Week of October 31, 2011

World
Beyond the Great Lakes
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

General
Lake Huron
Lake Michigan

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Ohio

Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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World

Prehistoric data from Ocean Floor Could Predict Earth’s Future, Study
Evidence of water mass moving south 70 million years ago shows how warmth was distributed

COLUMBIA, Mo. – New research from the University of Missouri indicates that Atlantic Ocean temperatures during the greenhouse climate of the Late Cretaceous Epoch were influenced by circulation in the deep ocean. These changes in circulation patterns 70 million years ago could help scientists understand the consequences of modern increases in greenhouse gases.

 

“We are examining ocean conditions from several past greenhouse climate intervals so that we can understand better the interactions among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biosphere, and climate,” said Kenneth MacLeod, professor of geological sciences in the College of Arts and Science.  “The Late Cretaceous Epoch is a textbook example of a greenhouse climate on earth, and we have evidence that a northern water mass expanded southwards while the climate was cooling. At the same time, a warm, salty water mass that had been present throughout the greenhouse interval disappeared from the tropical Atlantic.”

 

The study found that at the end of the Late Cretaceous greenhouse interval, water sinking around Greenland was replaced by surface water flowing north from the South Atlantic. This change caused the North Atlantic to warm while the rest of the globe cooled. The change started about five million years before the asteroid impact that ended the Cretaceous Period.

 

To track circulation patterns, the researchers focused on “neodymium,” an element that is taken up by fish teeth and bones when a fish dies and falls to the ocean floor.

MacLeod said the ratio of two isotopes of neodymium acts as a natural tracking system for water masses. In the area where a water mass forms, the water takes on a neodymium ratio like that in rocks on nearby land. As the water moves through the ocean, though, that ratio changes little. Because the fish take up the neodymium from water at the seafloor, the ratio in the fish fossils reflects the values in the area where the water sank into the deep ocean. Looking at changes through time and at many sites allowed the scientists to track water mass movements.

 

While high atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide caused Late Cretaceous warmth, MacLeod notes that ocean circulation influenced how that warmth was distributed around the globe. Further, ocean circulation patterns changed significantly as the climate warmed and cooled.

 

“Understanding the degree to which climate influences circulation and vice versa is important today because carbon dioxide levels are rapidly approaching levels most recently seen during ancient greenhouse times,” said MacLeod. “In just a few decades, humans are causing changes in the composition of the atmosphere that are as large as the changes that took millions of years to occur during geological climate cycles.”

 

The paper, “Changes in North Atlantic circulation at the end of the Cretaceous greenhouse interval,” was published in the October online edition of the journal Nature Geoscience. Coauthors include C. Isaza Londoño of the University of Missouri; E.E. Martin and C. Basak of the University of Florida, and A. Jiménez Berrocoso of the Unviersity of Manchester, United Kingdom. The study was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

 


Beyond the Great Lakes

Court rules against Cape Wind Project

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday handed down a ruling that sets back the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts. The court rejected the Federal Aviation Administration’s ruling that the turbines would present “no hazard” to aviation – especially pilots flying by visual rules.

 

The FAA must now consider the dangers again, and if it finds risks, the permits for the long-delayed wind farm would likely be modified or revoked by the U.S. Interior Department, according to the court.

 

Lawyers for the Town of Barnstable on Cape Cod challenged the FAA’s determination that ‘no adverse effect’ on aviation is presented by 130 wind turbines proposed for construction on land under Nantucket Sound to be leased by the U.S. Department of Interior to a private wind energy firm. The D.C. Circuit ruled in the town’s favor, finding the FAA’s decision ignored its own regulations and also 

ignored evidence from airport officials that the ‘finely balanced airspace over Nantucket Sound is already one of the most congested, foggy, and dangerous airspaces on the eastern seaboard.’ The turbines, each 440 feet tall, clearly pose risks to aviation.

 

“The Cape Wind project will raise energy costs, reduce living standards, kill jobs, kill endangered bird species, and jeopardize small planes like the one flown by John F. Kennedy, Jr. at the time of his tragic death. Yet despite all this, the state and federal bureaucracies continue championing this taxpayer giveaway to renewable power corporations and international environmental activist groups,” commented James Taylor, Environmental Policy spokesman for the Heartland Institute.

 

"The federal appellate decision underscores how deeply the Massachusetts political machine and the federal government are in the pocket of fringe environmental groups and the powerful renewable energy lobby."


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Brunton New Icon Spotting Scopes

Brunton Hunting, a premiere leader in optics, portable power, navigation, instruments, lighting and gear announces their new Icon™ Straight Spotting Scope and Angled Spotting Scope.

 

ICON Spotting Scopes are made for the most demanding hunters and will not diminish with distance. The combination of SD lenses, SHR Nano-coating technology, super flat light multi-coatings and years of experience with hunting optics means clarity and consistency you have to see to believe. With an ICON you will discover target details you never knew were there. Brunton offers two models in the ICON Spotting Scope line: the Straight Spotting Scope and the Angled Spotting Scope.

 

The ICON Straight Spotting Scope is for the hunter that values a scope that intensifies dim light for spot-on clarity, a scope that eliminates halos and fading while it delivers true color, and defines a target like it's just an arms length away. The advanced ICON design and technology deliver that level of performance every time, in any condition. The efficient intuitive straight barrel's design is easy to use and targets are captured in an instant.

 

The ICON Angled Spotting Scope is for hunters who prefer an angled scope; this ICON combines incredible comfort with unmatched precision, packability and ease. SD glass

with SHR Super High Resolution coatings focus light and color to reveal details other scopes may miss- and shots other hunter never get. The touch, demanding armor coating ensures uncompromised performance in any condition.

 

ICON Angled Spotting Scope Features:

- SD Glass- (Super Low Dispersion Flourite)

- Available w/20-60x or 20-50x Wide Angle eyepieces

- Super Flat Light Multi Coating

- Multi-Step Twist-up Eyecup

- Waterproof

- Nitrogen filled/fogproof

- Polymer Frame w/ergonomic body armor

- Gun sight alignment system

- Tripod Adaptable

- Extendable Sun-Shade

- Locking center ring allows for multiple viewing angles

- Unconditional Halo Warranty

- Objective Diameter: 80mm

- Eye Relief: 17mm

- Exit Pupil: 1.6-3.2mm

- Prism Coating: SHR

- Weight: 70.4 oz. /length 15 in.

- Includes Interactive Case

 

About $3,900.00

 

800-443-4871

 

info@bruntongroup.com    www.bruntonhunting.com


Brunton New Icon Binoculars

Brunton Hunting, a premiere leader in optics, portable power, navigation, instruments, lighting and gear introduces their new Icon™ Binocular. These are the finest hunting optics on earth. The ICON's superlative performance comes from using the best components available and by focusing on the optical system as a whole to minimize the number of glass coatings needed to increase light transmission and optical clarity. The ICON is more than advance technology; it is Brunton's commitment to backing you all the way, from unmatched performance to lifelong support.

 

Any hunt can become a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which is the key reason to own the best you can get. The ICON has the highest grade optical prism, made possible with world-leading SK Glass that is paired with SHR Nano Coating Technology. This technology is the best in optical performance, clarity, contrast, true color, and light transmission. With the focusing system on the ICON, you can acquire targets faster and more precise. The Interchangeable Eyecup System allows you to choose between the normal eyecup or the flared eyecup to make it more comfortable and reduce the glare.

 

The lightweight magnesium frame and short bridge design reduces the weight and creates a larger surface area for good handling. It also has Extra Low Dispersion objective glass which helps reduce chromatic aberration, giving true-to-life imagery with solid, crisp images. The steadfast shock, water and fogging resistance keep that view sharp and pristine. The true grip rubber-coated magnesium alloy frame eases long hours of glassing, lightens the load of full-size binos and withstands the scrapes and bumps of constant use.

The Halo warranty, translated to "No questions asked, it comes with a warranty" policy ensures immediate replacement of any ICON, for any reason, anywhere, for life. Every ICON is covered by a simple promise: you break them, we fix them or replace them at absolutely no cost to you...FOREVER. The Full Value Forever program will credit your original purchase price to future upgrades.

 

Features Include:

- SK Prism Glass

- ED Objective Lenses

- Magnesium Frame

- Phase Coated

- Super flat light full multi-coating

- Interchangeable Eyecups System including glare reducing flared eyecups.

- Includes: Neoprene Strap, Packstrap, Flared Eyecups, Standard Eyecups, Case Lens Covers

- Multi Step, long Eye Relief

- Waterproof

- Nitrogen Filled/Fogproof

- Tripod Adaptable

- Unconditional Halo Warranty

- Power: 8x, 11x

- Objective Diameter: 44mm

- Eye Relief: 20mm, 15mm

- Exit Pupil: 5.5mm, 4.4mm

- Field of View: 356ft, 314ft

- Prism Coating: SHR

- Weight: 28oz, 29oz

- Near Focus: 3ft

 

About $2,375.00

 

800-443-4871

 

info@bruntongroup.com     www.bruntonhunting.com

 

 


National

Reports show E15 damage in marine engines

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy recently released the results of two studies on the effects of using fuel that is 15 percent ethanol in volume in marine engines, and the reports showed significant problems with outboard, sterndrive and inboard engines, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported.

 

The studies were conducted on engines provided by Volvo Penta and Mercury Marine. The Energy Department approved the final analysis of the results.  Results of the reports show severe damage to engine components and an increase in exhaust emissions, reinforcing the recreational boating industry’s concern that E15 is not a suitable fuel for marine engines, the NMMA said.

 

Emissions and durability testing compared E15 fuel and fuel containing zero percent ethanol and examined exhaust emissions, exhaust gas temperature, torque, power, barometric pressure, air temperature and fuel flow. 

Specifically, the report showed degraded emissions performance outside of engine certification limits, as well as increased fuel consumption on the engines using E15 fuel. In separate testing on engine durability, each tested engine showed deterioration, including two of the three outboard engines, with damage severe enough to prevent them from completing the test cycle.

 

The E0 test engines did not exhibit any fuel-related issues, the NMMA said.  “Current proposals by the ethanol industry to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline should seriously concern all boaters and owners of other small engine equipment,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. “Although NMMA strongly supports renewable fuels as a means to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil and improve the environment, there is growing evidence that ethanol is not the answer to America’s energy challenge.”

 

For more information, Emissions and Durability test or the Fuel Endurance test from the Energy Department.


Regional

Great Lakes Water Levels for October 28, 2011 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The Great Lakes basin experienced rain showers again this week.  Temperatures have dropped a bit over the last couple of days and are expected to remain below seasonal averages throughout the weekend.  Cloudy skies and chances of showers will also persist over the next several days.  Then temperatures are expected to warm a bit in the middle of next week.  Overall, the Great Lakes basin has received above average precipitation during the month of October.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Currently, Lake Superior is near its level of a year ago and Lake Michigan is 1 inch above last year's level.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 13, 15, and 4 inches, respectively higher than they were at this time last year.  Over the next thirty days, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are each projected to drop 2 inches from their current levels.  The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to decline 6, 5, and 4 inches, respectively, over the next month. 

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Mary's River is projected to be below average for the month of October.  The outflows from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, and from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River, are also expected

to be below average throughout the month of October. Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are both predicted to be above average in October.

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

601.05

577.69

574.28

571.75

245.01

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

-1

+2

+24

+31

+21

Diff last month

-1

-1

0

0

-1

Diff from last yr

0

+1

+13

+15

+4


General

Santa’s Wonderland kicks off with Santa’s Arrival November 5th

Customers can get a free 4x6 studio-quality photo with Santa

Bass Pro Shops is presenting their fourth annual Santa’s Wonderland—A Classic Christmas”—an event that has already become a family Christmas tradition.  This year, the magic returns with Santa’s arrival, Saturday, November 5th at 5pm.  Families can enjoy the wonder of Christmas inside every Bass Pro Shops store with “Santa’s Wonderland”—an over 3,500-square foot Christmas village chocked full of fun games, activities and crafts for the whole family –from November 5th through December 24th.  (Event occurs in 56 stores--the Islamorada, FL is not included.  Santa’s Wonderland will be Sunday, December 4th for Bass Pro Shops store in Harlingen, TX)

 

Comprised of both animated and live elves, nutcrackers, reindeer and more, the village offers an old-time model train area, remote control trucks, a Red Ryde laser arcade, a soft gun range and slot car racing.  Kids can also play the hottest new video games of the season with The Strike and The Hunt. 

 

They’ll love the activity tables where they can write a letter to Santa, color and do fun crafts every day of the week--all absolutely free. Also new this year, a fun Santa Bandz bracelet will be offered every weekday to the first 150 kids who visit Santa’s Wonderland Monday through Friday from 5-7pm (a different style will be offered each week).  Of course, Santa will be in residence there throughout the season.

 

Bass Pro Shops visitors can get a free 4x6 studio-

quality photo with Santa from 3pm to 8pm Monday

through Friday, Saturday’s 10am to 8pm and Sunday’s noon to 5 pm. Photo and gift packages will also be available. If the line is long, they can just grab a Bass Pass and their appointment with Santa is set.

Every weekday, Monday through Friday, from 5 to 7 pm

beginning November 7th through December 23rd, and every weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 5pm beginning November 6th through December 24th, kids can take part in the time-honored traditions of making crafts and holiday ornaments.  They can make fun items like a snowman door hanger or animal sun catcher and construct great ornaments out of fishing bobbers, Popsicle sticks, jingle bells and more—even decorate Christmas cookies December 19th-24th.   Again, it’s all free!  Visit www.basspro.com/santa after Nov. 1 and click on your local store for a complete schedule of Santa’s Wonderland activities and times.

 

Bass Pro Shops stores will kick off the Christmas season with a special Preview Night Saturday, November 5th from 5 pm to 8 pm. Local children’s groups and choirs will be singing Christmas carols in front of the store and customers will be treated to hot chocolate and cookies.  Santa arrives at 5pm in a Tracker boat pulled by a Toyota Tundra truck.

 

Kids will be invited to help Santa, through a little magic, light up the outside of the store and a big Christmas tree in the main entrance.  Then they can follow Santa into the store for the unveiling of Santa’s Wonderland.  Santa will also be giving away $25 Bass Pro Shops gift cards to one lucky winner every half hour.  Kids can kick off the season by coloring stockings and the first 150 kids to visit Santa’s Wonderland will receive a Santa Bandz bracelet!  Kids can also get their free photo with Santa that night from 6-8pm.

Bass Pro Shops also has big plans for Black Friday. The 5th Annual Great Turkey Campout begins at 5 PM Thanksgiving Day at all Bass Pro Shops store locations (with the exception of Foxborough, MA).  Customers are invited to bring their tents and camp out all night on the parking lot so they can be one of the first in line to enter the store the next morning. They can enjoy hot chocolate, coffee and smores from 5 pm – 8 pm around the fire pits and there will be special drawings for prizes. (NOTE:  Las Vegas, NV store location will NOT offer the smores’ activity.)

 

Return to the Christmas feeling you remember as a kid, return to “Santa’s Wonderland” at Bass Pro Shops and begin your own family tradition you are sure to remember for a lifetime. 

 

 


Reports show E15 damage in marine engines

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy recently released the results of two studies on the effects of using fuel that is 15 percent ethanol in volume in marine engines, and the reports showed significant problems with outboard, sterndrive and inboard engines, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported.

 

The studies were conducted on engines provided by Volvo Penta and Mercury Marine. The Energy Department approved the final analysis of the results.  Results of the reports show severe damage to engine components and an increase in exhaust emissions, reinforcing the recreational boating industry’s concern that E15 is not a suitable fuel for marine engines, the NMMA said.

 

Emissions and durability testing compared E15 fuel and fuel containing zero percent ethanol and examined exhaust emissions, exhaust gas temperature, torque, power, barometric pressure, air temperature and fuel flow. 

Specifically, the report showed degraded emissions performance outside of engine certification limits, as well as increased fuel consumption on the engines using E15 fuel. In separate testing on engine durability, each tested engine showed deterioration, including two of the three outboard engines, with damage severe enough to prevent them from completing the test cycle.

 

The E0 test engines did not exhibit any fuel-related issues, the NMMA said.  “Current proposals by the ethanol industry to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline should seriously concern all boaters and owners of other small engine equipment,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. “Although NMMA strongly supports renewable fuels as a means to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil and improve the environment, there is growing evidence that ethanol is not the answer to America’s energy challenge.”

 

For more information, Emissions and Durability test or the Fuel Endurance test from the Energy Department.


Motorists Beware: Deer on the Move in November

Deer can be spotted near rural roadways – or even many urban area any time of year, but motorists should be especially vigilant in the fall. Deer breeding season, called the "rut," peaks in mid-November, and this is when deer-vehicle collisions are most likely.

 

The increase in deer-vehicle crashes at this time of year is strongly influenced by the rut. During rut, deer travel more than in other seasons and pay less attention to hazards such as vehicles. Also during the fall, many deer move to new locations as crops are harvested and leaves fall from trees and shrubs, limiting cover.

Not only are deer more active during the fall, shorter days mean dusk and dawn - when deer are more likely to be on the move - occur when commuter traffic is busiest. In most cases, counties with high human populations and high traffic volumes record the most deer-vehicle crashes.

Motorists should observe the following tips to avoid deer collisions:

►be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are particularly active;

►watch for more than one deer - if one crosses the road, others may follow;
►reduce speed and be alert near wooded areas and near water sources;

►don't swerve to avoid hitting a deer –

►most serious accidents occur when motorists swerve and collide with another vehicle or run off the road and hit an obstacle;
►heed deer crossing signs;
►use bright lights and slow down whenever the reflective eyes of deer are spotted.

 

If you hit a deer, pull onto the shoulder, turn on your emergency flashers, and watch for traffic before exiting your vehicle. Do not try to remove a deer from the roadway unless you are certain it is dead; an injured deer is dangerous.  Call the police, depending on your situation and fill out a police report for your insurance company. For more information on what to do when you hit a deer, contact your insurance provider.


Lake Huron

Evaluation of Brown Trout in Lake Huron

Historically, brown trout have provided a near-shore pier and troll fishery in the spring, and were often caught incidentally by anglers targeting other species. Stocking success using regular yearling brown trout (6 to 7 inches long) has fallen to near zero since the collapse of alewives in 2003, and catching a brown trout is now an extremely rare event. Without alewives, (which served as a buffer between newly stocked brown trout and predators) very few stocked fish survived. Walleye, bass, pike, catfish, lake trout, and fish-eating birds ate most of them before they acclimated to life in the lake.

 

Collapse of alewife in 2003 and all the other food web changes that occurred in Lake Huron, have resulted in a resurgence of many native fish species including emerald shiner. We believe stocking of large fall yearling brown trout should be evaluated yet again to see if we can return brown trout to the fishery. October 2009 marked the beginning of a final attempt by the Michigan DNR to restore the Lake Huron brown trout program. Instead of stocking spring yearlings at 6 to 7 inches long, a lesser number of fish are held in hatcheries until October and stocked as much larger (11 to 13 inch) fall yearlings. It is hoped that these much larger fish will be too big for most predator fishes to eat and fish-eating birds will have already migrated south for the winter. The onshore migration of vast numbers of emerald shiners should provide an abundant food supply for the newly-stocked brown trout. If they can make it through their first winter, learn to feed and

grow, and disperse away from the stocking sites, they may again find a place in the Lake Huron fish community.

 

Even though they are being stocked in smaller numbers, the high cost per fish stocked ($3.14 each for large fall yearlings, as compared to 87 cents each for spring yearlings) makes this program as expensive as the previous brown trout program on Lake Huron.

 

Large fall yearling brown trout are being stocked for three consecutive years (October 2009 – October 2011) at several Lake Huron ports. DNRE creel census clerks will record brown trout caught by sport anglers and annual estimates of the total number caught will be made as part of the Great Lakes creel census program. Evaluation of the fishery will continue for three years after the third year of stocking, making this a six year long study ending in 2015. Most brown trout from a single stocking will be caught within three years after their release.

 

The DNR will estimate the total catch of all brown trout over 16 inches in the harvest to evaluate the success of this program. The DNR goal is to achieve a return to the fishery of at least 5% at each port where these large brown trout are stocked. It is possible that even these large fall yearlings might not survive and be caught in numbers sufficient to justify their cost. If that is the case, the DNR will  discontinue the program of stocking brown trout in Lake Huron.


Lake Michigan

Cormorant population decreasing along

Green Bay

GREEN BAY – The nearly quarter-century population growth of double-crested cormorants in the Wisconsin waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan may have ended. Numbers had been on the rise since 1986, but in 2011 the population on islands where control efforts were conducted showed an 18 percent decline from the 2009 peak of 15,227 nests. Management efforts resulted in 2011 nest numbers of 12,534.

"I anticipate that this year's removal of around 2,500 adult birds coupled with ongoing egg-oiling efforts will result in future reductions in the cormorant population, and bring us closer to the goals set for the managed islands," said Tammie Paoli, a fish biologist with the Department of Natural Resources in Peshtigo.

 

Cormorant numbers are estimated by nest surveys completed every few years on approximately 10 islands in Green Bay and Lake Michigan/Door County as a cooperative effort with Wisconsin DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Wildlife Services.


Cormorant nesting colony on Cat Island,

near the mouth of the Fox River, Green Bay
 

Cormorants, native to North America and the Great Lakes, were scarce in the 1950s through the 1970s. Their 

populations had declined as a result of habitat loss and the use of DDT, which contributed to eggshell thinning and cross-bill deformities. They were listed as a state endangered species in 1972, but numbers rebounded reaching problem levels on the islands in this century.

 

Some research suggests cormorant predation negatively affects yellow perch abundance in southern Green Bay. Fisheries biologists collect and analyze survey and creel data annually to investigate the impacts of double-crested cormorant management on fish populations. This information is used to determine future management actions and strategies.

 

DNR fisheries surveys documented strong year classes of yellow perch during the last eight years. Still, the adult perch population has not rebounded as expected.

 

Declines in Green Bay brown trout harvest also coincide with increasing cormorant numbers. This prompted DNR to modify stocking strategies for brown trout to try reducing post-stocking mortality. Fisheries biologists are hopeful a combination of fewer cormorants, more forage fish such as alewives in recent years, and adjustments to stocking strategies will result in improved harvest numbers for brown trout.

 

Additional background information about the cormorant’s history in Northeast Wisconsin can be found in a February 2008 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine story Cormorant conundrum.


Illinois

NMMA cancels Rosemont boat show

The National Marine Manufacturers Association has notified exhibitors that the Rosemont Sportfishing, Travel & Outdoors Show in the Chicago suburb was canceled.  The event was scheduled for Jan. 25-29 at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.   The NMMA said there

was not a sufficient critical mass to create an acceptable selling environment for exhibitors and a quality event for attendees.  The NMMA said it now will be able to focus on producing a more robust Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show. That event is scheduled for Jan. 12-16.


Indiana

Healthy Rivers INitiative to host open houses Nov. 14 and 16

Indiana’s Healthy Rivers INitiative (HRI) will be the topic of two November open houses during which the public can ask questions about the state’s largest land conservation effort and learn about its progress.

 

The open houses run from 6 to 8 p.m. The dates and locations are:

* Nov. 14, Austin Fire Department, 80 W. Main St., Austin.

* Nov. 16, Clinton City Council Chambers, 259 Vine St., Clinton.

 

Under the Healthy Rivers INitiative, the DNR and its partners are working with willing landowners to permanently protect 43,000 acres in the floodplain of the Wabash River and Sugar Creek in west-central Indiana and

another 26,000 acres of the Muscatatuck River bottoms in southeast Indiana. Partners in the HRI include the Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Nature Conservancy and several other resource agencies and organizations.

 

These projects involve the protection, restoration and enhancement of riparian and aquatic habitats and the species that use them, particularly threatened or endangered migratory birds and waterfowl. HRI also will benefit the public and surrounding communities by providing flood protection to riparian landowners downstream; increasing public access to recreational opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, boating, and bird watching; and leaving a legacy for future generations by providing a major conservation destination for tourists.

 


Hearings set for proposed limit changes,

Dec 1 & 6

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission will conduct two public hearings on proposed changes to clear up ambiguity regarding possession limits for legally taken fish and wildlife that have a bag limit, without adversely affecting wildlife species or unnecessarily encumbering legal anglers and hunters.

 

A nine-month review of current regulations by two DNR divisions – Law Enforcement and Fish & Wildlife – prompted the agency to seek the change, which would exempt from the possession limit restriction legally taken wild animals that have been processed and stored at an individual’s primary residence.

 

Several other state wildlife agencies that were contacted as part of the review already have adopted similar rules.

 

Currently, daily bag limit is defined (Indiana Code 14-8-2-18) as the quantity of individual wild animals that may be taken in one day of a specified season or during the entire season, and the possession limit is two times the daily bag limit.  These changes would not apply to migratory birds and waterfowl. U.S. Fish and Wildlife authorities interpret possession limit to include processed and stored specimens.

 

The proposed rule language can be found at: www.in.gov/legislative/iac/20111019-IR-312110470PRA.xml.pdf   Individuals can provide comments at one of the public hearings scheduled as

follows starting at 6 p.m. (EST):

 

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011

Spring Mill Inn, Elm Room

Spring Mill State Park

3333 St. Rd. 60 East

Mitchell, IN 47446

 

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011

Peru Public Library          

102 East Main Street

Peru, IN 46970

 

Comments regarding these proposed changes also can be submitted to the NRC by going to  www.in.gov/nrc/2377.htm  and clicking on "Comment on Proposed Rule" next to the “Wild Animal Possession Limit.” The deadline for submitting comments is Dec. 7, 2011.

 

Comments also can be mailed to:

 

 Natural Resources Commission

 Indiana Government Center North

 100 North Senate Ave., Room N501

 Indianapolis, IN 46204

 

All comments sent to the NRC regarding these proposed rule changes will be provided to its members and DNR staff and will be publicly disclosed and searchable on the Internet and in a paper docket as part of the final report.

 


Michigan

DNR Detects KHV virus in Silver Lake Fish Kill

A Michigan DNR sampling of an August 2011 common carp die-off in Oceana County’s Silver Lake has detected Koi herpesvirus (KHV). An estimated 2,000 to 4,000 adult common carp died, a small proportion of the total carp population, DNR Fisheries Division officials said.

Other fish species were found to be in healthy and unaffected.

 

“This virus is capable of large scale common carp die-offs as seen in Ontario in 2007 and 2008,” said Gary Whelan, DNR fish production manager. “The virus is an internationally reportable disease and has been reported to the World Animal Health Organization (OIE).”

 

Earlier this year, KHV was confirmed during another fish kill on Kent Lake. KHV had not been previously found in wild fish samples in Michigan until this year, but was detected in a private Koi pond near Grand Rapids in 2003. KHV in Silver Lake was identified through a cooperative effort involving the DNR, Michigan State University’s Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory and the USDA- APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

 

The underlying reasons for the emergence and spread of KHV in Michigan remain under investigation.  KHV affects common carp, goldfish, and Koi and is specific to those fish species.  KHV is not likely to affect native minnow species and there are no human health effects. 

 

KHV disease is found worldwide and likely was introduced to Michigan waters from the release or escape of infected ornamental fish.  It is transmitted fish to fish and usually 

only causes disease outbreaks at temperatures above 60o F.  KHV can live for short periods outside of fish in water or bottom sediments.  Disease signs include bloody patches on the fish’s sides, lethargic swimming on the surface, sunken eyes, and deteriorating gills.  Infected fish may survive the disease and become carriers of the pathogen for other fish.

 

“The disease is easy to confuse with other diseases such as Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia so laboratory analysis is needed to confirm this disease,” Whelan said. “While there are no treatments for this disease, the DNR is evaluating the next steps to manage this pathogen.”

 

The public is asked to notify the DNR when they see unusual fish kills at www.michigan.gov/fisheries under “Related Resources.”

 

For more info, including its virulence, distribution and prior large-scale mortalities in North America can be found at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources website: www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/

@letsfish/documents/document/241236.pdf , and at the U of Florida website: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/VM/VM11300.pdf .

 

“This disease outbreak is another example of why the DNR reminds anglers and boaters that they need to drain bilges and live wells upon leaving a boat launch,” said Acting DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “Anglers should clean their boats, disinfect their gear and not move live fish to reduce the possibility of any fish diseases being transferred to new locations.”


Ohio

Grand Opening of Estuary Exhibit at Old Woman Creek

HURON, OH - The public is invited to an open house featuring new, state-of-the art estuary education exhibits November 5 at the Ohio DNR, Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve.

 

Spend a day of discovery at the day Old Woman Creek Reserve. Explore habitats and wildlife through dioramas featuring live animals. Investigate the valuable world of wetlands through interactive maps, games, and video. Experience local history with a talking timeline and discover other recreational opportunities along Ohio’s Lake Erie coast. Learn what you can do and make a pledge for clean water. Guided trail walks will be available on the hour.

 

Events will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Old Woman Creek Visitor Center located 1 mile west of SR 61 at 2514 Cleveland Road East. 

 

Estuaries such as Old Woman Creek protect Lake Erie by

 removing pollutants from streams and rivers and benefit coastal communities by buffering against floods and erosion. These valuable coastal wetlands also provide habitat for wildlife as well as a nursery for Lake Erie sport fish. The Lake Erie fishery contributes more than $800 million to Ohio’s economy annually. Birders and other wildlife watchers spend nearly $1 billion statewide each year on these activities.

 

The Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 28 national estuarine research reserves across the country. Its mission is to improve the understanding, stewardship, and appreciation of Great Lake estuaries and coastal wetlands. To learn more about Old Woman Creek Reserve and estuaries visit www.oldwomancreek.org and www.estuaries.gov.

 

For more information about the grand opening, please visit www.oldwomancreek.org  or call the Visitor Center at (419) 433-4601. Refreshments will be provided by Friends of Old Woman Creek.

 


Young Ohio Archers named World Champions

COLUMBUS, OH – The Logan Hocking Middle School archery team and Cody Bush of Philo Junior High School took first place at the third National Archery in the Schools (NASP) World Tournament held in Orlando, Florida October 6-8 according to the Ohio DNR.

 

One thousand seventy-one student archers participated in the tournament with representatives from 28 states and the countries of Canada, South Africa, and New Zealand. In addition, five other Ohio students placed at the competition: Dylan Crabtree of Logan placed 5th as an individual in the Middle School Male Division; Cole Cook Logan Hocking Middle School was 8th, also in the Middle School Male Division; Ryan McGill from St. Peter in Chains School in Hamilton County, took 2nd place in the 6th Grade Individual Male Division; Ciara Cox from Logan High School was 4th in the High School Female Division; and Kelsey Taylor from Morgan High School (Morgan County), finished 8th in the High School Female Division.

The Ohio students and teams qualified to participate in the NASP World Tournament through their participation in the NASP National competition held in Louisville, KY this past May. For more information, including complete results of the NASP World Tournament go to www.nasptournaments.org.

 

The National Archery in the Schools Program brings target archery to the school gym. The curriculum covers archery, safety, equipment, technique, concentration skills, and self-improvement. Kentucky originated NASP in 2002. Ohio has participated in the program since 2004. For more information on the program, visit www.archeryintheschools.org.

 

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

 


Wisconsin

Chinook numbers, size increase this year

Great numbers show up at egg collection facilities

The Chinook salmon, and the eggs they're giving up at Wisconsin's three egg collection facilities along Lake Michigan, are looking good. That's a reversal of sobering trends in recent years, and reflects adequate reproduction of the alewives chinook eat and a lake-wide reduction in stocking that is better matching fish with available food, state fisheries officials say.

 

"All things considered the chinook return at Strawberry Creek this year took a very positive turn after generally declining trends of numbers and size of fish returning to the weir," says Scott Hansen, the Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist heading up egg collection activities at the Strawberry Creek facility near Sturgeon Bay.

DNR staff help to net the fish.

Once the net is full, it's lifted out of the water.

The fish then spend a little time in a special solution to help calm them down.

Sleepy salmon are then poured out into the holding area.

DNR staff pull the fish out of the holding area to get information on each one.

They determine the sex of the fish, measure and weigh it. This is part of the record keeping process that's been going on since the 1970s.

Eggs from the female salmon are harvested for restocking.

Salmon eggs

Salmon

At the end of the salmon run, DNR staff clean up the pond where the salmon were kept for harvesting, preparing it for winter.

DNR staff help to net the fish.

Once the net is full, it's lifted out of the water.

The fish then spend a little time in a special solution to help calm them down.

Sleepy salmon are then poured out into the holding area.

DNR staff pull the fish out of the holding area to get information on each one.

They determine the sex of the fish, measure and weigh it. This is part of the record keeping process that's been going on since the 1970s.

Eggs from the female salmon are harvested for restocking.

Salmon eggs

Salmon

At the end of the salmon run, DNR staff clean up the pond where the salmon were kept for harvesting, preparing it for winter.

 

The fish appeared heavier and in better condition than last  

year, and the average size of eggs increased considerably this year from last year. "That is another encouraging sign," Hansen says.  Fisheries crews and volunteers at Strawberry Creek handled about 5,400 chinooks over six harvest days this season, up from 2,014 last year, collecting about 2.3 million eggs to be hatched and reared at state hatcheries and stocked out next year in Lake Michigan.

 

The story was the same at the other two facilities collecting chinook this fall, the C.D. Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility in Kewaunee, The fish appeared heavier and in better condition than last year, and the average size of eggs increased considerably this year from last year. "That is another encouraging sign," Hansen says.

 

Fisheries crews and volunteers at Strawberry Creek handled about 5,400 chinooks over six harvest days this season, up from 2,014 last year, collecting about 2.3 million eggs to be hatched and reared at state hatcheries and stocked out next year in Lake Michigan. The story was the same at the other two facilities collecting chinook this fall, the C.D. Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility in Kewaunee, and the Root River Steelhead Facility in Racine.

 

Fish immediately began to enter the fish ladder and the collection ponds in Kewaunee as soon as the pumps were turned on Oct. 7, according to Mike Baumgartner, facility supervisor.

 

"By Friday afternoon the fishway leading to the ladder was so full of fish that we had to block the entrance to the fish way until we could get the fish into the facility," he says. "I've been at this station since 1992 and have not had to do that before.

 

"I've never seen the fish move into the facility all at once like they did in such a short period of time and in such high numbers."

Fish crews at the Root River also saw lots of fish in good condition. They are collecting Coho and brown trout eggs, and their customers are starting to show up.

 

Bill Horns, DNR's Great Lakes fishery specialist, expects the Coho numbers and size will be as encouraging as they were for the chinook.

"The Coho fishery was tremendous early in the summer, so we're expecting they'll be showing up in good numbers and good shape this fall," Horns says.  "It's always about whether the fish get enough to eat. Apparently they did, and that is in part because we had adequate reproduction of alewives and also because Wisconsin and the other states surrounding Lake Michigan cut back chinook stocking 25 percent starting in 2006," he says.

 

"We did the right thing at the right time, and it's paid off in continued great fishing and in improving condition of fish.”  Horns says Wisconsin and other lakes surrounding Lake Michigan are now jointly considering stocking levels for Lake Michigan and will be carefully considering the delicate balance between forage and fish numbers, particularly as natural reproduction in Michigan streams increases.

 

"I wouldn’t say we're totally out of the woods," he says. "Alewife reproduction can be unpredictable and there is no guarantee we are secure. But we can take comfort in the size of the Chinooks harvested and in the number and size of fish returning to our egg collection facilities."

 

 


2006-11 Salmon Stamp report now available

Anglers enjoying Great Lakes tributary fishing for trout and salmon this fall can see how their purchase of trout and salmon stamps is improving their sport. The Salmon Stamp report for Fiscal Years 2006-2011 is now available online.

 

DNR's Great Lakes trout and salmon program is supported entirely by anglers and hunters and half of that -- about $1.8 million -- comes from the sale of salmon stamps and two-day Great Lakes fishing licenses. The rest of the funding comes from fishing licenses and other contributed to the segregated Fish and Wildlife Account.

 

Wisconsin started stocking Pacific strain trout and salmon

in the 1960s to help control alewife numbers. The fishery

has since grown very popular, and while Wisconsin waters don't support natural reproduction because of higher water temperatures and other factors, Michigan's do.

 

In the early 1980s, the loss of federal funding for nonnative trout and salmon stocking prompted the creation of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes Trout and Salmon Stamp Program to raise money to allow continued rearing and stocking. Since 1982, every angler fishing for salmon or trout in the Wisconsin waters of the Great Lakes has been required to purchase a Great Lakes Trout and Salmon Stamp (commonly referred to as the Salmon Stamp) in addition to a fishing license.

 


Sturgeon spearing license deadline Oct. 31

OSHKOSH -- Sturgeon spearers will want to make sure they've purchased their sturgeon spearing license by midnight Oct. 31, 2011, to get another good shot at landing a really big fish in the 2011 Lake Winnebago System spearing seasons.

A record number of fish weighing more than 100 pounds -- 94 -- were harvested in 2011, and state fish surveys continue to show a large number of really big fish in the Winnebago system, says Ron Bruch, Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor.

"The probability of another fish in the harvest over 200 pounds increases each year," Bruch says. "We're seeing a shift in the fish population to include more older and larger fish, thanks to the strategies we began putting in place in the early 1990s to better protect vulnerable adult female fish.

 

"That's good news for spearers in 2012, and we expect another excellent season if water clarity is anything better than poor next February."

Spearing licenses are required for spearers to participate in the Lake Winnebago sturgeon spearing season or the Upriver Lakes season, which both start at the same time,

Feb. 11, 2012. Licenses are $20 for residents and $65 for

non-residents and can be purchased in three convenient ways:

  • Buy over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center;

  • Call toll-free 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4236); at license sales locations; or

  • Buy at any one of the 1,400 located throughout Wisconsin license agents.

 

Last season, the 94 fish more than 100 pounds that spearers registered equaled about 6.6 percent of the total 1,426 fish harvested, and that's well up from less than 1 percent, which was common 20 years ago, Bruch says.

 

The reigning state fish record for a lake sturgeon harvested by spearing is a 212-pound lake sturgeon registered in 2010 by Ron Grishaber of Appleton. It was the first fish to exceed 200 pounds since DNR started requiring mandatory registration in 1955. "We routinely see a few fish each year now during our population assessments that exceed 200 pounds, and 2012 may be the year another lucky spearer winds up in the record books," Bruch says.

 


Cormorant population decreasing along

Green Bay

GREEN BAY – The nearly quarter-century population growth of double-crested cormorants in the Wisconsin waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan may have ended. Numbers had been on the rise since 1986, but in 2011 the population on islands where control efforts were conducted showed an 18 percent decline from the 2009 peak of 15,227 nests. Management efforts resulted in 2011 nest numbers of 12,534.

"I anticipate that this year's removal of around 2,500 adult birds coupled with ongoing egg-oiling efforts will result in future reductions in the cormorant population, and bring us closer to the goals set for the managed islands," said Tammie Paoli, a fish biologist with the Department of Natural Resources in Peshtigo.

 

Cormorant numbers are estimated by nest surveys completed every few years on approximately 10 islands in Green Bay and Lake Michigan/Door County as a cooperative effort with Wisconsin DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Wildlife Services.


Cormorant nesting colony on Cat Island,

near the mouth of the Fox River, Green Bay
 

Cormorants, native to North America and the Great Lakes, were scarce in the 1950s through the 1970s. Their 

populations had declined as a result of habitat loss and the use of DDT, which contributed to eggshell thinning and cross-bill deformities. They were listed as a state endangered species in 1972, but numbers rebounded reaching problem levels on the islands in this century.

 

Some research suggests cormorant predation negatively affects yellow perch abundance in southern Green Bay. Fisheries biologists collect and analyze survey and creel data annually to investigate the impacts of double-crested cormorant management on fish populations. This information is used to determine future management actions and strategies.

 

DNR fisheries surveys documented strong year classes of yellow perch during the last eight years. Still, the adult perch population has not rebounded as expected.

 

Declines in Green Bay brown trout harvest also coincide with increasing cormorant numbers. This prompted DNR to modify stocking strategies for brown trout to try reducing post-stocking mortality. Fisheries biologists are hopeful a combination of fewer cormorants, more forage fish such as alewives in recent years, and adjustments to stocking strategies will result in improved harvest numbers for brown trout.

 

Additional background information about the cormorant’s history in Northeast Wisconsin can be found in a February 2008 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine story Cormorant conundrum.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Recapping summer’s spectacular salmon season 

Lake Michigan enjoyed an ideal formula for salmon production this summer with more fish than recent years, but not too many, and an abundant supply of alewives to grow those fish to larger sizes.

 

Michigan DNR: Thousands of fish died from herpesvirus
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that a herpesvirus is to blame for thousands of dead fish that were found in Oceana County's Silver Lake.

 

EDITORIAL: Customs costs
Border state representatives in Congress should work to kill these customs fees — or show reason why they should stand.

 

Westrec touts new Chicago marina

Chicago may be hundreds of miles and many degrees removed from South Florida, but Westrec Marinas was at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to tout its new marina, which is scheduled to open next spring in the Windy City

 

EDITORIAL: Democrats cling to their guns

Gun ownership is on the rise in some surprising places. As much as President Obama would have us believe that only small-town yokels "cling to guns or religion," a Gallup poll released Wednesday suggests many of the firearms that have been flying off the shelves in the past two years were purchased by

 

States ask high court to order nets on Chicago waterways to curb Asian carp
Five Great Lakes states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to require nets in Chicago area waterways to stop the spread of Asian carp.

 

Options for new ballast water rules on the St-Lawrence Seaway

The environmental department of New York State has announced the intention to enforce new rules for ballast water after 2012. Revised shipping rules required that ships exchange ballast water prior to sailing upriver to points upriver of Montreal.

Wildlife: Cormorant reduction efforts are working
Michigan reported a 38 percent drop in cormorant nest counts last year while Wisconsin reported an 18 percent decline on islands where control efforts were conducted between 2009 and 2011.

Playing on Chicago River could make you sick
According to a long-awaited health study published Wednesday, boating and fishing on the Chicago River is no riskier than doing so on other local waterways.

 

Lake Erie lakefront property owners want $500,000 for legal fees
A group of property owners along Lake Erie are demanding that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources compensate them for more than $500,000 worth of legal fees incurred during a legal battle over property lines, according to a news release from the Ohio Lakefront Group.

DNR expert: Finding invasive carp is like looking for 'a needle in a haystack'
There's renewed concern over the approach of Asian carp into Minnesota waterways, prompted by environmental DNA tests that showed traces of the species' DNA in several locations in the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities. Two species of the carp, bighead and silver carp, are considered invasive species and a threat to the Great Lakes.

It's going to be quite a year for steelhead
The yearly push of steelhead into Michigan rivers is starting: the run that will primarily determine how many fish winter over, and how many fish will remain in the river for the spring spawn. This year, the steelhead, like the salmon, look like they'll be a little bit bigger than usual.

 

Schuette again files Asian carp appeal with Supreme Court
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette wants the high court to force the Army Corps of Engineers to speed up a study on permanently separating the Mississippi River watershed from the Great Lakes to stop Asian carp from getting into Lake Michigan.

 

Basins separation could hurt water quality
A hydrological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins would send Asian carp swimming back downstream, but would also alter water quality.

 

Is the Illinois River a glimpse at Lake Erie's future? The battle against Asian carp
Given how adaptable and resilient Asian carp are, and how they can easily overwhelm an ecosystem, it is impossible not to imagine what would happen should these fish come to Lake Erie.

 

 

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

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

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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