Week of October 30, 2006

 

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National

Vote!!

Be sure to vote November 7

Tell me when did liberty ever exist when the sword and the

purse were given up?

Patrick Henry


Feds halt live fish shipments from Great Lakes area

Interstate shipments of live fish from the Great Lakes region were restricted on Tuesday, October 24 under a federal order aimed at halting the spread of a serious fish disease.

 

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, has historically been considered the most serious viral disease of trout and salmon raised in freshwater environments in Europe. Only recently has it emerged in freshwater fish in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada.

 

“VHS is not a threat to human health and has not yet been detected within our state,” said Indiana State Veterinarian Bret D. Marsh, DVM, “however, it poses a significant economic risk to private aquaculture and we must do everything necessary to prevent its spread.”

 

The federal action was taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The federal order lists 37 species of fish that may not be transported live out of the eight Great Lakes states of Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

 

The federal order also prohibits importing these live fish from the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The listed fish include numerous species of high commercial, recreational and ecological importance. The order, list of restricted species and other background information can be viewed at www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/aqua/ .

 

The prohibition does not include dressed fish or fish eggs;

however, private, state and federal fish hatcheries in the

affected states as well as any other businesses that ship live fish across state lines can no longer transport the listed species.

 

The order, issued under authority of the Animal Health Protection Act, will remain in effect until APHIS establishes an interim rule that is expected to identify testing and health certification criteria for susceptible fish species. APHIS has indicated to state natural resource and veterinary officials that this rule will be in place by next spring.

 

VHS is a “reportable disease,” which means it must be reported within 48 hours of diagnosis to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH). Marsh said VHS is one of five such reportable fish diseases in Indiana and the world health organization for animals.

           

Since spring 2005, a number of fish die-offs attributed to VHS have occurred in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. The die-offs have affected muskellunge, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, crappie, gizzard shad, freshwater drum, round goby and other fish species. VHS has also been detected in samples of walleye, white bass and other species that were not part of a die-off.

 

VHS is a serious threat to wild fish stocks and the sport and commercial fisheries that depend upon them. Experts are unsure how the virus was transferred to the Great Lakes or how long the disease has been there. One theory is that VHS may have mutated from a marine form and become newly pathogenic to freshwater fish.


Bush signs wildlife conservation bills

As Congress wrapped up business before adjourning on September 29th, they approved a number of bills related to wildlife conservation.  This week, President Bush signed these bills into law.

 

Highlights include passage of S. 260, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act, which authorizes the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, a 20 year old successful cooperative conservation program that provides funding to private landowners to conduct conservation activities on public lands.  The program has grown over the years, and current appropriations exceed $50 million. The Act provides official endorsement of the existing FWS Partners program, which provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners to enhance wildlife habitat on their lands.

 

Another important bill passed is H.R. 5539, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Reauthorization.  Commonly referred to as NAWCA, this law reaffirms a popular program that funds wetlands conservation

across North America, including Canada and Mexico.  The program receives appropriations exceeding $40 million per year that are matched well beyond the 1:1 match required in the law.  The North American Wetlands

Conservation Act was reauthorized at a funding level of $75 million through fiscal year 2011.

 

Bush also signed S. 2430, the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act.  This bill amends the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act of 1990 to provide for implementation of recommendations made in the Great Lakes Fishery Resources Restoration Study. The new law authorizes $14 million per year through 2112 for restoration projects, including regional projects that cross state boundaries and focus on high priority restoration activities.

 

Other bills dealing with wildlife issues were passed. These include:

 

H.R. 5281, the National Fish Hatchery System Volunteer Act – Enhances an existing Fish and Wildlife Service volunteer program to help promote community partnerships for the benefit of national fish hatcheries and fisheries program offices. 

 

H.R. 4957, the Tylersville Fish Hatchery Conveyance Act – Directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey (give over to PA) the Tylersville division of the Lamar National Fish Hatchery and Fish Technology Center in Loganton, PA to Pennsylvania.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has operated the Tylersville Fish Hatchery since 1984 and will now have ownership of the facility that produces around 525,000 adult brook, rainbow, and brown trout per year.

 

H.R. 1428, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Reauthorization Act – Established by Congress in 1984, the Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization devoted to

creating public-private partnerships in order to strategically invest in voluntary conservation projects. The bill reauthorizes the Foundation at current funding levels through 2010 ($25 million from the Department of the Interior and $5 million from the Department of Commerce).

 

S. 2014, the Ed Fountain Park Land Transfer Act – Directs the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, to convey a specified administrative site in Las Vegas, Nevada from the Service to the City of Las Vegas for use as a park or any other recreation or nonprofit-related purpose.

 

H.R. 5232, the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge Study Act – Authorizes an evaluation of fish and wildlife habitat in southeastern Monroe County, PA for possible inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge

System.

 

H.R. 4947, the Cahaba National Wildlife Refuge Expansion Act – Authorizes expansion of the Cahaba River NWR to include additional lands and waters in Bibb County, Alabama.

 

H.R. 5094, the Lake Mattamuskeet Lodge Preservation Act – Transfers Mattamuskeet Lodge and surrounding property, including the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, to the State of North Carolina for

use as a public facility dedicated to the conservation of the natural and cultural resources of North Carolina.

 

H.R. 138, the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System Act –Revises the boundaries of John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System Jekyll Island Unit GA-06P in Glynn County, Georgia. GA-06P includes Jekyll Island and marshland to the west of the island.

 

H.R. 479, the Florida Coastal Barrier Resources Act – Replaces a Coastal Barrier Resources System map relating to Coastal Barrier Resources System Grayton Beach Unit FL-95P in Walton County, Florida. Grayton Beach Unit FL-95P includes portions of Grayton Beach State Park and a privately owned inholding known as Old Miller Place.

 

H.R. 5160, the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act – Establishes the Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative, which is intended to support and improve the conservation of living resources and maintain healthy lands and

waters upon which they depend.

 

H.R. 2720, the Salt Cedar and Russian Olive Control Demonstration Act - Directs the Secretaries of Interior, Agriculture, and Defense to establish a federal program aimed at finding and implementing the best means of controlling and eradicating salt cedar and Russian olive vegetation - both nonnative plants that have overrun numerous areas of vital riparian habitat associated with rivers in the West.


Regional

Five Coast Guard meetings dates remain on firing zones

Five meeting dates remain if you want to make any verbal comments or ask any questions of Coast Guard officials.

Meeting dates remaining:

·  Oct. 30 - Rochester Fast Ferry Terminal, 1000 N. River St., Rochester, N.Y.

·  Nov. 1 - Genesee Theater, 203 North Genesee St., Waukegan, Ill.

·  Nov. 3 - Charlevoix Public Library, 220 W. Clinton St., Charlevoix, Mich.

·  Nov. 6 - Cruise Boat Terminal, Foot of Holland St., Erie, Penn.

·  Nov. 8 - Stone Harbor Resort and Conference Center, 107 North First Ave.,  Sturgeon Bay, WI

 

Schedule of events for all meetings:

4 -5:30 PM - Open house.  The public can receive information on the proposed zones and ask questions of Coast Guard officials.

 

5:30-8 PM - Public meetings.  After a brief statement by Coast Guard officials, the public can comment.  Comments will be recorded and entered into the docket for this rulemaking.

 

Topics to be covered during the public meetings are: (1) 

introduction of the proposed zones and the need to train on the U.S. Great Lakes; (2) how the Coast Guard determined the locations of the safety zones; (3) scheduling and frequency of training in the safety zones; (4) notification procedures; (5) safety procedures; (6) weapons and munitions; and (7) environmental risk assessment overview. 

 

“In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, the public meeting is not a question and answer format, but rather an opportunity for the public to have their comments recorded and formally entered into the docket for consideration.  After a brief opening statement by Coast Guard officials, the public can provide comment“.

 

Additional information can be found at the Ninth Coast Guard District's proposed permanent safety zones web sit at www.uscgd9safetyzones.com .  This site is solely dedicated to the pubic distribution of information concerning the Ninth Coast Guard District's proposed permanent safety zones. 

 

Firing range maps: 

www.great-lakes.org/cg_firing_ranges.html

 

For more info call: Ninth Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office, Cleveland, at (216) 902-6020


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Oct. 27, 2006

Lake Level Conditions:

The water level in Lake Superior is currently 10 inches lower than it was a year ago, while levels in Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are all higher than the previous year.  At this time, all of the lakes are in their period of seasonal decline.  Over the next month, the levels in Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are projected to fall 2 inches.  During this same period, the water levels in Lakes Erie and Ontario are expected to decrease by 4 inches.  Over the next few months, Lake Superior is expected to remain below last year’s levels, while Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are predicted to remain near or slightly above the water levels of a year ago. 

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be below average in October.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers also are expected to be below average during October.  Flow in the Niagara River is forecasted to be near average in October, while flow in the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be above average.

Alerts:

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Aug 4

600.8

577.4

573.7

571.2

245.3

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-4

-1

+17

+24

+24

Diff last month

-3

-1

0

-1

0

Diff from last yr

-10

+2

+4

+5

+7

 

 


Illinois

 Deer Hunting Clinic Nov 11

Gurnee, Ill. – You have made your deer hunting checklist. But have you checked it twice? Did you include the deer hunting clinic at Bass Pro Shops? Join RedHead Pro Staff member Mike Reynolds as he makes preparations for hunting deer during the Illinois Gun Season.

 

Mike will discuss deer strategy for bucks and does as well as calling techniques, guns, slugs, setup, tree stand safety, and other points to get you ready for the season.

The clinic will take place on Saturday November 11, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. This free clinic is sure to be a very popular and seats are limited, so register early.  To register please contact Bass Pro Shops Promotions Manager Tisma Juett at 847-856-1229 or by email TEJuett@basspro.com .

 

For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops stores, products or events please visit www.basspro.com .

 


Indiana

State parks to close for special deer reduction hunts, Nov. 13-14 and Dec. 4-5

A total of 18 DNR properties will be temporarily closed to the general public, Nov. 13- 14, and Dec. 4-5, for special deer reduction hunts.  These include Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shades, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial state parks, plus Twin Swamps Nature Preserve.

       

During the special hunts, volunteers assist the DNR in reducing the size of the deer herds, which have grown too large to be supported by the vegetation at these properties.  The goal of the deer herd reduction is to help restore and maintain the ecological balance in the parks and preserve.

The Indiana DNR first began to reduce the size of the deer herds occupying Indiana’s state parks in 1993 with a one-day reduction at Brown County State Park. Since then, deer herd reductions have been conducted at 20 of Indiana’s 24 state parks. DNR biologists and naturalists now determine the need for a reduction each year on a park-by-park basis.

 

Hunters who have completed the Indiana Hunter Education Course are given preference to participate in the hunts. The firearm hunts are limited to shotguns, muzzleloaders and pistols. Bow and arrow, rather than firearms, are used at the Clifty Falls and Fort Harrison controlled hunts. Archers who have completed the International Bowhunter Education Program or hold a Hunter Education certificate are given preference in the application process.


Minnesota

DNR documents strong 2005-06 Leech Lake walleye year classes

Anglers who visit Leech Lake this winter should see signs of the walleye population's recovery.

 

The Minnesota DNR reports that young walleye and yellow perch populations are abundant. This information is based on summer and late fall test nettings that suggest the 2006 walleye year class may be comparable to the 2005 year class, which produced the fourth-highest trawl catch rate on record. Strong back-to-back year classes bode well for the fishery, according to DNR Northwest Region Fisheries Manager Henry Drewes.

 

"The gill nets we pulled earlier this summer showed an abundance of 11- to 13-inch walleye from the 2005 year class, and our mid-summer trawls hauled in what appears to be a strong 2006 year class as well," said Drewes. "The strong 2005 year class should translate into good catch rates of 12- and 13-inch fish next spring."

 

DNR test nets also captured good numbers of walleye from 18 to 23 inches. While being protected by special fishing regulations on Leech Lake, these fish will continue to provide quality angling opportunities in coming years, according to Drewes.

Lakewide, walleye abundance in DNR test nets increased from 4.9 walleye per net in 2005 to 7.1 walleye per net lift. The most notable increase was observed in the main lake, were walleye abundance more than doubled from less than 4.0 walleye per net lift to nearly 9.0 walleye per net lift.  The long-term average for Leech Lake is 6.3 walleye per net lift.

 

Declines in walleye and perch abundance, primarily in the main part of the lake, prompted the DNR to launch a four-pronged lake management plan in 2004 that included special fishing regulations, experimental stocking, cormorant control and stepped-up aquatic habitat protection.

 

Walleye that were hatched this spring (the 2006 year class) were hauled in by trawls at a rate of 240 fish per hour, just shy of the 2005 year class, which came in at 247 walleye per hour. The 2006-year class also appears to be growing fast. The average length was 5.9 inches in August and had increased to 7.2 inches by late September.

 

The DNR is also seeing more young perch, the species upon which walleye forage and an important part of the angler catch. Similar to walleye, the largest increase in perch numbers was seen in the main part of the lake.

 


DNR assault on Swan Lake carp completed

On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, the Minnesota DNR coordinated a helicopter assault on the carp population in Swan Lake, which is located in Nicollet County. Two helicopters owned and operated by Teri-John Aviation out of St. Peter delivered some 3,880 gallons of liquid rotenone to nearly 3,000 acres of water remaining in the lake.

           

"We're extremely hopeful that the rotenone will kill the vast majority, if not all, of the carp that have been reproducing in Swan Lake," said Ken Varland, DNR southern region wildlife manager at New Ulm. "If any do survive however, we're banking on Mother Nature to produce winterkill conditions that will eliminate them." Varland said "tens of thousands" of dead carp were already observed by Wednesday afternoon.

           

Carp, a species not native to North America, root up aquatic vegetation, causing turbidity and other water quality problems. Eventually, if left unchecked, carp-infested waters become intolerable for other fish species and water-dependent wildlife such as waterfowl.

Rotenone is a naturally occurring extract derived from the roots of various tropical plants. While the product is safe to humans and most species of wildlife and domestic animals when applied according to label instructions, it is deadly on gill-breathing animals such as fish.    Rotenone has been used effectively for years to eliminate carp from wetlands and shallow lakes. It is believed, however, that the Swan Lake project is the largest of its kind in Minnesota, if not the nation. At 10,000 acres (15 square miles), Swan Lake is considered the largest prairie pothole marsh in the nation.

           

The DNR plan called for immediately lowering water levels in the lake as much as possible and then treating any remaining water with rotenone just prior to freeze-up this year. Minimizing the amount of water needing to be treated serves several purposes: it lessens the cost, increases the probability of a complete kill, creates conditions more conducive to a winterkill and promotes the growth of beneficial aquatic vegetation.

           

And now it's Mother Nature's turn to protect the fabulous treasure that is Swan Lake, Varland said.


Ohio

Four Ohioans receive state's highest Conservation Honor

First Lady recognized for her efforts to create the Governor’s Residence Heritage Garden

COLUMBUS, OH - Four individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the protection and enjoyment of the state's natural resources were inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame last week - the state’s highest conservation honor. The four were Christine Freitag of Akron, the late Ora Anderson of Athens County, Ralph Ramey of Westerville and the late Mike Utt of Bellefontaine.

 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) also presented its annual Cardinal Awards for conservation achievement to Jim Bissell of Cleveland, Bob Brown of Kent and Cecilia Duer of Mentor. 

 

A special recognition also was given to Ohio’s First Lady Hope Taft for her commitment to the state’s natural resources, and her creation of the Heritage Garden at the Governor’s Residence. The Heritage Garden is a 3.5-acre living representation of our state’s five major ecosystems, featuring the special plant and geologic qualities of each region.

 

ODNR Director Sam Speck presented the awards during a ceremony at ODNR’s Fountain Square Headquarters in Columbus.

 

The Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame was established by ODNR in 1966. To date, 142 individuals have been accorded the honor, which recognizes a lifetime devoted to the preservation, protection and wise management of Ohio's natural resources. Previous honorees include the legendary Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), Ohio-born explorer John Wesley Powell, botanist Lucy Braun and conservationist/novelist Louis Bromfield.

 

Thirty years ago, Christine Freitag was at the forefront of the movement to create what has now become the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. One of Ohio’s most effective conservationists, she is a lifelong activist for the stewardship of threatened natural resources and for greater public access to outdoor recreation.

 

Ora Anderson’s passion for land conservation and wildlife protection spanned more than seven decades. As a young reporter and editor in the 1930s, he chronicled the establishment of the Wayne National Forest.

As a tireless supporter of Ohio’s natural resources and an enthusiastic advocate for getting out and enjoying those

resources, Mike Utt focused his energies on the importance of clean water, particularly in Big Darby Creek and the Scioto River. He shared that passion through the many riversweep cleanup events he organized, the “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” programs he led, and the workshops he organized to teach young Ohioans the importance of conserving wetlands.

 

Utt was considered to have been a leading supporter of legislation to increase wetland impact fees, which passed into law shortly after his death in 2005. An avid angler, he was a strong proponent of making smallmouth bass the official “state fish” of Ohio.

 

With more than 50 years under his feet as an advocate of natural resources, Ralph Ramey has earned the respect and admiration of countless people for his dedication to the preservation and interpretation of Ohio’s natural heritage. He pushed for the creation of the ODNR Division of Natural Areas & Preserves in the 1970s, and later served as the division’s chief.

 

The ODNR Cardinal Awards honor individuals and organizations demonstrating exceptional awareness and concern for ideals reflected in the department’s mission statement: to ensure a balance between the wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.

 

Thanks to Jim Bissell’s commitment to the preservation of rare ecosystems, hundreds of acres of critical habitat in northeastern Ohio have been protected. Most notably, he was the driving force behind the purchase and preservation of Singer Lake Bog in Summit County, helping rescue this massive bog and wetland complex from certain development.

 

Passionate about stream water quality and the abundant aquatic life that thrives within Ohio’s streams, Bob Brown is credited with spearheading the effort that lead to a bypass channel on the Cuyahoga River at the old Kent Dam.

 

In partnership with her employer, the Spirit of America Fdtn, Cecilia Duer is considered to be a cornerstone for recreational boating safety and boater education in northeastern Ohio. Through the foundation’s hands-on boating and water safety education courses, Duer has helped educate more than 2,000 young Ohioans.


Bass Pro Shops to open their second Ohio store

Coming to Wood County

Rossford, Ohio– Bass Pro Shops, has announced plans to build an outdoor superstore in the new Crossroads of America development at the intersection of Interstates 75, 80

and 90 in Wood County. The store may also include their famous Islamorada Fish Company restaurant. More information about the store and development will be released at a later date.


Wisconsin

DNR Secretary new president of Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

MADISON -- Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Hassett has been named president of the Midwest

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. His term as

president will run from October through September 2007. As president, he will host the organization's annual meeting next July in Minocqua, WI.


63rd Annual Holiday Folk Fair International

MILWAUKEE, WI – The 63rd annual Holiday Folk Fair International, America's premiere multi-cultural festival, will be held Fri., Nov. 17 – Sun., Nov. 19, 2006, at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park in West Allis, Wis.

 

Produced by the International Institute of Wisconsin, the event will provide attendees with an opportunity to "Celebrate the Carriers of Culture," this year's show theme.

 

The three-day event features an assortment of ethnic foods, music and dance performances, historical displays on ethnic cultures, arts and crafts displays, and educational demonstrations.  Holiday Folk Fair International will host a United States Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony on Sat., Nov. 18, at 10:30 a.m. and the fifth annual Around The World 5K Run/Walk on Sun., Nov. 19, at 9 a.m.

New in 2006 will be performers from the Native Alaskan

Heritage Center, and exhibits of Icelandic textiles, World Heritage Sites of Japan, Portraits of Hmong Women, and historic folk art. Featured local artists in the Music Pavilion include Johnny Hoffman and the Herzbuben, Steve Meisner Band, Izvor, and the Melkmeisters.

 

Hours on Fri., Nov. 17, are 3 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sun., Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.  Admission is $8 in advance, and $10 at the door. Children 5 and younger are admitted at no charge, with tickets for children ages 6-12 $8 at the gate.  A "Family Fun 4-Pack" of tickets for $28 is available through the International Institute of Wisconsin office.

 

For more information on the 2006 Holiday Folk Fair International, call the International Institute of Wisconsin at 414-225-6225 or visit www.folkfair.org .


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