lakes that contain spiny waterfleas.

 

Lakes in which recreational netting for whitefish-tullibee is allowed are scheduled for netting based on water temperature. As the water temperature cools, game fish head to deeper water and whitefish-tullibee come to shallow water for fall spawning. Netting is allowed when there is little chance that game fish populations would be negatively impacted by recreational netting in shallow water.

 

Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to factors that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses and other public places. Schedule II Lakes, which are less susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed as follows:

• Schedule II A lakes will be open from Friday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Dec. 2

• Schedule II B lakes will be open from Friday, Nov. 2,

through Sunday, Dec. 9

• Schedule II C lakes will be open from Friday, Nov. 9, through Sunday Dec. 9.

 

Because of changing water temperatures and pending rule changes expected to be enacted during the 2007 sport-netting season, recreational netters should keep up to date with complete lake lists and the schedules when whitefish-tullibee netting is allowed by regularly visiting the regulations page at files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/fishing/whitefish_ciscoes

_netting.pdf

 

Because of these pending rule changes, recreational netters should regularly check for up-to-date info at: files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/fishing/whitefish_ciscoes

_netting.pdf

 

A copy of the preliminary 2007 whitefish-tullibee regulations is available by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296 6157 in the Twin Cities metro area or toll-free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) in greater Minnesota.

 


New York

DEC Closes Fishing on the West Canada Creek due to Drought Conditions

Because of dry conditions and low water levels in Hinckley Reservoir, flows into West Canada Creek have been reduced to record low levels. As a result, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be issuing emergency regulations closing this renown trout stream to all fishing from its mouth (the Mohawk River) upstream to the dam at Trenton Falls.

 

The regulations affect a 28-mile section of the Creek, take effect immediately, and run through Nov. 30, the end of the regular season. However, catch-and-release fishing will be allowed beginning Dec. 1 on a stretch of the creek beginning at Trenton Falls Dam and running downstream for 2.5 miles to the Cincinnati Creek.

 

The low flows impact West Canada Creek's important trout

fishery in many ways. Chiefly, low water in the riffles impede fish passage and, as a result, trout and other fish are forced to concentrate in deeper pools. This makes them vulnerable to stress related to too-warm water temperatures, reduced food supplies and, potentially, low oxygen levels. The trout population would also be subjected to increased levels of angler catch rates and harvest.

 

It is hoped fall rains will relieve the low water conditions in Hinckley Reservoir and allow discharges into West Canada to be returned to normal, higher levels. The emergency regulations are designed to protect the trout fishery through the current stressful conditions, which will ensure a return to quality angling next spring and summer. DEC fisheries and law enforcement staff will be on the river beginning this weekend to advise anglers of the emergency regulations and suggest alternate fishing locations.


Ohio

Marshall new Ass't Chief of Wildlife

COLUMBUS, OH - Jim Marshall has been appointed to the position of Assistant Chief of the department's Division of Wildlife. Marshall has 28 years experience with the Division of Wildlife, and has served as District Four (southeast Ohio) Manager for the past 11 years. As District Manager, he supervised all four main program areas: Wildlife Law Enforcement, Fish Management, Wildlife Management, and Information & Education. He was also responsible for District Four's business operations and human resource functions. Mr. Marshall has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries

Management from The Ohio State University.

 

"Ohio is looking to the future, looking to broaden its outreach to youth and women hunters, and to growing its available hunting lands," said Dave Graham, Chief of ODNR's Division of Wildlife. "Jim Marshall has nearly three decades worth of experience working with sports clubs of all sizes and types and he has established strong relations with most of the largest holders and managers of public hunting lands in Ohio."


Lake Erie Advisory Group seeks new members

Nine seats on Coastal Resources Advisory Council Up For Renewal in February

SANDUSKY, OH - Local decision makers and others with an interest in the future of Lake Erie and its watershed are encouraged to apply for an appointment to the Ohio Coastal Resources Advisory Council.

 

Nine council seats are currently up for renewal or appointment.  All are for terms that begin February 2, 2008 and end February 1, 2012. The Ohio DNR will review all applications, with final appointments made by the agency's

director.

 

The mission of the 19-member council is to advise the director of Ohio DNR on the Ohio Coastal Management Program and to promote, protect, enhance and encourage the wise use of Lake Erie's coastal resources and watershed.

 

Applications are available online at www.ohiodnr.com/coastal or by contacting the ODNR Office of Coastal Management at 419-626-7980. Applications sent to the Office of Coastal Management must be postmarked by November 1.


Wildlife Dept provides many youth hunting opportunities

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio's youth hunters now have several added opportunities to learn and practice their hunting skills this fall. The Ohio DNR is offering expanded ways for families to hunt together and to create lasting traditions in the state’s outdoors.

 

SMALL GAME: Hunters age 17 and younger may hunt for rabbit, pheasant and all other legal game in season during two designated weekends, October 20-21 and October 27-28 statewide.  Quail may also be taken in open counties.

 

Pheasant releases for young hunters will occur prior to these dates on the following state wildlife areas: Resthaven, Oxbow, Berlin, Killdeer Plains, Camp Belden, Grand River, Spencer, Wellington, Delaware, Dillon, East Fork, Caesar Creek, Rush Run, Fallsville and Darke - and at the Charlemont Metropark in Lorain County.

 

WHITE-TAILED DEER:  A youth deer-gun season will be open statewide, November 17- 18. Young hunters age 17 and younger who are accompanied by a non-hunting adult may take one deer of either sex during this season, in accordance with existing bag and deer zone limits.

WILD TURKEY: It is not too early to be planning to participate in the spring youth wild turkey hunting for 2008.  A statewide spring youth wild turkey season will be offered on Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20.  This hunt is open to youths age 17 and younger.

 

CONTROLLED HUNTS: The Division of Wildlife offers several controlled hunts for young hunters throughout the hunting season: applications to participate in these hunts are accepted June 1 through July 31.  Applications are available at district offices and on the division’s Web site and may be completed by mail or online.  There are controlled youth hunts for white-tailed deer, wild turkey and waterfowl.

 

All young hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, and must abide by all regular hunting hours and bag limits. A valid 2007-08 youth hunting license, along with the appropriate permits, are required.  For complete details on all of Ohio’s youth hunting seasons, refer to 2007-2008 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, call 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543) or go online to www.wildohio.com.

 

 


Pennsylvania

Fall firearms deer season making a difference

HARRISBURG - The Commonwealth's October firearms antlerless deer seasons - early muzzleloader season, Oct. 13-20, and special firearms for junior and senior hunters, Oct. 18-20 - are just around the corner and many hunters are spending more time afield to prepare for them, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

 

"It's been seven years since Pennsylvania held its first October antlerless deer muzzleloader season; six for the special firearms antlerless season," said Calvin DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director. "Both have been warmly received by tens of thousands of deer hunters, because they have created additional hunting opportunities and a chance for more hunters to get some venison in the freezer before Thanksgiving.

 

"There is no doubt these seasons provide Pennsylvanians more ways to fit deer hunting into their busy schedules, and offer a more relaxing hunt to people who dislike cold weather and woods filled with large numbers of hunters."  But the October firearms seasons are so much more than another time and another way to hunt deer, emphasized DuBrock.

 

"These October firearms seasons are part of our deer management strategy to stabilize whitetail numbers in most areas of the Commonwealth, and in the process, improve forested wildlife habitat and deer health, and reduce crop damage and other deer-human conflicts," DuBrock said.   "Although the October antlerless seasons increase hunting

opportunities, their harvests still are controlled by antlerless deer license allocations, which are set to remove a pre-determined number of antlerless deer from a Wildlife Management Unit (WMU).

 

"These October seasons contribute to a balance Pennsylvania has long-strived for, but only recently realized through deer program changes. Today, Pennsylvania is better for it. And tomorrow, it will be better yet."

 

Hunters heading afield for the October firearms seasons should find fair to good numbers of deer in most areas, but others will support substantially less or more, depending upon how close you are to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, or if you hunt exclusively on crowded State Game Lands or other lands open to public hunting. Agency field officers are offering their observations - even some where-to-go information - in the Game Commission's "Field Officer Game Forecasts," found on the agency's homepage at www.pgc.state.pa.us . Visit for a closer-to-home overview of what is going on afield.

 

Last year, hunters took 12,300 deer in the early muzzleloader season and 8,500 in the special firearms season, based on the agency's Game-Take Survey. Those figures compare with 12,200 in the 2005 October muzzleloader season and 6,400 in the special firearms season. The combined total of both October firearms seasons comprised less than 10 percent of the 2006 antlerless deer harvest, which was 226,270.

 


Wisconsin

Spotted muskies to be stocked in Green Bay, Winnebago system

GREEN BAY – Wisconsin’s effort to reintroduce Great Lakes strain muskellunge to Green Bay and the Winnebago system already has anglers catching bragging-size muskies, and those popular fisheries will get a boost this week as nearly 900 large yearling fish are to be stocked at about a dozen sites.

 

The musky, also known as “spotted” musky, will be stocked in the Fox, Menominee, and Peshtigo rivers, in Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay, and Sand Bay. Little Sturgeon Bay, Suamico,

Little Lake Butte des Mortes, and Pensaukee, Poygan, and Butte Des Morts lakes, according to Mike Donofrio, Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor at Peshtigo.

 

The fish are 20 to 24 inches long, having grown bigger at the old Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery while awaiting the green light for stocking. They were originally planned for stocking at a smaller size in spring 2007, but were kept at the hatchery longer to assure they were free of a new deadly fish disease, viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS.


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