Week of November 28, 2005

Regional

General

Lake Huron

Minnesota

Ohio

Pennsylvania

       Weekly News Archives

                         or

       New Product  Archives

Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for November 25, 2005

Lake Level Conditions:

All of the Great Lakes, except Lake Ontario, are 4 to 8 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Lake Ontario is 6 inches higher than it was a year ago.  Lake Superior is expected to fall 3 inches over the next month, but will remain above chart datum in December.  Lake Michigan-Huron is below chart datum and should decline 2 inches over the next 30 days.  Lake St. Clair is projected to drop by an inch in the next month.  Lakes Erie and Ontario are expected to fall 1 and 3 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days.  Levels over the next few months on all the Great Lakes, with the exception of Lake Ontario, are expected to remain lower than 2004/2005.  

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is projected to be near average during the month of November.  Flow in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are anticipated to be below average during November.  Flow in the Niagara River is predicted to be near average during this month.  St. Lawrence River flow is projected to be below average in November.

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.

 

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Expected water level for Nov 25 in ft

601.5

577.1

573.0

570.3

244.8

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

+5

-5

+8

+14

+18

Diff from last month, in inches

-1

-3

-6

-6

+1

Diff from last year in inches

-4

-7

-8

-7

+6

 


States, Canada seal deal to conserve Great Lakes

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich (AP) . -- Negotiators for eight states and two Canadian provinces have reached an agreement aimed at preventing outsiders from raiding Great Lakes water.  The pact, reached after four years of talks, also seeks to encourage conservation of water by the states and provinces around the Great Lakes.

 

The agreement was motivated largely by fears that states in

the booming--and arid--Southwest will try tapping into the lakes, which hold 90 percent of the nation's fresh surface water. The final version has been submitted to the region's governors and premiers, who are expected to sign it during a meeting Dec. 13 in Milwaukee.

 

The agreement would outlaw most diversions of Great Lakes water outside their drainage basin, and regulation of water use within the basin would be left up to each state and province.


Fall Netting Targeting Eurasian Ruffe – Turns up None

An annual fall netting survey targeting Eurasian Ruffe (Ruffe)by the U S Fish and Wildlife Service in the only known location in Lake Huron, the Thunder Bay River – has resulted in none caught for the 3rd year in a row.

 

The USFWS believe that the  Eurasian Ruffe may have become extirpated from the Thunder Bay area and Lake Huron based on survey findings from 2003 to present. The Service says possible extirpation of Ruffe is a remarkable outcome considering established invasive species generally become a part of the fish community into the future.

 

The Eurasian Ruffe is an invasive fish species that was first

found in the Great Lakes from Lake Superior in the 1980's. They are believed to have been accidentally transported to the Great Lakes from their native land of Eurasia in the ballast water of an ocean going ship. Ruffe were found in Lake Huron in the Thunder Bay River in Alpena, Michigan in 1995. Ruffe were also found in Lake Michigan in 2002.

 

The abundance of Ruffe in the Thunder Bay River slowly increased until their numbers reached an all time high in 1999 when they were the most abundant bottom dwelling fish captured during fall trawling surveys. In 2002 the Alpena FWS Fishery Resource Office initiated a spring netting survey to remove adult spawning Ruffe from the river prior to spawning. Ruffe were captured in the spring and fall of 2002 and spring of 2003 but have not been captured since.


General

River food chain gets healthy serving of dead salmon

Fish recovery - Officials hope carcass drops will boost Mount Hood aquatic life

MOUNT HOOD, OR (AP) -- About 4,500 salmon carcasses were dropped by helicopter in the Mount Hood National Forest last week to enhance the food chain for fish and wildlife in the upper Clackamas and Sandy river basins. Most are from the fall coho run.

 

Contracted by the U.S. Forest Service, Northwest Helicopters of Olympia is dropping carcasses from the federal Eagle Creek hatchery and state hatcheries along the Oak Grove and North forks of the Clackamas along Camp Creek and the Clear Fork of the Sandy. The drop zones total about 10 stream miles.

The Forest Service began the drops five years ago to supplement the aquatic food chain, part of the strategy to rebuild depleted fish runs. However, the forested environment prevents precision drops and some of the carcasses fall on land to be consumed by animals. The drops are made in areas inaccessible to volunteers who distribute the carcasses by walking to stream-sides. The decaying fish replace some of the nutrients that came from wild salmon after they spawned and died in past generations.

 

After a survey in 2004 found no significant gain in the simplest forms of aquatic life, the amount dropped for each stream mile was increased.  Future drops will depend on funding and success in boosting the fish food chain, he said. The 2004 drops cost $23,000.

 


Federal Loophole for Hunters Targeted

Senate Debates Curbing Tax Breaks on Trophies

WASHINGTON (AP) -  Big-game hunters will find it far more difficult and less lucrative to donate their extra trophy mounts and claim charitable tax deductions under new tax rules being debated this week on the Senate floor.

 

Tightening the trophy-mount tax break, and making sure that museums do not accept donated items with the intention of quickly selling them off, have been identified as priorities by Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.  New language that would substantially close the loopholes was voted out of the Finance Committee.

 

The loophole Grassley said he is seeking to close allows big-game hunters to deduct some or all of the cost of their safaris if they later donate to a museum some of the trophy animals they kill and have mounted. The new rules would allow some donations, but would limit the amount of charitable contribution that could be deducted to the market value of the specimen, rather than the replacement value.

 

In addition, the new provisions would make it far more difficult for museums to accept hundreds of donations that they had no intention of keeping and displaying to the public. The Wyobraska Wildlife Museum in Gering, Neb., for instance, received hundreds of donated trophy mounts in recent years and kept most of them in trailers behind its modest facility

before selling them at a taxidermy auction for a small percentage of the value claimed by donors.

 

Grassley said tightening the trophy mount loophole would save several million dollars over 10 years, and ensure that museums accept only items they plan to keep in their collections. The moves would save as much as $40 million over that period.

 

"The equivalent for non-hunters would be if someone bought a sweater in Paris, donated it to Goodwill, and took a tax deduction for the entire trip to Paris," he said. "The tax code should encourage legitimate donations, but only legitimate donations."

 

The practice of donating hunting trophies has been broadly advertised within the big-game hunting community, with one appraiser from Chicago sending out brochures promoting ways to "Hunt for Free." Hunters have also been encouraged to set up "museums" in their homes that would allow for large tax write-offs.

 

The Senate language was welcomed yesterday by the Humane Society of the United States, which has sought to focus attention on the existence of hunting parks where exotic animals are raised and hunted for a fee. Some of the questionable trophy mounts donated to museums were killed in such parks, especially in several larges ones in Texas.


 

Lake Huron

USFWS Completes 2005 Mid-lake Lake Trout Survey

Catch rates declined to an all time low

The Alpena Fishery Resources Office (FRO) has completed its annual mid-lake lake trout spawning survey on Lake Huron.  The goal of the survey is to collect data of spawning lake trout at index stations at two mid-lake reef complexes; Yankee Reef and Six Fathom Bank. The Service has stocked hundreds of thousands of lake trout yearlings on these 2 off-shore reefs in recent years.

 

All lake trout collected were measured for length, weighed, checked for lamprey wounds, sexed, assessed for maturity and visceral fat content, and sampled for ageing structures. Non-target fish species were worked up in a similar manner as well. The Alpena FRO has conducted the annual mid-lake lake trout spawning surveys on these reefs since 1993.

 

In 2005, catch rates declined to an all time low at Yankee

Reef. Total catch rates were down 67%, and catch rates at the north and south Yankee Reef sites were down 85% and 54% respectively compared to 2004 data.  No unclipped, presumably wild adult lake trout were captured at Yankee Reef in 2005. This is a departure from 2004 when unclipped fish were sampled at each of the 5 mid-lake sites and 13% of Yankee Reef fish sampled were unclipped.

 

Low 2005 catch rates at Yankee Reef may indicate decreases in spawner abundance on this important off shore complex; however, low catch rates may also be due to warmer than normal air and water temperatures that delayed arrival of spawning fish.

 

Six Fathom Bank and Yankee Reef were historically important lake trout spawning sites, and are an important index of lake trout rehabilitation in Lake Huron.

 


Fall Netting Targeting Eurasian Ruffe – Turns up None

An annual fall netting survey targeting Eurasian Ruffe (Ruffe)by the U S Fish and Wildlife Service in the only known location in Lake Huron, the Thunder Bay River – has resulted in none caught for the 3rd year in a row.

 

The USFWS believe that the  Eurasian Ruffe may have become extirpated from the Thunder Bay area and Lake Huron based on survey findings from 2003 to present. The Service says possible extirpation of Ruffe is a remarkable outcome considering established invasive species generally become a part of the fish community into the future.

 

The Eurasian Ruffe is an invasive fish species that was first

found in the Great Lakes from Lake Superior in the 1980's. They are believed to have been accidentally transported to the Great Lakes from their native land of Eurasia in the ballast water of an ocean going ship. Ruffe were found in Lake Huron in the Thunder Bay River in Alpena, Michigan in 1995. Ruffe were also found in Lake Michigan in 2002.

 

The abundance of Ruffe in the Thunder Bay River slowly increased until their numbers reached an all time high in 1999 when they were the most abundant bottom dwelling fish captured during fall trawling surveys. In 2002 the Alpena FWS Fishery Resource Office initiated a spring netting survey to remove adult spawning Ruffe from the river prior to spawning. Ruffe were captured in the spring and fall of 2002 and spring of 2003 but have not been captured since.


Minnesota

Lake of the Woods yields 27-year-old walleye

BAUDETTE, Minn. (AP) - There's a new record for Lake of the Woods' oldest walleye.

 

A 29” walleye sampled during a population assessment was found to be 27 years old, breaking the lake's previous record of 24 years, officials said. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries crews determined the fish's age by looking at rings in an ear bone, called the otolith. The process

is similar to aging a tree.

 

Mike Larson, the DNR's fisheries supervisor in Baudette, said a 29-inch walleye on Lake of the Woods is generally 18 to 20 years old. Larson said he wouldn't be surprised if the next record-breaking walleye is found on the Red River, which provides a diet of especially oily baitfish. An angler recently caught a 29-incher that weighed more than 12 pounds.


Ohio

Young Hunters bag 31% more deer

COLUMBUS, OH - Young hunters across Ohio took advantage of great weather last weekend, taking 31% more deer than in 2004, during the Third Annual Youth Deer-Gun Season.  Hunters age 17 and under killed 8,722 deer in the special two-day season, aimed at providing a high-quality hunt for youngsters, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Last year’s youth hunt saw a deer harvest of 6,673.

 

The Division of Wildlife estimated 15,000 young hunters took to the fields and forests during the two-day season.  “In only three years, the Youth Deer-Gun Season has become the most popular of all seasons for young hunters,” said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Division of Wildlife. “We are thrilled with the success of these special youth-only hunts, which have helped Ohio become a national leader in attracting young people to the outdoors.”

 

Sales of youth licenses have grown steadily during the past three years: 34,459 (2002), 39,491 (2003), and 41,562 (2004).

 

 “The Division of Wildlife is very involved with the national

‘Families Afield’ initiative which encourages more families to take their youngsters hunting. This national effort is being spearheaded by the National Wild Turkey Federation, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance,” said Gray.

 

The youth deer-gun season was open statewide on both private and public land. Young hunters could take one deer of either sex, in accordance with existing bag and deer-zone limits. Shotguns, muzzleloaders, handguns and bows were legal. All participants were required to wear hunter orange, possess a valid Ohio hunting license and special deer permit, and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult.

 

This recent hunt is one of four special youth-only dates designed to promote the sport of hunting among young Ohioans.  Special days are also set aside for upland game, wild turkey, and waterfowl hunting opportunities.

“Ohio has enjoyed a great recovery of many species of wildlife.  For this to continue, we will need future generations of hunter-conservationists,” said Gray.

 


Pennsylvania

Agency Seeks Information on Smallmouth Poaching      

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is seeking information that may be useful to its investigation of a poaching incident in Duncannon, Perry County, earlier this month.         

       

Sometime over the Veteran’s Day holiday weekend, a person or persons illegally killed and filleted nearly 100 smallmouth bass.  The carcasses were then unlawfully dumped along the banks of the Susquehanna River.  The fish were left in piles near the uppermost railroad underpass off Market Street in Duncannon.          

       

The bass ranged in size from 11 to 17 inches in length; the adjacent section of the Susquehanna River is managed under special regulations requiring that bass must be a minimum of 18 inches to be legally harvested at this time of the year.  The daily creel limit is a maximum of two bass per angler in this area.  It is unlawful to fillet fish having a minimum size limit or  

closed season until the fish have arrived at the place of consumption.

 

“The wanton waste in this instance is appalling,” said PFBC Executive Director Douglas Austen. “The willful disregard for the regulations that preserve natural resources for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians is an affront to anglers and non-anglers alike. We’d like to hear from anyone who can contribute to our ongoing investigation.”

             

The Commission is interested in information from the public that would aide in the identification and apprehension of the responsible person or persons.  Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to immediately contact the PFBC’s Southcentral Region Bureau of Law Enforcement at 717-486-7087 or e-mail Regional Law Enforcement Manager Donald Lauver at dolauver@state.pa.us .  

       

All leads received will be treated as confidential.

 


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.

arrowUSFWS Press Releases  arrowSea Grant News

State Fish Pages

Illinois - Indiana - Michigan - Minnesota - Ohio - Pennsylvania - New York - Wisconsin - Ontario

 

Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links

Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives 


All contents Copyright © 1995 - 2005, GLSFC All Rights Reserved.

Web site maintained by JJ Consulting