Week of December 5, 2005

National

Regional

General

Illinois

Michigan

Minnesota

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

Ontario

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National

NPS to charge anglers for boating near Apostle Islands

Park Service aims to impose user fees to boat within a 1/4 mile of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Bayfield County & Apostle Islands Sport Fishermen Assn oppose boating fees

WASHBURN —The Bayfield County Board of Commissioners late last month unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the implementation of recreational fees by the National Park Service for boaters on Lake Superior within the quarter mile offshore border of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. 

 

But that may not matter to Park authorities. 

 

The Ashland Press reports the Board action came despite the testimony of Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker who told the body that he was considering a recommendation that the National Lakeshore begin charging an entry fee that would include all boaters within quarter-mile offshore boundary around the islands.

 

Krumenaker said he was considering the entry fee in compliance with new federal laws requiring all National Parks to seek user fee-based revenues.  "As you know the park has been cutting back on staff and services and looking for every cost-saving measure we can in order to stretch a flat budget further," he told the board. "In the meantime, Congress has directed that parks pass more of the costs of operating the park to the users."

 

Krumenaker acknowledged that the move would not be popular. Krumenaker said by not including boaters within the Lakeshore's boundaries, he would be eliminating about half the revenue possible in the fee structure. He said the fees would likely be similar to entry fees charged at state parks and other similar activities. He cautioned that no policy on fees has yet been established, but indicated the amounts could be in the neighborhood of $15 a week or a yearly sticker for $40 to $50.

 

Krumenaker's explanations of the need for user fees convinced no one on the board, and his presentation brought outright hostility from one board member. "The more you talk, the less I trust you," said board member John Blahnik. Blahnik charged that the proposed fees were part of an "agenda to take motorized boats out of the Islands."

 

Board member Richard Compton said he had serious doubts that the Park Service would be able to raise significant funds from the fees, and he said the Service must have known how unpopular the fees would be.  "Why raise the issue?" he questioned. "We are going to have to have a lot of boats out there chasing people around." He urged Krumenaker to withdraw the proposal and develop a more realistic plan. "This is ridiculous," he said.

 

Board member Neil Paulson, a former Forest Service supervisor said he sympathized with Krumenaker but he too had objections to the fees. "For the most part, people don't have a problem paying fees if they touch the ground," he said. "But I haven't heard anybody in favor of charging for being out on the water.

 

He said he hoped to have a proposal completed before the end of the year. He said he would devote the time from then until the due date in April for public comment. He said he would be happy to hold a public comment session in the Bayfield County Courthouse.

 

Al House of the Apostle Islands Sportfishing Association also spoke to the board and noted if people were going to pay a fee, they should get something in return for that fee.

 

"The Park Service has no intent of improving the water resources," he said. "They should concentrate on collecting fees on the islands."  House said the proposed fees were "about control."  He also questioned if the measure would be conducive to tourism.  "Can we afford to pyramid fees? I think not. This resolution sends a clear message that it is not in the interests of Bayfield County to have these charges," he said.

The measure unanimously passed the board on an 11-0 vote with two board members absent.

 

House stated "The issue is not one of fees being charged for activities or services provided on the islands.  The issue is the concept he seems enamored with, that powerboats that come within an arbitrary ¼ mile water boundary of the islands would be required to pay a fee also.  This is fundamentally wrong and unacceptable on a number of levels."

 

"First is the history of the Apostle Islands.  Unlike other island parks (such as Isle Royale) parts of the AINL are in areas that for hundreds of years have seen pleasure, working, sport and commercial fishing, Native American and other boats pass through enroute to other areas as well as to spots within the islands.  The Apostle Islands, and especially their waters, were part of the community identity long before the National Park Service was involved, and they continue to be part of their identity today." 

 

House went on  "Second, Krumenaker has already ruled out charging commercial and Native American boats, and is being vaguely ambiguous about charging kayaks, thus setting the stage for a very discriminatory policy towards non Native American powerboat owners, who would end up footing the bulk of the bill.  In the case of fishermen, probably 90% never step foot on the Apostle Islands, or utilize any Park Service facilities or services.  So, please understand why to them it looks like blatant revenue grab-because it will be.

 

"Third is the fact that the National Park Service contributes nothing to the benefit of the resources found in that ¼ mile water boundary Supt. Krumenaker holds so dear.  The State of Wisconsin does, so I am willing to buy my license and great lakes stamp to fish there.  If the NPS was involved in positive management of this resource, it might be a different story, but they are not". 

 

The members of the Apostle Island Sport fishermen’s Association and other recreational anglers, are mostly small boat people, who live in the area and have fished these waters most of their lives. House adds "40% of our membership is retired and on a fixed income, and now we are being put at the mercy of Supt. Krumenaker’s revenue producing schemes."

 

The Apostle Islands Sport Fishermen Assn have communicated to Krumenaker the fees for activities on the AINL islands are justifiable and understandable, and have an open mind towards them. They claim, a fee charging to cross an imaginary line in the water is unacceptable and will be resisted and fought any legal way that the AISA can. 

 

To voice your opposition to the Park Superintendent and the area congressman and Senators see the contacts  below. 

 

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Bob_Krumenaker@nps.gov  

 

Don Murphy, Asst. Dir. 202-208-4621, Don_Murphy@nps.gov  

Steve Martin, Asst Dir. 202-208-4621, Steve_P_Martin@nps.gov  

Ernie Quintana, Midwest Dir. 402-661-1736, Ernie_Quintana@nps.gov  

 

Congressman Dave Obey      Phone:  715-842-5606

First Star Plaza                        Fax: 715-842-4488     

401 5th St. Suite 406        web site:   http//obey.house.gov   

Wausau, WI. 54403-5473

 

Senator Herb Kohl                             Phone: 608-264-5338

14 West Miffin Street  Suite 207             Fax: 608-264-5473

Madison, WI. 53703                        website:  http://www.senate.gov/~kohl/

 

Senator Russ Feingold         Phone: 715-848-5660

First Star Plaza                  e-mail:  russ_feingold@feingold.senate.gov

401 5th St. Room 410

Wausau, WI. 54403

Please, contact these people with your opposition to this!


USFWS recommends flexibility in Goose control

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a Final Environmental Impact Statement that addresses the management of overabundant resident Canada goose populations. The USFWS says its preferred goose management alternatives will give state wildlife agencies, as well as landowners and airports, more flexibility in controlling

resident geese.

 

“Resident Canada geese populations have increased dramatically during the past 15 years,” said service director Dale Hall. “We believe increased local management with national oversight is the best approach to reduce conflicts and bring the population under control.”


Regional

Chicago Waterway Barrier Update

As you’ve probably read, the Corps did not receive funding or authority to operate Barrier II upon completion, nor did they receive funding to continue to operate Barrier I beyond May 2006. Barrier II construction is going well. The first half of Barrier II (IIA) is expected to begin operation and safety testing by the end of this year or early in 2006. We expect the contract for the second part of Barrier II (IIB) to be awarded by the time construction on Barrier IIA is completed so the work can continue without interruption.

 

Once Barrier II construction is completed the Corps will undertake safety testing as was done for Barrier I and they will continue to operate Barrier I during the testing phase. Once the testing is complete and Barrier II is certified for operation, Barrier I will be turned off and the operation of Barrier II will fall to the State of Illinois.

 

Obviously, Illinois would prefer to avoid this situation and though the picture is rather bleak at this point, with the help of

the Northeast-Midwest Institute we are working on including funding and authority for the Corps to operate the barriers in remaining Bills in Washington.

 

Barrier I will operate through May, 2006. Once construction of Barrier II is complete it will go online, but it is unclear who will operate it, for how long and where the funds might come from The San-Ship Canal Barrier provides protection for eight Great Lakes basin states and 29 Mississippi River basin states from the spread of invasive fishes; clearly there should be a federal interest.

 

It is also important that Barrier I be upgraded and continue to operate in the future to allow concentration of any rapid response effort at the immediate area of the barriers should that become necessary.

 

The next Barrier Committee meeting will be January 4 in Chicago. As a member of the committee, the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council will be there.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Dec 5, 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 29 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


General

Alaska Salmon Harvest Marks Third Largest Catch Ever

Alaska's commercial fisheries harvested 206.1 million salmon of all species in 2005, with an estimated total value of $295.3 million, making the catch the third largest on record, state fisheries officials said.

 

The record amount paid for a harvest was $724.6 million in 1988 for about 100 million pounds of salmon. The highest harvest on record, 217.8 million salmon in 1995, was worth $486.9 million, state officials said.  Preliminary estimates of the 2005 harvest, which was about 26 million fish above the preseason forecast, showed it was the third largest harvest on record, and well above the most recent 10-year average of 167 million fish.

 

The 2005 statewide harvest marks the third year since 1960 that the number of salmon caught has exceeded 200 million fish. The total price paid to fishermen for the 2005 salmon harvest was $23 million higher than in 2004, and similar to the

most recent 10-year average of $294.4 million, officials said.

 

Bristol Bay's sockeye salmon harvest of 24.5 million fish was 1.76 million fish fewer than last year's harvest, but only slightly below the preseason forecast of 25.6 million fish. The ex-vessel value of $91.3 million was nearly $15 million more than the 2004 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon value.

 

The statewide pink salmon harvest of nearly 147 million fish was the largest on record, with an estimated total value of $52.5 million, above the most recent 10-year average of $46.1 million. The Kodiak fishery harvested nearly 30 million pink salmon, about 8.53 million more fish than last year's harvest. Prince William Sound's pink salmon catch of 45.5 million fish was a record harvest.

 

The Norton Sound Coho salmon harvest of 85,000 fish ranks as the fourth best of all time, and the 2005 Norton Sound commercial salmon fishery was a marked improvement over recent years.


Teenage Gals Taking Up Shotgun Sports in Record Numbers

Parents Give Competitive Shooting High Marks for Youth Development

NEWTOWN, Conn.—The number of teenage girls participating in shotgun sports is up dramatically over the past five years, surveys show. And there’s every indication that parents are pleased with their daughters’ new pastime.

 

Across the sports of trap, skeet and sporting clays, the number of female participants age 12-17 rose 56 percent—from 133,000 to 208,000—between 1999 and 2004, according to a National Sporting Goods Association report.

 

The upward trend also has been seen in the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), which in 2005 alone saw an 84 percent increase in participation by girls from elementary- through high-school age.

 

“Nationwide, over a third of all female participants in shotgun sports today are under 24. There’s a growing youth movement in shooting, and it’s a credit to the many programs that are opening doors and creating opportunities for women of all ages to enjoy outdoor lifestyles,” said Cyndi Dalena, NSSF director of shooting sports development.

 

In a 2005 SCTP survey, 94 percent of parents said the competitive shooting program is a positive influence in their child’s development. Overwhelmingly, parents observed improved responsibility, teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership skills. In fact, 98 percent of SCTP parents believe shooting is just as important as other sports, and 94 percent would support shotgun sports as a school-based athletic

program.

 

“Part of the attraction and uniqueness of trap, skeet and sporting clays is that girls can compete with boys. Shooting is not all about strength or speed. It’s also about coordination and concentration, and more and more girls are discovering that those skills are great equalizers,” said Dalena.

 

Overall, there were 1,309,000 total female participants of all ages in shotgun sports in 2004, up 11 percent from 1,177,000 in 1997. Growth also is being documented in hunting. Between 1997 and 2004, 2,426,000 women of all ages hunted, up more than 20 percent compared to 2,018,000 in 1998.

 

SCTP, now in its fifth year, provides school-age girls and boys nationwide with the chance to compete as a team for state and national championships in trap, skeet and sporting clays. Other youth development programs like 4-H Shooting Sports and the Boy Scouts of America’s Venturing Program are also opportunities for youths to get involved in shooting sports.

 

The Becoming an Outdoors Woman program and the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) Women in the Outdoors program focus specifically on introducing women to activities like shooting and hunting. NWTF, the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation and other organizations also publish outdoor or shooting magazines especially for women.

 

Other programs like NSSF’s STEP OUTSIDE program introduce newcomers—including many girls and women—to shooting as well as hunting, fishing and archery.


A Happy Rocky Mountain Elk Christmas

Kentucky did not have any elk until the Kentucky Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Chapter and Kentucky DNR brought the elk back.  Today Kentucky has the largest herd of elk east of the Mississippi.  It has increased to the point that they will soon have 5000 elk and an annual lottery for 500 licenses. 

The  local Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Chapter website has excellent deer and elk hunting advice and photos of Kentucky trophy deer and bull elk hidden in the links and pages. Go to: http://www.hunting-elk.com/    Merry Christmas from the Kentucky Chapter Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

 


 

Illinois

Urban Fishing Programs

Coordinators for the IDNR statewide Urban Fishing Program will bring the program to Illinois schools and provide events promoting environmental stewardship while getting kids interested in outdoor recreation.  One part of the program involves actually taking kids fishing during May and September, if a nearby lake is accessible. Teachers may continue the program on their own after the initial session, with the assistance of IDNR personnel.

 

In Chicago there is a fishing program for just about everyone, including those new to the sport and those with many seasons, and fish, under their belts. Some programs include derbies, fishing activities and great locations to fish in Chicago as well as some helpful tips to help catch them.

 

Chicago's Mayor Daley’s Fish’N Kids program is run June thru August, Monday through Friday 10 - 4

pm.  The Park  District, with assistance from Zebco, supplies the rods & reels, bait and instruction – you supply the kids.  There are four daily, 45 minute fishing sessions or 120 children per day. Fishing takes place at all Chicago Park District lagoons and at four lakefront locations. It’sfree and open to the public. To reserve a date, time and place for your summer camp, church, community group or organization call 312.747.6067.

 

For state sponsored programs, contact one of the regional IDNR Urban Fishing Program coordinators.  Chicago - Brenda McKinney at 847/294-4137 bmckinney@dnrmail.state.il.us ; Chicago Suburbs - IDNR Staff at 847/294-4137; Northwest Illinois -  IDNR Staff at 815/625-2968; Central Illinois - Herb Dreier at 217/782-6424 hdreier@dnrmail.state.il.us ; and, Southern Illinois - Mark Yehling at 618/462-1181 myehling@dnrmail.state.il.us .

     

 


Michigan

New MI Fishing Regs Approved

Drop shotting will now be legal

Changes to gear restrictions were made to allow anglers to suspend a weight below a hook tied directly to the main line (without using a 3” dropper line) on certain waters. Basically, the method is called "drop shotting" and will now be legal to use on inland lakes, the Great Lakes and connecting waters. However, the gear restriction is still in effect on all rivers, streams and drowned river mouths where snagging potential

is highest.

 

The list of drowned river mouths is: Kalamazoo River and Silver Lake in Allegan Cty; Betsie Lake in Benzie Cty; Arcadia Lake, Manistee Lake and Portage Lake in Manistee Cty; Pere Marquette Lake in Mason Cty; Duck Lake, Mona Lake, Muskegon Lake and White Lake in Muskegon Cty; Pentwater Lake, Silver Lake and Stony Lake in Oceana Cty; Macatawa Lake and Pigeon Lake in Ottawa Cty.


Minnesota

New law requires a sticker to ride snowmobile trails

The Minnesota DNR reminds people that a Minnesota snowmobile state trail sticker is now required for all snowmobiles operated on any state or grant-in-aid snowmobile trail in Minnesota. A new law requiring the sticker was enacted during the 2005 legislative session. It took effect Oct. 1.

 

The state trail sticker costs $16 for an annual permit and $31 for a three-year sticker, which may only be purchased during snowmobile registration. The permit will only be valid from Nov. 1 through Apr. 30 of each year.

 

Tom Danger of the DNR's Trails & Waterways Division said operators of snowmobiles caught on a state or grant-in-aid trail without a valid trail sticker will be required to purchase an

annual permit at the price of the three-year permit, $31.

 

Annual stickers can be purchased from a deputy registrar or any of the 1,800 electronic licensing agents throughout Minnesota, by telephone at 1-888-665-4236, or on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us . The three-year sticker is available at a deputy registrar office; through the mail to the DNR at 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155; or with an online renewal at www.dnr.state.mn.us . A $3.50 convenience fee will be added to stickers purchased by telephone or online. More information about the state trail sticker, including proper placement, can be found in the 2005-2006 Minnesota Snowmobile Regulations handbook.

 

Minnesota has 20,385 total miles of snowmobile trails, with more than 18,000 miles managed and maintained by local snowmobile clubs through the grant-in-aid program.


Meetings review draft Lake Superior fisheries plan Dec 13, 14, 15

Revisions to a draft plan that will guide Minnesota's Lake Superior fisheries management in the coming decade will be the subject of three public meetings Dec. 13-15. Anyone interested in Lake Superior is encouraged to attend.

 

The plan was first circulated to local clubs and individuals on November 19, with the requirement that comments were due back by Dec 3. The short notice requirement created a firestorm of protests from anglers and angling groups.  After complaints were fielded by some state legislators and passed on to the DNR commissioners,  the Fisheries division posted the above meeting dates with a new comment deadline of  January 15, 2006.

 

The draft plan was developed based on comments by DNR fisheries managers and the Lake Superior Advisory Group, a citizen's input group composed of representatives from fishing clubs, environmental groups, commercial fishers, Indian bands, and other interested individuals or organizations. The long-term goal of the proposed plan is: "To protect the Lake Superior ecosystem, restore its watershed, and manage for a diverse, stable, self-sustaining fish community that allows for recreational, commercial and tribal fishing opportunities."

 

"Using information gained from the previous plan and input from the public, these revisions will continue rehabilitation and sound management of the Lake Superior fish community," said Don Schreiner, Lake Superior area fisheries manager. "The final plan will be flexible. As the DNR acquires new information on the fishery, managers will meet with interested citizens to discuss any changes needed."

The open house meetings will be a forum to distribute, discuss and accept public comments on the plan, which is a revision of the 1995 Fisheries Management Plan for the Minnesota Waters of Lake Superior, developed by the DNR and the Lake Superior Advisory Group. At the open house meetings, there will be no formal presentations, but DNR staff will be on hand to discuss specific issues with individuals or small groups.

 

Meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

Dec. 13 - Roseville Public Library, 2180 Hamline Avenue North, Roseville

Dec. 14 - Schroeder Town Hall, Schroeder

Dec. 15 - USEPA Lab, 6201 Congdon Boulevard, Duluth

 

Copies of the plan will be available at each of the open house meetings, along with additional summary information. Copies of the draft plan and other supporting material will be posted online by Dec. 12 at: www.dnr.state.mn.us .

 

Printed copies of the plan and supporting material will be available by Dec. 12 at: Lake Superior Area Fisheries Office, 5351 North Shore Drive, Duluth, MN 55804; Minnesota DNR Hdqtrs, Fisheries Section, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4012.

 

Comments on the draft Lake Superior Fisheries Management Plan will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2006.

E-mail comments can be sent to superior.fisheries@dnr.state.mn.us .

 


lawmakers want state inspections of ships

Minnesota officials want to join other Great Lakes states in an effort to stop ocean-going ships from dumping invasive species in state waters.  State legislators plan to introduce legislation that will require the state to inspect ships entering Lake Superior for zebra mussels, and other invasive species

in ballast tanks.

 

The Duluth-Superior Harbor and St. Louis River are now home to more than two dozen foreign critters, and home to the Eurasian Ruffe which is now the most common fish in the harbor shared by Minnesota and Wisconsin..


Ohio

2006 Trout angling opportunities at Castalia State Fish hatchery

Lottery entry forms available online at ohiodnr.com/wildlife      

 COLUMBUS, OH -- Controlled trout-fishing opportunities on Cold Creek, one of Ohio’s most unique streams, will again await fishing enthusiasts who enter a special lottery conducted by the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife.

       

A half-mile section of the creek, located at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County, will again be open to a limited number of anglers from April 3 through October 27 next year. Those interested in fishing the stream must submit an application form, along with a non-refundable $3 application fee, before February 1 in order to be eligible for the random drawing. Application information can be obtained at the ODNR Division of Wildlife website at www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife  or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE. Successful applicants will be notified by mail of their fishing dates.

       

There will be two seasons: one for adults (April 3 - June 2 and

August 21 - October 27), and one for youths under the age of 16 (June 5 - August 18). Individuals selected for either drawing will be allowed to bring two other adults and three youths under the age of 16 (no more than six people total).

 

Special fishing rules will be in effect for this event to ensure that a quality fishing experience is maintained throughout the season. One of these special rules prohibits catch and release fishing, with wildlife officials requiring that anglers keep all fish they catch. The daily bag limit will be five trout per angler.

 

Anglers will be required to check in at the hatchery upon arrival and check out at the end of their session.  Fishing sessions will be open from 7 a.m. to noon.  Anglers 16 years of age and older will need a valid 2006 Ohio fishing license.  An Ohio resident annual fishing license costs $19; a one-day fishing license costs $11. Those who purchase a one-day fishing license may later return it to a license agent to receive credit toward purchase of an annual fishing license.


Ottawa Tribe land grab counting on 1805 and 1807 treaty maps

COLUMBUS - Language in two treaties between the  United States and an Oklahoma tribe is being used to lay claim to North Bass Island in Lake Erie.

 

Based on a new interpretation of the two treaties, the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma claims that it should have the entire North Bass Island in Lake Erie.  It also wants the $17.4 million that the state paid two years ago to buy 87 % of the land from Cleveland-based Paramount Distillers Inc.

Maps purportedly showing the U.S.-Canadian border through Lake Erie in 1805 and 1807 are reason enough for  the tribe to lay claim to the  677 acre North Bass Island.  The tribe claims it retained its rights when the border was redrawn in 1822 with North Bass south of international line.  The tribe plans to ask the U.S. Department of Interior to assist in its lawsuit against the State of Ohio.  The tribe has a suit pending in U.S. District Court in Toledo with language that the tribe never relinquished its fishing, hunting, and gathering rights over the years.

 

 


Pennsylvania

Project Removes Dangerous Dam, Restores Natural Flow of River

Removal of Lehigh River Dam Will Improve Public Safety       

HARRISBURG – The Department of Environmental Protection has awarded an $83,350 contract for removal of the New Jersey Zinc Co. Dam on the Lehigh River in Palmerton Borough and East Penn Township, Carbon County.

               

The New Jersey Zinc Co. dam was built in the early 1900s to supply water to the now-defunct company’s zinc smelting operation. New Jersey Zinc abandoned the dam when it ceased operations more than two decades ago, and the orphaned dam became the responsibility of the state.

       

The 260-foot-wide dam is a run-of-the-river dam and is approximately 30 inches high. Despite the dam’s benign appearance, the water flow over it creates a dangerous current at its bottom that can trap swimmers and boaters.

       

The dam also creates environmental problems by blocking passage of American shad and other native migratory species, as well as changing the natural river ecology.  With ongoing or planned fish passage projects downstream, removal of the New Jersey Zinc Co. Dam will open 37 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for migratory fish and provide access for all life stages of resident fish in the Lehigh River.

             

In this instance, the cost of the project will be paid by DEP and

reimbursed through grants obtained by American Rivers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

The $83,350 dam removal and disposal contract was awarded to Adams Enterprises of Factoryville, Wyoming County, on Oct. 25. Construction is expected to start Dec. 24 and is anticipated to finish by March 4, 2006.

 

Last year, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials named Governor Edward G. Rendell the recipient of its annual ASDSO National Award of Merit, the organization’s highest award for individuals who have advanced the dam safety cause nationwide.

       

Governor Rendell launched a major dam-safety initiative in June 2004 and called on the federal government for support, asking President George W. Bush to fund a national Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act that would provide grants and loans to fix unsafe dams, finance an updated inventory of dams across the country and support dam safety emergency preparedness and anti-terrorist efforts to enhance homeland security.

       

For more information on dam safety and removal, visit DEP’s Web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us , Keyword: “Dam Safety.”

 


State hunters shatter bear harvest record

HARRISBURG - Hunters shot a new state record 3,331 black bears in the state's recently concluded three-day bear season, which ran Nov. 21-23, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The extended bear season ends Dec. 3, and is being held for hunters in WMUs 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4E.

 

Agency employees processed 3,331 black bears - 456 on the third day - at check stations. "We anticipated a large harvest, and all of the conditions were favorable for hunters," said Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist. 

 

In 2004, agency employees processed 2,423 black bears on the first three days, and the final harvest was 2,972 bears,

including those bears taken in the extended season that ran concurrently with the first week of the deer firearms season.  In 2003, agency personnel processed 2,812 bears over the season's first three days, and the final harvest was 3,000 bears, including those taken in the extended season.  In 2001, the last time the state had a single three-day season, the total bear harvest was 3,063. In 2000, when the previous state record bear harvest was set, the three-day total was 3,075.

 

After three days of hunting, Andrew Seman Jr. of Dunbar had taken the largest bear in the 2005 seasons to date, a 733-pound male. The bear was shot in Dunbar Township, Fayette County.


2006 Licenses now on sale

They make a great Christmas gift

Pennsylvania’s 2006 fishing licenses are now on sale.  And when you give one to friends and family as a Christmas gift, you know they’ll fall for it hook, line and sinker.  That’s because in Pennsylvania great fishing is always just a short cast away.

         

Purchasing a fishing license as a gift has return benefits for the giver as well – a guaranteed fishing partner!  You can even

buy fishing licenses from the convenience of your home and print them out from your own computer – the only line you need to think about is monofilament.  Simply visit the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission web site.

 

All Great Lakes States offer online license purchases except New York and Ontario.  Just go to www.great-lakes.org/licenses.html  at www.fish.state.pa.us  and select  your state and "Fishing License.”


Commission picks Roe as Agency's next Executive Director

HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners last week voted unanimously to select Carl Roe to serve as the agency's new executive director.  Roe will succeed Vern Ross, current executive director, when he retires on Dec. 31.  Ross announced his retirement at the Board's meeting on June 28.

 

Roe currently serves as the agency's Bureau of Administrative Services director, and has spearheaded the effort to implement an electronic license sale system, commonly referred to as "point-of-sale."  In 2001, Roe joined the agency as its first ever long-range strategic planner, and has continued in his current position to oversee the implementation of the agency's Strategic Plan.

 

After serving with the U.S. Army from 1970 to 2000, Roe retired

with the rank of colonel, and had taken part in two combat tours in Vietnam and El Salvador. Other overseas tours included Germany and Panama.  His last position was as director of Americas Studies at the U.S. Army War College's Department of National Security Strategy, where he taught strategic planning for national security.

 

Roe, 57, served as a board member on the American Red Cross, El Paso Chapter; Rio Grande Council of Governments; and the Economic Development Committee of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce.

 

A native of Wayne, Montgomery County, Roe grew up hunting and fishing in Pennsylvania, and continued these activities during his young adulthood on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the National Rifle Association.


Wisconsin

State to consider raising perch limits in Green Bay

Daily bag limits for yellow perch from Green Bay would increase to 15, and the annual commercial harvest limit would climb to 60,000 lbs, under a proposal the Natural Resources Board will consider Dec. 7 in Madison.

 

The proposal would increase the daily sport bag limit from 10 to 15 fish per day, instead of the 25 originally proposed, reflecting public comments made at hearings on the topic in October, according to Bill Horns, Great Lakes fish specialist with the state DNR.  “Some anglers recommended a more conservative increase in the name of caution, feeling it was a matter of ‘better safe than sorry,’” Horns says.

 

Sport bag and harvest limits were dropped in 200l after a 90 % decrease in yellow perch between 1988 and 2000 resulting from poor DNR management and over exploitation by commercials during those years. The DNR neglected to respond to data showing commercial exploitation continued to harvest primarily female perch, all but destroying the lake's brood stock.  The data produced by the DNR showed a decline of female perch from 45% of the population in 1991 to 3 % in 1995.

Late summer trawling surveys since 2001 have shown that natural reproduction of yellow perch in Green Bay has improved, producing “modest” year-classes in 2002, 2004 and 2005, and a very large year-class in 2003. Sport and commercial fishers reported good fishing in 2005, suggesting that yellow perch hatched in 2002 and 2003 are beginning to support sport and commercial harvests.

 

However, fisheries assessment surveys showed a drop in abundance of yearling and older yellow perch in 2005 after only a moderate increase in 2004, Horns says. “We recommend caution in increasing commercial and sport harvests. We are looking for unambiguous evidence that the young fish have survived and are capable of supporting larger harvests.”

 

The final proposal the Natural Resources Board will consider would increase the commercial harvest to 60,000 pounds, the same level as proposed earlier, instead of returning to the 200,000 pound limit in effect before 2001 or some number closer to that level, as some commercial fishers advocated at the October public hearing.

 


Ontario

Bay Of Quinte plan to benefit fishery

Fisheries Management Plan Will Improve Health Of Bay Ecosystem

TORONTO — The Ontario government is further protecting the Bay of Quinte’s ecosystem by seeking public input on the development of a Fisheries Management Plan for the area, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today.

 

The first open house, which will review the state of fish communities in the bay, will be held:

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Fairfield Inn and Suites, Belleville ( North Front Street at Hwy. 401)

 

A second set of open houses will be held in late spring 2006 in order to present management options for public comment, with an approved Fisheries Management Plan to be finalized by September 2006.

 

"This is a great opportunity for the public to help us decide how to manage our fisheries," said Ramsay. "We’ll be building on the tremendous efforts that are helping ensure healthy fish populations in the Bay of Quinte ." "I encourage local residents and all those interested in the Bay of Quinte ’s renowned fishery to get involved in the process," said Ernie

Parsons, MPP for Prince Edward-Hastings. "We all have a role to play in taking care of this resource."

 

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Bay of Quinte Fisheries Advisory Committee are leading the development of the Bay of Quinte Fisheries Management Plan , which will be in place from 2007 to 2012.

 

The management plan will be developed with a focus on the Bay of Quinte , but with recognition of its connection to Quinte-area tributaries and to Lake Ontario . This will ensure that fisheries management occurs at an ecosystem level. The plan will review the historical conditions of the Bay of Quinte , document physical attributes, describe existing and future conditions and provide a comprehensive package of recommendations for the management of the fish communities in the bay.

 

The development of a plan is part of the commitment of Ontario and Canada to restore the natural environments in the Great Lakes under the Canada/Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Agreement (COA). Ontario will be contributing $50,000 under COA towards the development of the plan.


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