Week of October 20 , 2003

National

Regional

General

Lake Erie

Indiana

Michigan

Minnesota

New York

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

       Weekly News Archives

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National

Fish and Wildlife study shows economic benefits of wildlife refuges

WASHINGTON , AP— People living near the nation's 542 wildlife refuges also gain from the protected wildlife habitat, according to a government study that touts the economic benefits of the refuge system.

 

The study by the USFWS finds 35.5 million people visited the nation's 542 refuges in 2002, up 42 % from 24.9 million visitors in 1995, bringing a huge boost in spending and jobs to communities located just outside the refuges.

 

Those visits fueled $809 million in spending in 2002 at locales near public lands within the National Wildlife

Refuge System, a 70 % increase from the $473 million spent in 1995, the study says. They also helped create 18,728 non-federal jobs in 2002, up 84 % from 10,169 jobs in 1995, it says.

 

J. Steven Griles, the Interior Department's No. 2 official, said the figures reflect a recent national trend: Visits to national parks have "leveled off," while those to refuges and other public lands are "skyrocketing." "I think it's a change in people's habits in where they want to go. They want to be in environments where they're not so structured," he said. "When they go to a refuge, they can go bird watching, they can go trail walking, they can go hunting and fishing."


Regional

Chicago, New Orleans Boat Shows reel in Champion Female angler

CHICAGO, - - Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show and New Orleans Boat Show attendees will have an opportunity to learn fishing techniques from one of the top female anglers in the world.  Mary T. DiVincenti, the 2003 World Champion of Women’s Bass Fishing, will lead fishing seminars at both shows for the next two years, after signing an agreement with show organizer National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

 

 With more than 17 years of angling experience, Mary has a vast amount of knowledge to share with show attendees.

DiVincenti will lead fishing seminars throughout the events, but will also be a featured guest as part of the "Women at the Helm" program at the Chicago Show, which is being held to encourage more women to participate in boating and fishing.

 

DiVincenti has participated in professional tours for twelve years.  In addition to her 2003 World Championship, her other accomplishments include: the record for catching the

 

largest Smallmouth Bass in a World Bass Fishing Association (WBFA) Tournament; Lady BASS Second Place Rookie of the Year in ’91-‘92, 1996 LA Pro Winner’s Trail “Classic” Champion; 1998 “Classic Star” World Championship Qualifier; and a five-time WBFA Qualifier.

 

The Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show will be held January 21-25, 2004 at McCormick Place.  For more information, visit www.chicagoboatshow.com , or contact Faulk at (312) 946-6242; jfaulk@nmma.org .

 

The New Orleans Boat Show will be held February 4-8, 2004 at the Superdome.  For more information, visit www.neworleansboatshow.com , or contact show manager Barbara Sclafani at (504) 780-1818; bsclafani@nmma.org .

 

The world's biggest producer of consumer boat shows and boating industry events, NMMA produces 19 consumer shows throughout North America, as well as the Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS) and the International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference (IBEX). Learn more about NMMA at www.NMMA.org


General

Pure Fishing™ announces the acquisition of Sevenstrand Tackle Corp

SPIRIT LAKE, IOWA  - Pure Fishing Inc. announced that it has purchased the assets of Sevenstrand Tackle Corporation effective October 1, 2003 to enhance its position in the saltwater market.

 

Sevenstrand Tackle Corporation is a leading manufacturer and marketer of wire, crimping sleeves and offshore fishing lures. Since its establishment in 1936, Sevenstrand been known for high performance in the salt water fishing-market.

 

Tom Bedell, Chairman of the Board at Pure Fishing stated, "We are very excited about the acquisition of Sevenstrand and the opportunity it provides Pure Fishing to expand our presence in the saltwater market and solidify our saltwater platform." Bedell concluded, "Pure Fishing's mission of Building the World's Best Fishing Tackle Company represents a total commitment to the future of fishing. The acquisition of Sevenstrand proves this commitment has never been stronger."

 

The acquisition provides several important benefits to customers and consumers. It accelerates development of Pure Fishing brands in the saltwater market (Berkley, Abu-Garcia~

Fenwick, Mitchell, Johnson, and Spider); it enables superior products to be marketed to the saltwater angler; and it permits better technologies to be leveraged in those products.

 

Bill Buchanan, former owner of Sevenstrand Tackle Corporation and newly appointed Saltwater Division President at Pure Fishing said, "The combination of Pure Fishing's research, superior products and customer service with Sevenstrand's tradition of creating new and innovative saltwater products will be a tremendous benefit to our customers." Buchanan went on to say ,I look forward to being  responsible for implementing Pure Fishing's direction in the saltwater market."

 

Pure Fishing has followed a long tradition of continual growth established by the company's founder, former Congressman Berkley Bedell, since 1937. Recent growth under the leadership of Tom Bedell, the founder's son, has accelerated. Growth over the past decade has come as a result of acquisitions and advances in technology leading to superior products.

 

For more information call 877- 777-3850 or visit the Pure Fishing websites:  www.abu-garcia.com , www.berkley-fishing.com , www.johnsonfishirig.com , www.fishmitchell.com , www.spiderwire.com  or www.7strand.com


Lake Erie

Lake Erie Walleye Limits for 2004

Ohio

The Ohio Wildlife Council reduced the walleye bag limit in March and April from 4 fish to 3 on the Ohio waters of Lake Erie. The rest of the year the bag limit will remain at 6 fish. The OWC also established a year-round 15" walleye size limit and banned the keeping of Lake Erie smallmouth bass from May 1 to the third Saturday in June.

 

Michigan

Closed its Lake Erie walleye season from April 1 to May 31, increased its walleye size limit from 13" to a minimum of 15" and reduced the daily bag limit from 6 to 5 walleye. Detroit River walleye fishing will be open all year.

 

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania raised the minimum size limit to 18" with a daily bag limit reduced from 6 to 4. Its walleye season remains the same, with fishing allowed from the first Saturday in May to March 15 of the following year.

New York

The daily walleye bag limit in the New York waters of Lake Erie has been reduced from 5 to 4 fish per day, with a 15" size limit and shuts down walleye fishing on its lakes, rivers and streams from March 15 to the first Saturday in May when walleyes are spawning.

 

Ontario

Ontario will be the last to announce how it will reduce its annual walleye catch. With the bulk of the Ontario harvest allocated to its large commercial fishery I Ministry of Natural Resources officials will set commercial quotas after the Lake Erie Committee meeting in March 2004.

 

Wild card factors include:

Poor reproduction in 2000

2002 Poor weather in 2002

Invasive species

Ontario's gill nets


Indiana

IN - Pheasant hunts scaled back

at J. Edward Roush Lake (Huntington Reservoir)

This summer's heavy rains will squeeze put-take pheasant hunting at Roush Lake.

 

The "put-take" pheasant hunts scheduled to start Nov. 22 will be cut back for daily participation. The number of hunters allowed in the field each day will be lessened. Previous years a maximum of 250 people per day was allowed. This year the maximum will be 190

Habitat loss at the lake was severe this year. Floodwaters reached 51 feet and nearly destroyed all wildlife plantings in low areas. Areas where nothing survived will be replanted in future years. Roush Lake staff estimate it may take 5 to 10 years to reach the earlier level of vegetation.

 

Hunters who usually visit Roush Lake are encouraged to participate at other properties that host put-take pheasant hunts. For more information on alternate sites, see the 2003-2004 DNR Hunting Guide.


Michigan

MI - Cool approves Lake Erie fishing regulations

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director K.L. Cool approved walleye fishing regulations for Lake Erie, designed to help sustain what is considered to be the nation's finest natural walleye fishery.   The Director's Order, drafted over several months of cooperation with myriad

 

Lake Erie fishing interests and approved at the regular monthly meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing, represents compromise between fishing interests and fishery managers. Each state bordering Lake Erie, and Canada, agreed to reduce its total annual walleye harvest by 40 % through a self-selected combination of actions.

 

Lake Erie walleye anglers in Michigan waters presently are allowed to fish throughout the year, observing a 13-inch minimum size limit and keeping up to six fish. The new regulations, effective April 1, 2004, will close the walleye

season from April 1 to May 31, increase the size limit to 15-inches, and reduce the daily bag limit to five fish.

 

Anglers on the Detroit River will observe identical size and daily bag limits, but the fishery will remain open year round. Lake St. Clair and St. Clair River walleye fishing regulations will remain unchanged.

 

The orders will remain effective through 2009, but will be reviewed annually

 

"We are blessed to have the finest natural walleye fishery in the country on our Southeast shores," Cool said. "Our science indicates that we are on the verge of seeing a dramatic decrease in Lake Erie walleye populations, caused mostly by seasonal impacts to reproduction during the past few years. By managing this unique resource proactively with regulations that accommodate anticipated population shortfalls, we can be assured that Lake Erie will remain a world-class destination for walleye."

 


MI - Fisheries researchers expect two new vessels by 2005

Fisheries researchers at the DNR hope to have two new vessels on the water for Great Lakes fish assessments by 2005. The DNR has been authorized to spend up to a million dollars to replace two vessels in the agency's four-vessel fleet.

 

"The ones at Alpena and Marquette were identified as in most urgent need of replacement," said Phil Schneeberger, a researcher at the Marquette Fisheries Station. "Both are more than 50 years old." The DNR also maintains vessels at Charlevoix and Lake St. Clair.

"There are safety concerns," Schneeberger said. "They're steel vessels that have some hull issues. They're just

getting to the point that maintenance is costly and not effective. "And they're slow. The top speed for the Marquette vessel is 10 knots. As you know, ports are few and far between in Lake Superior. It really limits where we can operate safely and what we can do out there."

 

Shipyards say it will take up to a year to build the aluminum vessels, which will be 55 ft long with a 16-ft beam. They are designed to handle gill nets, trap nets and trawls. They will not contain sleeping quarters, but will be equipped with fold-away bunks.

 

The DNR, however, is running into financial issues. Money for the vessels was appropriated from the Game and Fish Protection Fund several years ago, but the estimated cost of the vessels has risen to about $850,000 each.


MI - Hunters reminded of firewood hazard

State conservation officials today reminded hunters preparing to travel this season of the potential threats to forest health that can be transported in firewood.

 

Leading the state's list of concerns is the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species that has killed millions of ash trees throughout Southeast Michigan. State officials also have discovered pockets of EAB infestation in communities throughout the Lower Peninsula. In each case, the infestation was tied to firewood or nursery stock transport from the state's quarantine counties.

 

Hunters should observe the ban on transporting firewood from quarantine areas.

 

"Michigan is home to nearly 700 million ash trees, and this invasive insect has the proven ability to jeopardize the entire resource," said DNR Director K.L. Cool. "Containing Emerald Ash Borer requires the help of every Michigan hunter, angler, camper and outdoor enthusiast. If you accidentally allow this insect to hitchhike out of the quarantine zone by bringing firewood to your camp, you have potentially exposed your favorite recreation site to a serious threat."

Emerald Ash Borers lay their eggs in the bark of ash trees. When larvae hatch, they feed throughout the fall and winter on the tree's vascular layer, just beneath the bark. This destroys the tree's ability to distribute water to its branches.

 

The larvae develop through winter and emerge the following spring as adult borers, leaving D-shaped exit holes in the bark and flying off to repeat the cycle. Because of the insect's extended development cycle, visible damage to trees is often a sign of a long-standing infestation.

 

"Even firewood that looks normal has been found to harbor EAB larvae," Cool said. "The best way to avoid jeopardizing the health of our forests is simple: use only local firewood."

 

Travelers who accidentally transport ash firewood are instructed to burn all firewood before returning home. State officials encourage anyone with questions to visit the state's EAB web site, www.michigan.gov/mda , or report concerns or accidental firewood transport by calling the EAB hotline at 1-866-325-0023.

 


MI - DNR hosts open house on Cadillac area forests

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host an open house Oct. 22 to provide information and receive public comment on forest management treatments proposed for 2005 in the Cadillac Management Unit.

 

The open house, from 4-7 p.m. at the DNR Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center, is an opportunity for the public to review proposed treatments and provide input toward final decisions on those treatments. It also provides the public an opportunity to talk with foresters and biologists about issues of interest.

 

Each year, DNR personnel inventory and evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. The information gathered includes the health, quality and quantity of all vegetation; wildlife and fisheries habitat and needs; archaeological sites; mineral, oil and gas activities; recreational use; wildfire potential; social factors, including proximity to roads and neighborhoods; and use on adjacent lands, public or private. Proposed treatments are then designed to ensure

the sustainability of the resources and ecosystems.

 

Each management unit is divided into smaller units or compartments to facilitate better administration of the resources. The Cadillac open house and compartment review will focus on: Cherry Valley, Eden and Webber townships in Lake County; Bloomfield, Forest, Holland, Norwich, Reeder, and West Branch townships in Missaukee County; Cedar township in Osceola County; and Greenwood and Liberty townships in Wexford County.

 

Maps and information regarding the proposed treatments, available at the open house, also can be accessed at www.michigan.gov/dnr , or by calling William Sterrett, Cadillac Unit Manager, at 231-775-9727 Ext. 6046.

 

The formal compartment review to finalize prescriptions for these areas is scheduled Nov. 5, beginning at 9 a.m. at the DNR Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center.  Persons with disabilities needing accommodations for meetings should contact William Sterrett.


MI - Low lake levels impact waterfowl hunting

State conservation officials reported that waterfowl hunters throughout Saginaw Bay will see low lake levels that could make for challenging hunting conditions this hunting season. 

 

Lake Huron is currently 23' below the long-term average and 12' below last year's lake level. The Great Lakes are all beginning their seasonal decline, which will likely reduce the water level on Lake Huron another 1-3' this fall.

 

Many of the hunting zones will not be flooded at the Nayanquing Point and Fish Point state wildlife areas for the Oct. 11, 2003 waterfowl opener in the South Zone. Local managers report that many of the pump intakes are still above the water, making it impossible to flood the fields. Unless a major wind shift occurs and managers are able to resume pumping, conditions are not likely to improve before the weekend.

 

Hunting conditions are somewhat improved at the Shiawassee River SGA. Most hunting zones are expected

 

to be flooded for the opening weekend, but hunters will discover less water in the fields than in previous years. Waterfowl hunting opportunities at the Quanicassee, Wigwam Bay, Crow Island, and Wildfowl Bay wildlife areas along the Saginaw Bay will also be difficult. Hunters will notice drier conditions than previous years.

 

Waterfowl hunters are encouraged to scout boat launch conditions prior to their hunting since access to water may be difficult, especially for large watercraft owners.  Shifting winds can cause lake water to recede or rise very quickly.  Boat owners should use caution to avoid being stranded on sand bars.

 

Despite low water conditions, duck and goose numbers are currently very good. Hunters who scout and adapt their hunting techniques to shallow water conditions should expect good hunting success this year.

 

For more information about current hunting conditions, hunters can call:  Fish Point (989) 674-2511, Nayanquing Point (989) 697-5101, or the Shiawassee River (989) 865-6211 managed waterfowl area offices.


MI - Fundraising Event and Awards Dinner

The Benzie County Sportfishing Association will be holding their Annual Fall Banquet at Money's Platte River Inn, in Honor, Michigan on Saturday, November 1, 2003. 

Event Particulars include:
Annual Fall Banquet at Money's Platte River Inn, in Honor, MI  Sat, Nov.  1, 2003. 
Cocktails at 6:30 PM, Buffet dinner at 7:00 PM.

 

Dinner Tickets are $20.00.  You do not have to be a Member to attend.all are welcome!  Tickets can be

reserved by calling the BCSFA Hotline at 231-352-7002, or purchased at the door, the night of the event.

There will be 50/50 drawings, Door Prizes, and the numerous awards for "prize winning" Benzie County Brown Trout and Salmon caught during this past year by Association Members.

For more info contact Brian or Chris Murphy at the Frankfort Tackle Box, 231-352-7273, Wes Newberry (BCSFA President) at 231-920-1556 or the Benzie County Sportfishing Association Hotline at 231-352-7002.


Minnesota

MN - Fishing Report, Oct 15

ALEXANDRIA -

 Ida and Miltona producing walleyes in 30-40 feet of water. Try a jig and minnow on Reno in 12-14 feet of water, or a crankbait in 8-10 feet of water. Reports of Lake Darling producing crappies.

 

ANNANDALE -

 Clearwater Lake producing northern pike, crappies and walleyes. Largemouth bass remain active on Cedar, Pleasant and Sugar in 12-16 feet of water. Try Lake Sylvia for some panfish action, mainly sunfish and some crappies.

 

BATTLE LAKE -

Hot walleye reports on Otter Tail Lake in 15-18 feet of water. Reports of bigger crappies being caught on Clitherall Lake in 10-12 feet of water. A few walleyes  also reported on Clitherall in 12-22 feet.

 

BEMIDJI -

Try Bemidji in 25-30 feet. Most fish coming off the shoreline drops and points with a jig and minnow.

 

BIG STONE -

The ShadyBeach area of Big Stone producing some nice perch in 12-14 feet of water.

 

BOWSTRING LAKE AREA -

Try for a few crappies in around 15 ft of water using a jig and a minnow.

 

Brainerd Lakes Area -

The walleyes remain scattered from 12-32 ft of water. Night trollers and shore fishermen have been reporting success in 4-6 feet of water.

 

CHISAGO CITY -

 Sunfish biting on Chisago and on SouthCenter in about 12 feet of water. Walleye action is improving some on area lakes.

 

CROSSLAKE -

 Pelican and Whitefish Lake still producing a few walleyes in 12-14 feet of water.

 

DETROIT LAKES -

Pelican, White Earth, Lizzie and Lida are producing walleyes. The area muskie bite is going well on bucktail spinners and large stickbaits.

 

DULUTH -

Fish Lake has been producing a few crappies in 9-11 feet of water.

 

EDEN VALLEY -

A few crappies still being caught on Cedar Island and a few walleyes reported caught on Rice.

 

GRAND RAPIDS -

Spider and Sand producing some crappies. Bowstring producing some walleyes in the evenings. Also, a few walleye reports on Pokegama.

 

HACKENSACK -

Try Woman Lake for walleyes in around 15-20 feet of water. Jig and minnow working best. Crappie

action is okay on Pleasant Lake in 11-12 feet of water.

 

KABETOGAMA-NAMAKAN -

Unseasonable warm weather with south wind pushed fish off the typical fall spots. Walleyes relocated to shallower depths on the wind-blown bays and shorelines. Surprisingly, a slip sinker rig with minnow

outperformed jig and minnow in the bay openings and most shorelines. The latest reports now indicate the walleye are moving back on to the reefs and deeper water. Thirty to 38 feet again seems to be the best depth with jig and minnows. Concentrate your efforts on reef structures from Sugarbush East

to Namakan. Northern pike taking live bait or artificial from shallow weedy bays to nearly all windswept shorelines.

 

LAKE OF THE WOODS -

The Northwest Angle and Islands area reports great crappie action. Walleye also biting, they seem to be hitting hard in 25 feet of water. Jigs and minnows are the best presentations right now, with hot colors being lime-green/chartreuse. Great fishing reported along the South Shore of Lake of the Woods. The hot spot is straight out from the trees and in the Morris Point Gap area. The walleyes are biting in 16-22 feet of water. Water temps have hit the 40-degree mark, and the fish are responding. The area around Zippel Bay has been loaded with action. Several reports of saugers being abundant, along with lots of big perch. The ticket for these fish are 1/4-ounce jigs and shiner minnows. The run has begun on the Rainy River. Many of the fish caught now are over 6 pounds, and there are also many walleye limits being filled in the 16- to 17-inch size.

 

LEECH LAKE -

Consistent walleye bite over the last week on Leech Lake with the main lake points producing good catches. Trolling crankbaits in 8-11 feet of water over these rocky bottom points, such as Pine, Stoney, Ottertail, Two Points and Sugar producing walleyes. Morning and evenings have been best times although a day bite is taking place when the wind has been blowing, in 10-14 feet of water. Good catches of walleyes also coming from the Meadows area in 5-7 feet of water with fire-ball jigs tipped with a fathead minnow. Perch action continues to be best near the north end of Bear Island and some in Agency Bay. Small jigs with minnows or a piece of crawler in 9 feet of water is the key. Muskie action has been boom and bust. When the 

fish have turned on, the bite has been great with many fish reported in the upper 40 and near 50-inch class. Although, anglers are fishing all day for an active period of about two hours. If you're on the water during those two hours, be prepared for some great fishing.

 

MANKATO -

Walleye bite has slowed on the Minnesota River. Madison Lake still your best option for some walleye action. Crankbaits your best bet.

 

MAPLELAKE -

A few walleye reports still coming from Clearwater Lake.

 

MILLE LACS -

Walleye fishing is improving on Mille Lacs. The shallow (12 feet or less) rock bite has been good, even quite good in some cases. Fishing pressure remains light. Prime time has been from 6-9 p.m., with some scattered flurries after 9 and throughout the night. Leeches and slip bobbers have been successful, especially early. Trollers are using rogues, tail dancers and husky jerks. Blue, perch and black are good starting colors. Perch remain active in Isle and Wahkon Bays. Use a fathead or small

leech and a jig for these during the mid-day. All the reef and hazard markers have been removed from the Mille Lacs County portion of the lake. This portion runs from just south of Boat Harbor across to about Hunters Point, and south.

 

MONTEVIDEO -

The south end of Lac qui Parle Lake has produced walleyes in 6-8 feet of water on jigs and minnows .

 

NISSWA -

Walleye are biting on Gull.

 

PARK RAPIDS -

Try the Crow Wing Chain for panfish in around 12-14 feet of water.

 

RAINY LAKE -

 Find structure and fish around 40 feet or deeper for walleye action. Kettle Falls still producing fish near the dam in around 16-18 feet. Use small minnows with a snell or jig. Pike are hanging out with the walleye. Smallmouth bass action is slow. Use tube jigs or jerk baits, and cast toward rocky

shorelines.

 

SAINT CLOUD -

For some sunfish action, try Cedar Island, Horseshoe and Pearl in 8-12 feet of water. Reports of a walleye night bite on Koronis on crankbaits. Also try the Horseshoe Chain in 10-15 feet of water.

 

SAINT CROIX -

The walleye bite on the St. Croix River south of Stillwater, Minnesota has been good with the mid-week bite being better than the weekend bite. Walleye locations find the walleye deeper than early fall depths and depths from 25-32 feet are turning fish. Many of the walleyes that were just under 15 inches have stretched past the legal mark of 15 and plump via the shad and other baitfish. Jigs with minnows, trolling crankbaits, and blade baits are all catching fish. The above sea level mark is 675.23 feet, water clarity is improving from an odd fall algae bloom and temperature is 56 degrees.

 

STARBUCK

Lake Minnewaska walleye bite is on. Fish biting at night on crankbaits. Try the north end of the lake. Reports of a few nice perch in the same areas as the walleyes.

 

LAKE VERMILION AREA -

Anglers cannot remember walleye fishing on Lake Vermilion ever being this good or the average size (15 to 19") being this big! Whether you're fishing in 12-14 feet of water or 25-40 feet of water - if you find the walleyes they will bite! Trolling with cranks, spinners with minnows, or jigging doesn't seem to matter, anglers are catching nice limits of fish. If you find small fish, keep moving and sooner or later you'll find bigger walleyes. The buoy markers are off the lake, so be careful navigating, or you could lose a lower unit on your boat motor. The muskies haven't been as active as many anglers had hoped. Anglers are seeing big fish but can't seem to get them to bite. The few muskies that were caught averaged in the high 40's. The rock piles are where the big ones are living and they are feeding heavy on ciscos and bait fish. The crappies are biting on Lake Vermilion and small area lakes. Find deep holes where you would fish in the winter and you should find the crappies. Anglers have a couple of more weeks to fish rainbow trout in designated trout lakes and pits. Trout fishing is as good as it gets right now. Trolling with cowbells, small cranks and spoons is the baits of choice for nice size trout.

 

WABASHA -

Bluegill reports off the wingdams on waxies and redworms. Crappies in the same location on minnows. Walleye bite still slow.

 

WACONIA -

Panfish are in the weeds and muskie action has slowed.

 

WAYZATA -

Some bigger walleyes coming off the deep rocks in 35-40. Panfish action is spotty.

 

WILLMAR -

Hot walleye bite on Green in 12-40 feet of water. The evening walleye bite is good on Diamond and Norway in 12-16 feet of water.


MN - Lake Christina fish kill for waterfowl scheduled Oct. 21

The Minnesota DNR will be applying a fish-killing agent to the surface of Lake Christina in Douglas and Otter Tail counties to improve waterfowl habitat on Oct. 21, weather pending.  The treatment will be made at the Lake Christina Gun Club in Douglas and Otter Tail counties.

 

Historically, rich in duck foods like sago pondweed, wild celery and Chara, the 4,000-acre lake once served as a major stopover area for up to 20 % of the continent's canvasbacks. Infestations of carp, bullhead and other fish species have decreased water clarity and subsequently  

killed aquatic vegetation, diminishing the lake's value to

wildlife.

 

The application of Rotenone, a fish-killing chemical, will allow native plants to reclaim the lake and provide habitat for waterfowl. Rotenone is no threat to humans and has been widely used in fisheries and wildlife management for decades.

 

Mark Hanson, DNR wildlife research biologist, John Lindquist, president of the Christina, Anka, Ina Lake Association, and a Ducks Unlimited representative will be available for interviews.


New York

NY - Sea Grant Releases Strategies Report for Hooking More Anglers

New York Sea Grant has released a new Sportfishing Fact Sheet and a report suggesting Strategies for Increasing Sportfishing Participation in New York's Great Lakes Region.

 

Sea Grant and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry conducted a two-year study to identify the factors influencing angling participation in three life stages groups: children, adolescents and adults.

 

After analyzing survey and interview data from anglers, Coastal Tourism Specialist Diane Kuehn (who is also an Assistant Professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse) organized two focus groups comprised of anglers, coastal business owners, and government agency staff that worked together to identify forty-four different options for

increasing angling participation.

 

Highlights of the Sportfishing Fact Sheet and Strategies for Increasing Sportfishing Participation report include:

male anglers begin fishing at 6.8 years, while female anglers begin fishing at and average age 9.8 

most anglers of both sexes began fishing with their fathers

the greatest factors influencing early participation: the angler's success rate for catching fish, opportunities to fish, and the skills of the person teaching the angler how to fish.

among the reasons kids stop fishing: they get bored, or dislike handling live or cut bait

► schools, not-for-profits, businesses, corporations, government agencies and sportfishing promotion groups all have a role to play in attracting and keeping anglers fishing on New York's waters.


Ohio

OH - The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance Banquet

Annual Meeting & 10th Anniversary Banquet, Sat, Nov 8, 2003

The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance is holding it's annual banquet at Der Dutchman Restaurant - St. Rt. 42, Plain City, OH  -  Located on St. Rt. 42 - 5 miles west of Columbus - 12 miles north of I-70

 

An Afternoon & Evening of Casual Family Fun~  SMALLMOUTH BASS SEMINARS – 1 - 4 PM - Open to the public at no charge.  ANNUAL MEETING – 4 - 5 PM- Open the public at no charge

 

10th ANNIVERSARY BANQUET– 5- 9 PM Reserved Seating. Amish Family Style Dinner.  Guest of Honor is Steve Gray, Chief, ODNR Division of Wildlife. Included are Raffles, Silent Auction Items & Special Drawings.  Special

 

Guest Speaker - Steve “World Walker” Newman

 

Fabulous Raffle & Auction Items, donated by Mad River Outfitters - In Fisherman – Patagonia – Bushnell - Lunker City Lures - Outdoor World Bass Pro Shop, Archie Griffin - Lighthouse Lodge - Slider Tackle Company - Abercrombie & Fitch and Many More !

 

Grand Prize Drawing - Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass Fishing Charter & Overnight Lodging for 6.  Chances $5 ea or 5/$20, and the charter is donated by Matta Charters

 

Great Food-Great Prizes-Great Fun for the Whole Family!  HURRY - Seating is limited! Banquet Reserved Seating - $20 each *$25 after October 31st  *Children under 10 yrs - $8  Send payment to: TOSA Banquet 740 Northhampton Ct. Delaware, OH, 43015


Pennsylvania

PA - Fishing and Boating Report -Oct 15

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.  During autumn, three of the six PFBC regions will be covered in each report, with the other three reporting the following week.  Information on Lake Erie and its tributaries will be included in each report.)

 

Northwest Region

 

Butler County

Lake Arthur: Walleye in the 20-inch plus sizes are being taken at Neeley Point on the main island at night.

 

Crawford County

Pymatuning Lake: The fishing action is still pretty good at the spillway, with walleye and crappie being taken in front of the wire.  Jigs seem to be what is producing the most, but anglers are having luck on worms under bobbers as well.  Fish the worm three to four feet down under the bobber for best results.

 

Venango County

French Creek: Walleye and smallmouth bass are being caught on live minnows and medium-sized silver/black crank baits.  When the water level is up, fish near the edges of fast water or in deeper eddies.  Early morning and an hour before sunset are prime times.  Use caution around any waterway where flows are elevated.

 

Warren County

White bass are being caught on minnows the whole length of the Allegheny River within Warren County, especially below the Kinzua dam.  In the rest of the river, some smallmouth bass and northern pike are being caught on minnows.  The river is unusually high, unsettled, and murky which is affecting the fishing.  Use common sense when boating in these conditions.

 

Allegheny Reservoir: Fair catches of walleye are reported.  Use a jig tipped with a night crawler on the bottom, especially in creek channels and the bigger coves and bays.

 

Water levels are good in approved trout streams with some brook and brown trout being caught.  Anglers are finding success on the east, west, and main branches of Tionesta Creek.  Also try Two Mile Run near Ludlow.  Natural baits are working the best.

 

LAKE ERIE

 

Low and clear conditions have been the story lately, although Tuesday afternoon brought considerable rain.  Additional rainfall is expected over the next week or so as well and should launch additional fish into the tribs.  Fish are being caught at daybreak and dusk and conditions should be improving.  Calm waters on the lake have brought countless anglers to fish the shore at Trout Run.  Anglers were lined up from the Trout Run marina wall east as far as the eye could see this past weekend.  Anglers fishing at Trout Run are again reminded that vehicles blocking the road on Rt. 98 (Avonia Road) or parked on the road itself are subject to citation.

 

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

 

Franklin County

Letterkenny Reservoir, Cowan's Gap Lake, and the special regulation sections of Falling Springs Branch, Antietam Creek, and Cove Creek were stocked with trout recently.  With some decent weather, fishing should be outstanding in the county this fall and into the winter.  Even with cold weather, remember that the Falling Springs Branch won’t completely ice over thanks to the large springs near its headwaters.

 

Dauphin County

Fishing has been good recently as anglers have been catching channel catfish at stream inlets on the Susquehanna River using worms and chicken livers.  As a reminder, as of October 1st, the river’s fall “Big Bass Water” regulations have taken effect.  These regulations extend well beyond Dauphin County as well as.  Consult your summary of regulations for specific information.  Anglers targeting smallmouth bass on the river are starting to catch nice fish on green and light brown tube-style jigs.  Small to medium-size minnows including fatheads and shiners have also been popular.

 

Bedford County

Panfish have been biting well off of Dam Road on Lake Gordon, south of Bedford.  Try live baits as the water gets colder, as the fish will begin to respond less to artificial lures.  Popular fall baits for panfish include small fathead

minnows for crappies and wax worms or maggots for bluegills and perch.

 

NORTHEAST REGION

 

Bradford County

Walleye are starting to hit and there have been some decent catches on the Susquehanna River, up around the Terrytown area and south towards Wyalusing.

 

Carbon County

Anglers are doing well catching bluegills and crappies on Mauch Chunk Lake.  Anglers are also catching perch up to 13 inches.  Anglers that are targeting panfish and perch are using mealworms and minnows and fishing near the bottom of the lake.

 

Columbia County

The Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures section of Fishing Creek and Briar Creek Lake have been stocked with trout.  Anglers say that the trout at Briar Creek Lake were biting the day they were stocked and now have turned off.  The key here will be the persistence of the angler – continue to fish until conditions are right for the fish to start biting.

 

Lackawanna County

Black crappies are once again biting at Lackawanna Lake in Lackawanna State Park under the Route 407 Bridge.  White jigheads with twister tails are the best lures.  Also 1,900 rainbow trout were stocked in this lake.  There were several huge rainbow and a few golden trout released.

 

The access road to Merli Sarnoski County Park is still washed out due to recent flooding.  Therefore, there is no access to the lake.  Contact the county park for best updates.

 

Luzerne County

Moon Lake, Lake Took-A-While, Lake Irena, Harveys Lake and Harveys Creek (including the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures section) have all received trout stockings.  Lily Lake will be stocked the week of October 13th.  Although the trout are there, they aren't cooperating –yet! There is an abundance of fish and fishing opportunities.

 

The Susquehanna River at Union Access and around the Carey Avenue Bridge has been producing some smallmouth bass and walleye.  The bass are being caught on spinnerbaits.  Smallmouth bass are also being caught around the Exeter Township area of the Susquehanna River from boats.  Use the Apple Tree Road Access.  The fish are being caught on hellgrammites and minnows.

 

Monroe County

Brodhead Creek has received its fall stocking of trout.  Focus your fishing efforts in the area between Moose Lodge and the High Bridge.

 

Sullivan County

Five hundred rainbow trout were recently stocked into Hunters Lake, but few are being caught right now.  Some small bass are being caught on rubber baits on this lake. 

 

There are plenty of trout in the stocked trout waters of Sullivan County.  Anglers are having some success on the Loyalsock Creek and Little Loyalsock Creek around the Forksville area.  Trout are mostly being caught on live minnows

 

Susquehanna County

Anglers are doing well on walleye on the Susquehanna River up around the Oakland Dam area.  The best lures seem to be 1/8 oz. jigs with twistertails in black and dark purple colors.

 

Wayne County

Several large pickerel have recently been caught at Lake Henry.  Four-inch white twistertails were used.  Nice black crappies are also being caught on this lake.

 

Trout waters in this county are again fishable and should provide some fine trout fishing.  Most area trout streams are at fantastic levels, but the water is cold.  Fish slow and deep.  The lakes are full of water and cool.  Lake fishermen should target specific species and fish slow.  Use live bait or slow moving lures close to the bottom.  Look for cover and have patience.

 

The conditions are great for walleye, crappie and very good for smallmouth bass and trout.  Walleye fishermen are heading towards the Delaware River, as this is a good time of year to focus on this fish species. 

 

Wyoming County

Anglers say that brown trout continue to bite over the past few days on stocked trout lakes of this county.  The fish have been caught from boats at the 35-40 foot depth.


PA - Agencies Announce Agreement on Infrastructure Improvements

New infrastructure will improve water quality at four fish culture stations, including Spring Creek, Logan Branch and Fishing Creek

 

STATE COLLEGE: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Deputy Executive Director Dennis Guise today announced that the department and commission have reached an agreement on infrastructure improvements at four northcentral Pennsylvania fish hatcheries to improve water quality in the receiving creeks.

 

“These agreements ensure that the treatment of wastewater discharges from these four hatcheries will be upgraded in a timely manner to improve water quality for aquatic life in Spring Creek, Fishing Creek and Logan Branch,” DEP Secretary McGinty said. “Outdoor recreation is critical to Pennsylvania’s economy. Partnerships like this will help to improve the business environment and water quality in the Commonwealth.”

 

“The Fish and Boat Commission is committed to working with DEP to upgrade the wastewater treatment system at the state fish hatcheries, and we view these agreements as evidence of further progress on this front. The great challenge for the future will be to find adequate funding for these and other state infrastructure projects,” PFBC Deputy Executive Director Guise said.

Fishing contributes $1.6 billion to the state economy. More than 2 million people fish in Pennsylvania each year. Residents and visitors combine for 18 million fishing trips annually. Part of this joint and cooperative effort by DEP and PFBC is to enhance the outdoor experience that Pennsylvania already offers.

 

DEP investigations conducted in spring 2001 concluded that upgrades to these state hatchery discharges were needed to improve the health of aquatic life in the creeks. The hatcheries include Bellefonte, Benner Springs and Pleasant Gap in Centre County, and Tylersville in Clinton County.

 

PFBC contracted with an aquaculture consulting firm, FishPro, to evaluate its hatcheries across the state on both an environmental and a fiscal basis. In June 2002, the company recommended wastewater treatment plant improvements at all four locations. Under the terms of the agreement between DEP and PFBC, the commission must submit water quality permit applications to DEP for construction of the improvements to the facilities and complete that construction within 18 months of receiving the permits.

 

Some of the other improvements will include sludge storage tanks, increased clarifier capacity, new filtration systems, aerated chemical basins and a high flow filter for more efficient solids removal.

 


PA - PFBC Deputies Complete First Half of Training

Thirteen Complete First Half of Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer Training

 Thirteen individuals recently successfully completed 100 hours of classroom instruction and are now ready to begin 150 hours of field training as part of their preparation to become a Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer (DWCO).

 

DWCOs are trained volunteers who assist Waterway Conservation Officers with enforcing regulations and laws governing fishing and recreational boating in the Commonwealth and assisting with other Commission programs.  Last year, 204 deputies contributed 64,878 hours of service to the agency, including 2,085 hours stocking fish and 1,701 hours providing public information programs. Collectively, they also spent 5,673 hours in

training.

 

"Deputy Waterways Conservation Officers are tremendous assets to the Commission and the angling and boating public.  They enhance the Commission’s ability to complete our mission by expanding our public presence.  We draw deputies from all walks of life who share a common interest in protecting the state’s aquatic resources and serving those who enjoy recreating on them.  I was delighted to be able to administer the Oath of Office to these new deputies,” said Deputy Executive Director Dennis T. Guise. 

 

Guise also noted the deputy program serves as a feeder program for salaried Waterways Conservation Officers.  The current director and both assistants to the director of the Commission’s Bureau of Law Enforcement began their association with the agency as deputies.


PA - PFBC awards grants to 28 nurseries

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has awarded $60,000 in grants to assist 28 organizations that voluntarily raise and stock fish for public angling.

        

All the organizations participate in the PFBC's Cooperative Nursery Program.  Co-ops are private, non-profit groups - often sporting clubs - that raise and stock a variety of fish in waters across the Commonwealth that are open to public fishing.  The PFBC supplies co-ops with juvenile fish and technical guidance and support.  The co-ops then rear the fish in their own facilities at their own cost.  In 2003, the 156 co-ops participating in the program stocked 1.2 million trout and steelhead along with 1.8 million perch, walleye and bass.

 

"The cooperative nursery program shows the value of partnerships between the Commission and the sportsmen. The outstanding work of the cooperative nursery volunteers results in additional fishing opportunities for thousands of anglers in their home communities," said PFBC Deputy

Executive Director Dennis T. Guise. "Our cooperative nursery program is a model that has earned well-deserved praise.

 

Cooperative nurseries have considerable expenses in the form of volunteer labor, fish food and stocking costs. Our cooperative nursery grant program has expanded over the years to provide support to allow co-ops to make basic facility improvements they otherwise might not be able to afford on their own."

 

In 1996, the Commission created the cooperative nursery grants program to assist with items such as new construction, purchasing equipment to improve water quality and for water quality monitoring, or building aquatic habitat structures to enhance facilities. Individual cooperative nursery sponsors may apply for up to $3,000 in grants annually.

 

This year, 47 co-ops applied for assistance.


PA - PFBC Wildlife Report Deems PA's Outdoor Heritage in 'Peril'

HARRISBURG: Powerful landscape changes over the last two decades are threatening both wildlife and their habitats in a way that could forever alter Pennsylvania’s outdoor heritage, according to a recent report commissioned by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

           

"Pennsylvania’s Wildlife and Wild Places: Our Outdoor Heritage in Peril” describes development impacts on wildlife habitat and discusses habitat threats and trends. The 32-page report culminates a three-year collaborative effort by the three conservation organizations, the then-Governor’s Sportsmen’s Advisory Council, and DCNR’s Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council, to examine the condition of Pennsylvania’s wildlife habitat.

 

“This report confirms that land development changes over the last few decades are resulting in a different and more permanent impact that is changing the face of our landscapes and habitats at a rate that is both destructive and unsustainable,” said DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis. “This data is definitely a wake-up call. We need to do something fast to stop the loss, or the wildlife we enjoy today will be seen only in photographs by our grandchildren.”  The report suggests that lands lost to development are three times greater than lands being conserved.

 

The report suggests that while the state recovered from the early exploitation of resources, powerful new threats in the last two decades – sprawl, acid rain, exotic forest pests, invasive species, deer overpopulation, acid mine drainage – are permanently changing the face of landscapes and wildlife habitat across Pennsylvania.  “This report will help promote public understanding of this issue and hopefully make a strong case for a larger investment in conservation funding in the future,” Secretary DiBerardinis said.

 

The report suggests five recommendations to preserve Pennsylvania outdoor heritage, maintain the economic value of wildlife-linked recreation, and sustain rural economies that depend on forests, farms, and outdoor tourism:

Protect the best of what remains of Pennsylvania’s major habitat types. Clear conservation priorities must be set to determine what species need greatest protection.

·      

 Restore and improve degraded or impaired habitats. Efforts should concentrate on restoring wetlands and streams, reclaiming surface mine lands with grassland habitat, controlling invasive species, and keeping deer populations in check.

·       

Work cooperatively to conserve privately owned, working resource lands. Provide assistance to private landowners to encourage better land stewardship on working lands.

·       

Strengthen species inventory, monitoring and research programs. Gain a deeper scientific understanding of Pennsylvania’s 25,000-plus species in order to identify declining species, critical habitats and conservation priorities.

·       

Promote environmentally responsible land use. Incorporate open space and habitat needs into planning codes, concentrate development away from sensitive areas, and foster productive use of cities and towns.

           

“This report points out the crisis we have in wildlife management today: the significant loss of habitat that impacts Pennsylvania’s native wildlife,” said Vern Ross, Game Commission executive director.  “As all Pennsylvanians benefit from the diversity of wildlife, the Commonwealth needs to face this challenge and make a commitment of additional resources in order to stem the tide of development and encroachment.”

                    

"This report was generated as a joint effort, and addressing the challenges it outlines will likewise require a cooperative approach,” said Dennis Guise, deputy executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.  “State agencies, environmental organizations and conservation-minded individuals – really all Pennsylvanians – have a role to play in conserving habitat for all wildlife, including fish, reptiles and amphibians.”

 

The report is available online at www.dcnr.state.pa.us/pawildlifebook/index.htm . Limited copies are available by calling (717) 772-9087.


PA - Game Commission reverses decision to ban Broadheads

HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced today that it has reversed its decision to ban "Crimson Talon Broadheads" for use by bowhunters participating in Pennsylvania's archery deer seasons.

 

The broadheads - relatively new on the market - were determined to be unlawful by the agency on Oct. 1, because they incorporate a design that includes curved blades. State hunting regulations require all broadheads to have an outside cutting diameter of at least 7/8th-inch with no less than two cutting edges; cutting edges must be on the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface.

 

"Crimson Talon Broadheads are legal for use in Pennsylvania's archery seasons," noted Mike Dubaich, Game Commission Bureau of Law Enforcement director. "We came to this conclusion after reviewing the broadhead's performance specifications with the manufacturer. The deciding factor that led to our reversal

was that the curved blades of this broadhead straighten upon penetration. That action puts this broadhead's cutting surfaces on the same plane and allows it to meet our regulatory criteria.

 

"We concluded that Crimson Talon Broadheads conceptually are similar to mechanical broadheads in that they don't meet our regulatory criteria until they strike their target. Most mechanical broadheads currently on the market fail to meet Pennsylvania's 7/8th-inch cutting diameter requirement until their blades swing open upon impact with the target. Crimson Talon Broadheads work similarly; they straighten on impact."

 

"The best way to ensure your product meets our regulatory criteria is to contact us or submit a sample for review," Dubaich said. "Taking these steps can eliminate the confusion we experienced with Crimson Talon Broadheads." The Game Commission's current definition for a legal broadhead was enacted in April of 2002.  Crimson Talons did not come on the market until this year.


Wisconsin

WI - Fall & Winter Getaways made easy with new guide

MADISON, Wis. - Travelers can now plan their fall and winter trips and getaways by using the Wisconsin Dept of Tourism's 2003/2004 Fall/Winter Event & Recreation Guide. Whether it's an extended outdoor getaway on one of Wisconsin's thousands of miles of ski, snowmobile or ATV trails or an evening of arts and culture, this guide provides

all the information travelers need to arrange their fall and winter vacations.

 

The new 2003/2004 Fall/Winter Event & Recreation Guide is an 80-page, full-color publication offering a wealth of 

information about downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing,

cross- country skiing, sleigh rides, gambling and snowmobiling. It also lists over 500 Wisconsin events, festivals, performing arts and museum exhibits scheduled September through March.

 

Travelers can order free travel guides, including the 2003/2003 Fall/Winter Event & Recreation Guide, by calling the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's 24-hour, live-operated toll free number at 1-800-432- TRIP/874 7 or by visiting travelwisconsin.com. Travelers can also obtain guides and information at anyone of the 10 Wisconsin Travel Information Centers, located in select state-border cities.


WI - Invasive water fleas found in Wisconsin lake

MADISON -- Just weeks after the state’s first snakehead fish turned up in the Rock River, another invasive species has been found in Wisconsin waters.

 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources report Oct. 7 that spiny water fleas (Bythotrephes cederstroemi) have invaded the Gile Flowage, a lake in Iron County near Lake Superior. This is the first time the invasive water fleas have been found in an inland Wisconsin lake, according to the DNR.

 

Spiny water fleas -- a type of crustacean measuring up to one-half inch long -- had invaded Lake Huron by 1984 and spread to every Great Lake by 1987. To date, they have moved to inland lakes in Michigan, Minnesota and southern Ontario in Canada. Scientists suspect that the critter -- whose spiny, sharp tail makes up half its body length -- first arrived in North America in water carried aboard freighters from European ports.

 

The discovery of the spiny crustacean in the Wisconsin lake surprised Pieter Johnson, a UW-Madison zoology graduate student whose research sampling revealed the exotic creatures.

 

“Most of the lakes where the water fleas are found are

deeper, clearer, colder lakes,” explains Johnson, adding that the Gile Flowage, with a maximum depth of 25 feet and a surface area of 3,300 acres, doesn’t fit the profile. His concern is that if the crustaceans are invading shallower lakes, then they also may be invading other ones.

 

Like many invasive species, spiny water fleas threaten the abundance of native species by diminishing their food sources. For instance, the water fleas compete with small and juvenile fish for zooplankton. But, because it can reproduce more quickly, this invasive species can gobble up the food source, leaving few leftovers for smaller fish. Many fish, except the larger ones, can’t eat the water fleas due to the critters’ barbed spines.

 

“The water fleas decrease the diversity and abundance of zooplankton available to small fish,” says Johnson. “How this might cascade up or down the food chain remains speculation. It has the potential to hurt fisheries and reduce the number of game fish.”

 

To stop the spread of spiny water fleas to other inland lakes, Johnson has been working with DNR staff to create awareness and educate the public about the active role they can play in protecting Wisconsin lakes from this invader.

 


WI - 2004 sturgeon spearing permit deadline Oct. 31

OSHKOSH, Wis. -- People who want to participate in the 2004 lake sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago must buy their spearing licenses by Oct. 31, 2003. Prior to 2003, sturgeon spearing licenses could be purchased or issued until midnight the day before opening day of the Lake Winnebago spearing season.

 

The 2004 Lake Winnebago lake sturgeon spearing season begins Feb. 14, and runs for 16 days, or until spearers reach a harvest target that shuts down the season. According to Ron Bruch, Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor at Oshkosh, the purchase deadline was moved up to help reduce group bagging, which is illegal. In past years, people would wait until right before the season would start to see if ice and water clarity conditions were good, Bruch says. If they were, some would buy and fill tags for their children, spouses and others.

 

Sturgeon spearing licenses can be purchased at all DNR service centers and authorized license vendors, as well as by calling toll-free 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4236), or online through the DNR Web site. There is an additional $3 service fee for telephone and online transactions;

Mastercard or Visa accepted.

 

Sturgeon spearing license fees for the 2004 season have increased. Legislation passed last year in the budget repair bill raised spearing license fees from $10 to $20 for residents, and from $10 to $50 for nonresidents. The sturgeon spearing tag has been removed from the Conservation Patron license, so people who buy those multi-season licenses will need to buy a separate Lake Winnebago spearing license. Also, beginning this year, spearers no longer need to also possess a valid fishing license. Only those 14 and older are eligible to spear sturgeon.

 

By law, all revenues from spearing license sales are directed to fund only the Winnebago System sturgeon management program, instead of being included in the general fish and wildlife account.

 

Improved water clarity and a growing number of spearers have increased the harvest of adult females, which spearers tend to target because the females are larger than males. Bruch says that the overharvest of adult females is a concern because they’re the backbone of the population and because they don’t spawn until they are 20 to 25 years old, and then only every three to five years.


WI - Hunters may again donate venison for food pantries

MADISON – Wisconsin deer hunters are again able to donate venison for distribution to food pantries around the state. The Deer Donation 2003 program is up and running and participating meat processors will be accepting donations until Dec. 31.

 

At no cost, hunters can donate additional deer that they harvest by delivering them to participating venison-processing facilities in Wisconsin. The venison is butchered and distributed to food pantries across the state.

 

The program is funded by the state’s Wildlife Damage Program, which is supported by hunter license dollars and operates in cooperation with the hunting organization Hunt for the Hungry. Other cooperators are the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Wildlife Services, County Land Conservation Departments and volunteers across the state.

 

“The process is really very simple,” said Todd Peterson, chief of public services and user programs in the DNR wildlife management bureau. “All the hunter has to do is bring a legally harvested, field dressed deer to a participating meat processor and sign a log sheet indicating a desire to donate the carcass. The processor will handle it from there. There is no processing cost to the hunter.”

 

A list of participating processors is kept up to date on the DNR Web site or people can call a DNR service center and

ask for the closest participating meat locker.  “It’s a good idea to call ahead and make sure of the processor’s hours and whether or not they have room to take the carcass,” advises Peterson.

 

As of late September, there were 108 meat processors in 52 counties participating in the program. Between the years 2000-2002, hunters donated more than 17,000 deer, which provided over 750,000 pounds of ground venison to families across the state.

 

“Hunter response has been tremendous and from what I hear from the food pantries where the venison ends up, there is plenty of demand, the meat practically flies out of the freezers,” said Peterson.

 

Beginning in 2002, hunters donated more than their time and hunting skills. In addition to the license dollars used to fund the donation program, a voluntary program was started allowing hunting license buyers to voluntarily donate additional dollars to the Wisconsin Deer Donation Program. In its first year, 4,968 hunters donated over $18,000 to help pay for the processing costs.

 

“This is a great program,” said Peterson. “It provides high quality nutrition to individuals and families, it provides an outlet for extra venison and helps us with getting deer populations closer to prescribed goals. We’ve got a number of deer management units that are on the brink of being put into earn-a-buck seasons in 2004. Hunters raised to kill only what they can eat have a place for the additional deer we’re asking them to shoot, it takes away the problem of processing costs and home cold storage.”


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