Week of December 10, 2007

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World

A Passenger's Tale of Escape from A Sinking Cruise Ship

Pete D'Angelo is home safe from the sunken Explorer

Tuesday, (November 27) when we went through immigration in San Francisco, the immigration agent asked us the usual question: occupation, what did you like best/least about your trip?  To the former we replied retired/dietitian.  To the latter we replied:  the ship sank/we're alive.  Suddenly this lethargic civil servant woke up.  He wanted to hear all about what happened.

 

Before I go on, you must understand one thing.  While we went through the same experience, shoulder to shoulder and often hand in hand, we have different feelings about it.  Indeed, everyone who went through it with us has their own unique and personal feelings.  While I was cold, wet, shivering, and throwing up, it never occurred to me that I could die.  Lynne however was thinking about:  what if the weather suddenly changed, if we hit ice or took a big wave and were swamped, if we would capsize.  Therefore, in writing this I can only write for myself.  Whatever I write is filtered through my perceptions which could be quite different for Lynne.

 

Thursday night we were tired.  Instead of watching the 9:15 movie we showered and were in bed by 10:00.  I fitfully tried to go to sleep.  We were going through brash ice - little pieces of ice.  Since we were on the third deck, as low as you could go, half our cabin was below the waterline.  I could hear the pieces of brash ice scraping against the hull, which was only a single hull.  Once and a while a more sold piece would strike.  I finally fell asleep. 

 

About 12:30 I was roused by what sounded like the gang plank slapping against the hull.  Then I heard what sounded like water pouring down a drain.  In my sleep I was thinking to wake Lynne and ask her about the sound.  I didn't remember hearing it before.  I touched the bulkhead.  It was dry.  I put my hand on the floor.

 

From half asleep I went to full awake.  I bolted up and pushed the emergency button and woke Lynne.  I threw on some clothes.  We pulled the suitcases out from under the bed; I took my laptop out from the low drawer it was in.  The water continued coming in.  I decided I should move things up to the second deck.  I started with my laptop.

 

The people in the next cabin had also notified the ship.  By the time I stuck my head out of the cabin a crew man was coming down.  A few minutes later he was followed by the captain.  The captain was a solidly built, forty-ish Swede.  When he came down the stairs his comment (in English) was:  "My god; We're sinking."  The alarm sounded.

 

When I returned to the cabin I quickly opened up the drawers of the nightstand between our two beds.  I scooped out my wallet, the recently filled 2 gigabyte memory from my camera, the backup flash drive with my journal on it and Lynne's hand cream.  I tossed clothes and camera into the suitcase and took them up to the second deck.

 

By the time I returned to the cabin, the boat was listing and the water was ankle deep in one end of the cabin.  I picked up one of my tennis shoes and put it on a stool.  I watched the other float under the bed.  It floated back out and I grabbed it.  The word came down:  "get warm clothes."  I grabbed some of our clothes that were on the bed.  Lynne had gone up to our muster station in her night gown carrying our Wellington's (high rubber boots) and some clothes.  I also grabbed our Gore-Tex jackets and fleece liners and made my way to our muster station in the lecture hall.

 

When everyone was assembled in the lecture hall they took roll.  Periodically the captain would come on the intercom and tell us what was happening.  We knew that a mayday had been sent, and that there were two ship coming but they were 10 and 6 hours away.  At first there was hope the leak could be fixed.  Then the mood in the lecture hall became somber and quiet.  At the end of hour one the captain lowered the lifeboats into position.  At the end of hour two the captain said that we were coming into ice.  The lifeboats could not be lowered in the ice.  Therefore, he decided to abandon ship.  Then we heard those words that no one on a ship ever wants to hear the captain utter:  "abandon ship; abandon ship; abandon ship."

 

At 2:30 in the morning we quietly filed out of the lecture hall.  There was no crying; there was no pushing; there was no panic.  One of the staff members directed us to the port (left) or starboard (right) side to go the life boats.  Initially we went to the port side.  When the word went out that they needed 8 people on the starboard side we went there.  I didn't appreciate how much the ship was listing, perhaps 30 degrees, until I had to walk down across the fantail. 

 

I was the last one into number one life boat.  It was at this point that I was most anxious.  I felt that once I was in the lifeboat I would be safe.  However, there was only enough room for my feet!  I stepped in, sat on the gunwale for a moment, and then wiggled my bottom onto the seat, my back against the hull.  There was a problem with the engine, but it got started.

They lowered us away.  Once in the water we pushed away from the ship.  Our boat was overloaded!  Fortunately the seas were relatively calm and there was no wind.  We were very far south where it gets dark very late and light very early.  It was not dark out, but twilight. Fortunately we had zodiacs - rubber boats with outboard motors.  While the electric generators had stopped working we had emergency power so they were able to use it to run the winches to lower the zodiacs.  After a while they off loaded people from our lifeboat to a zodiac

 

Once in the lifeboat Lynne and I sat huddled together.  While the Gore-Tex jackets kept our topsides dry, our bottoms were wet and there was water in our Wellingtons.  There was little talking in the boat.  People were somber and cold.  The only sound was from the two cylinder engine and an occasional order from the first mate, who was in charge of our boat. 

 

At 3:41 I watched the sun rise.  It was a small, round, golden orb that came out of a gray sea and disappeared into a gray sky. 

 

Several times I threw up as the result of the fumes from the engine that I was sitting next to and the motion of the lifeboat.  At times I started to shiver, sometimes violently.  The though of hyperthermia crossed my mind, but I knew from my Boy Scout training that as long as my upper body was dry and warm I was okay.  Through out this my mind was a blank, thinking on the cold, listening to the engine, always concerned that it would stall.

 

After about two hours in the boat the first mate told us that the rescue ship was about 2 hours away.  (The first mate had a radio.)  About an hour after that a helicopter flew over head and circled us.  Even thought we knew that people around the world knew exactly where we were, our spirits were greatly lifted.  Somewhere between hour four and five someone spotted a glint of light in the distance.  Soon after that we could see it was a ship bearing down on us. 

 

We got not one, but two rescue ships:  the National Geographic's Endeavor, and the Nordnorge.  The former ship was small, the size of the Explorer; the latter ship could hold 600 passengers though there were only 229 on board. 

 

What a wonderful sight it was when the Nordnorge removed the covers from its gigantic lifeboat and lowered their lifeboat down to us.  After four or five hours we were stiff.  Hands reached out to us and help us into Nordnorge lifeboat.  When everyone was transferred we were raised up to the forth deck.  When we went into the ship we were greeted by a crew member giving each of us a blanket.  We were sent up to the seventh deck were we were given a hot drink and then pointed in the direction of the lounges.  The call went out over the ship's intercom for clothes.  Soon the couches and chairs in the lounge were covered with wet clothes that we exchanged for dry ones donated to us.  Both the ship and the passengers of the Nordnorse were unbelievably generous.  From large deck to ceiling windows of the seventh deck lounge we could watch our ship as it listed.  (Unlike the pictures you have probably seen, there was no ice surrounding the ship - that happened later.)

 

We were served breakfast and lunch on the Nordnorse.  The Nordnorse tried to offload us at the Chilean Frei Base.  Due to the weather, blowing snow and high seas, it couldn't.  We had to wait offshore several hours before we could finally be landed.

 

Why did the boat sink?  While it is true that there was a hole in the hull, the water tight doors were shut.  The compartment where our cabin was should have filled up with water, but the boat should have continued to float.  My understanding was that the problem was with the toilets.  The water went into the toilets and then into the holding tank.  When the holding tank filled up the water backed up into the other cabins thus bypassing the watertight doors. 

 

Why was this not another Titanic?  Relatively speaking we had good weather and a calm sea.  The captain launched the lifeboats at the right time.  We had the zodiacs.  We were all fit people:  there were no children or infirmed.  We were used to being out on the sea in the cold.  We had good leadership.  We were dressed for the cold.  And, above all, we were lucky.

 

This had been a truly amazing week.  I could go on and on.  How wonderful the Chilean government was.  What it was like flying in a C130 (a military cargo plane) where our knees were intertwined with the knees of the person opposite us.  How helpful Debbie, the US Consul from Santiago was.  How well we were treated by GAP, the company that ran the tour.  What it was like to give interviews to the world press.  How basically everything we brought with us is now 1500 meters under the sea.  Above all we are thankful to have the most important thing of all, our lives.  We appreciate all the e-mails you have sent as they have brought us comfort and support. 

 

(Signed)Peter

 

 


Beyond the Great Lakes

N.Carolina Vessel Registration Fees Will Increase Jan. 1

Sign of the Times

 RALEIGH, N.C.  – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced last week that the fees to register a vessel in North Carolina will increase from $10 to $15 for one-year registrations and from $25 to $40 for three-year registrations.

The fee increases, which go into effect Jan. 1, will apply to new and transfer registrations, as well as renewals on existing registrations.  The cost of vessel titles will remain at $20. The money generated by the fee increase will be used to develop new public boat access areas as well as preserve existing access.

 


National

Small Vessel Security Summit planned for January 15 or 16

Dept of Homeland Security to hold meeting at Cleveland IX Convention Center

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning a Great Lakes Small Vessel Security Summit (GLSVSS) for January in Cleveland at the IX Convention Center by the Cleveland Airport. 

 

If you are interested in attending, DHS will need the following: Your Name, Title, Company Agency, Mailing Address and phone number, and Phone Number. Contact info is at the bottom.

 

DHS in Washington will issue you a formal invitation.  The invitation with photo ID will be used for admission into the I-X center for this summit on the day it is scheduled.  For those who can’t attend in person in Cleveland, a webcast is being planned.  Please forward the above information and request you would like to attend via a webcast, and we will pass this information along to the planners in Washington DC.

 

Planning efforts have been initiated to bring a Small Vessel Security Summit to the Great Lakes in January.  This will take place on either January 15th or January 16th at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio during the 2008 Cleveland Boat Show.  The date will be determined in the near future but would run in the afternoon for 3-4 hours. 

 

The purpose of the Great Lakes Small Vessel Security

Summit is to focus the broad stakeholder community on a range of issues and to launch continuing interactions about reducing the small vessel security risk in the U.S. maritime domain.  

 

The objective of this summit are as follows: (1) Educate regional small vessel stakeholders of security risk in the local U.S. maritime domain; (2) Communicate with regional small vessel stakeholders on the actions taken in the region to coordinate a layered security system at the federal, state, tribal, and local government levels, as well as within the regional maritime industry and public; (3) Provide a regional forum for small vessel stakeholders to discuss and present their ideas on the development of security measures to mitigate gaps in small vessel management and control in the maritime domain with local federal leadership and coordinators.

 

Contact info:

Mark D. Bobal

Passenger Vessel Safety Specialist

1240 E. 9th Street

Cleveland, OH 44199-2060

216-902-6052

Mark.D.Bobal@uscg.mil

or

 POC Josh Peters

216-902-6127

Josh.C.Peters@uscg.mil


SCIF Announces 2008 American Wilderness Leadership School Schedule

Tucson, Arizona – The Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) proudly announces the 2008 American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) program schedule. SCIF is now seeking student and teacher applicants to attend AWLS at four sites throughout the United States.  This program has successfully instructed 4,728 educators and 1,233 high school age students through its workshops.

 

In 1976, an effort to promote conservation through education and experience laid the foundation for the American Wilderness Leadership School program. The mission of the schools is to offer outdoor instructional education, concentrating on natural resource management while also providing participants a working knowledge of present and future conservation issues.

 

Each 7 and 8-day session is designed to provide successful applicants with challenging experiences in the fields of wildlife ecology,  management and conservation, together with instruction in firearm safety, fly tying, wilderness survival, archery, outdoor interpretive  techniques, Project WILD© and outdoor ethics.  In utilizing a wilderness setting, participants are exposed to the skills necessary to have a safe, enjoyable learning experience in the outdoors. The cost of placing individual participants is $800 for high school students, as well as teachers and interested adults. The sponsor or parent is responsible for arranging round-trip transportation expenses. 

Iowa: AWLS - Central, Springbrook Conservation Center; Guthrie, IA

Maine: AWLS - East, Greenland Point Center, Princeton, ME

Minnesota: AWLS - North, Laurentian Environmental Center, Britt, MN

Wyoming: AWLS - West, SCIF’s AWLS site, Jackson, WY

 

The 8-day sessions scheduled for 2008 include one student session, June 28-July 5 for ages 15-18, and six teacher/educator workshops, June  10-17, June 19-26, July 12-19, July 21-28, July 30-August 6 and August 8-15, at AWLS – West in Wyoming. One 7-day teacher session at  AWLS – East, Maine, July 7-13, one 8-day session at AWLS – North, Minnesota July 20-27, and one 5-day session at AWLS – Central, Iowa  ,July 21-25. As an option, teacher workshops at all four sites are available for graduate credit.

 

Learn more about AWLS and all SCIF opportunities for wildlife education at http://www.safariclubfoundation.org/ .   If you are interested in applying for a sponsorship by a local chapter, please visit www.safariclub.org, Chapters, Chapter Locater, to find an SCI Chapter in your area.

 

Contact:

Don Brown

Director of Education

(520) 620-1220

Dbrown@safariclub.org

 


Regional

Small Vessel Security Summit planned for January 15 or 16

Dept of Homeland Security to hold meeting at Cleveland IX Convention Center

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning a Great Lakes Small Vessel Security Summit (GLSVSS) for January in Cleveland at the IX Convention Center by the Cleveland Airport. 

 

If you are interested in attending, DHS will need the following: Your Name, Title, Company Agency, Mailing Address and phone number, and Phone Number. Contact info is at the bottom.

 

DHS in Washington will issue you a formal invitation.  The invitation with photo ID will be used for admission into the I-X center for this summit on the day it is scheduled.  For those who can’t attend in person in Cleveland, a webcast is being planned.  Please forward the above information and request you would like to attend via a webcast, and we will pass this information along to the planners in Washington DC.

 

Planning efforts have been initiated to bring a Small Vessel Security Summit to the Great Lakes in January.  This will take place on either January 15th or January 16th at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio during the 2008 Cleveland Boat Show.  The date will be determined in the near future but would run in the afternoon for 3-4 hours. 

 

 The purpose of the Great Lakes Small Vessel Security

Summit is to focus the broad stakeholder community on a range of issues and to launch continuing interactions about reducing the small vessel security risk in the U.S. maritime domain.  

 

 The objective of this summit are as follows: (1) Educate regional small vessel stakeholders of security risk in the local U.S. maritime domain; (2) Communicate with regional small vessel stakeholders on the actions taken in the region to coordinate a layered security system at the federal, state, tribal, and local government levels, as well as within the regional maritime industry and public; (3) Provide a regional forum for small vessel stakeholders to discuss and present their ideas on the development of security measures to mitigate gaps in small vessel management and control in the maritime domain with local federal leadership and coordinators.

 

Contact info:

Mark D. Bobal

Passenger Vessel Safety Specialist

1240 E. 9th Street

Cleveland, OH 44199-2060

216-902-6052

Mark.D.Bobal@uscg.mil

or

 POC Josh Peters

216-902-6127

Josh.C.Peters@uscg.mil


Coast Guard breaks ice with Operation Taconite

CLEVELAND - The Great Lakes Coast Guard fleet has commenced Operation Taconite after ice has caused the significant slowing of traffic in the St. Marys River system and other areas in the Lakes.

 

Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, homeport of St. Ignace, Mich., and the Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay, homeport of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.,  will be the focus of the first ice breaking operations, with the immediate concern to break small ice formations in the Duluth-Superior area first.

 

The Coast Guard Cutter Alder, homeport of Duluth, Minn., is currently removing aids to navigation buoys in the lower St. Marys River with the Coast Guard Cutter Buckthorn and replacing them with winter marks.

Operation Taconite is the Coast Guard's largest domestic icebreaking operation, encompassing Lake Superior, St. Marys River, and the Straits of Mackinac.  As a result of the operation, the Captain of the Port may close or open channels as ice conditions require. Due consideration is  given to the protection of the marine environment, waterway improvements, aids to navigation, the need for cross channel traffic (e.g. ferries),  the availability of icebreakers, and the safety of the island residents who use naturally formed ice bridges for transportation to and from the  mainland.  

 

The Coast Guard recommends to those individuals who recreate on ice to plan their activity carefully, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels.  Recreational users and island residents should stay tuned to local media resources for the status of channel closures.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Dec 7, 2007

Weather Conditions

An active storm track brought several systems through the Great Lakes basin this week. Most of the region recorded snow, with locations in the snowbelts of the Great Lakes receiving the largest snowfall. The active pattern is forecasted to continue through the weekend. More snowfall is expected basin wide, with the largest amounts again coming near the lakeshores. All of the Great Lakes are beginning to see ice form along the shorelines and in protected bays and inlets.

Lake Level Conditions

Currently, Lake Superior's water level is 4 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 11 to 13 inches below their levels of one year ago, while Lake Ontario is 21 inches lower than last year's levels. All of the Great Lakes, with the exception of Lake Ontario, are in their period of seasonal decline and are forecasted to fall 1 to 3 inches over the next month. Lake Ontario is projected to remain at the same level. Lake Superior is predicted to remain above last year's water levels through May, but the remaining lakes are forecasted to stay below their levels of a year ago.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be below average for December. Flows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are also predicted to be lower than average this month.

Flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are expected to

be below average, too.

Alerts

Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum and forecasted to remain below datum through May. 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.

 

Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center's webpage.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Dec 7

600.8

576.4

572.8

570.3

243.8

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-3

-13

+6

+13

+6

Diff last month

-3

-4

+1

+1

-2

Diff from last yr

+4

-11

-11

-13

-21


General

Gander Mountain buys Overton’s 

St. Paul, Minn.-based Gander Mountain Co., a retail outfit for outdoor lifestyle products and services, acquired Overton’s, a leading Internet and catalog marketing company targeting recreational boaters, from Linsalata Capital Partners, a Cleveland-based private equity firm.

 

North Carolina-based Overton’s had 2006 revenues in excess of $90 million and distributes more than 15 million catalogs annually, Gander Mountain said in a statement.

 

 "The acquisition of Overton’s enables Gander Mountain to

 greatly accelerate our strategy to be an integrated, multi-channel retailer featuring Internet, catalogs and retail stores,” said Mark Baker, Gander Mountain president and CEO, in a statement. “Overton’s is a unique opportunity for Gander Mountain, providing an excellent management team, a proven platform and infrastructure, and the capacity to handle substantial additional volume with minimal incremental investment.”

 

Overton’s will continue to operate under the “Overton’s” brand and as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gander Mountain.


Lake Huron

What Is Going On With Lake Huron

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has completed a detailed report on what is happening with Lake Huron.

 

The report – with charts, includes ecosystem changes, Diporeia losses; forage base; food web alterations; status of  

Chinook salmon, Whitefish, Yellow Perch, Walleye and Emerald Shiners; Lake Trout Catches and future prognosis.

 

For the full 13 page report: click here.  (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/LakeHuronNewEcosystem-foodweb_122463_7.pdf )


Illinois

Bass Pro Shops Adventure Club

Have you ever thought about getting out into the great outdoors, but you were not sure how or where to start? Then join the Bass Pro Shops Adventure Club.

 

No membership is required and the club is open to all individuals interested in exploring the great outdoors. Most of the activities will be geared toward the beginner, but those with some experience may learn something new and they can always share their knowledge with others.  Some events and activities may have age restrictions for the safety of all participants, but these will be listed in advance.

 

Discussions will include hunting, fishing, camping, bird watching, star gazing and many other outdoors activities. The goal is to get more people interested in enjoying the great outdoors.

 

The club will meet at 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee, Illinois, located at 6112 Grand Avenue Gurnee Mills Mall. During some months the 

adventure club will venture out into the world to apply what was learned at the last meeting. Bass Pro Shops will provide all materials needed for in class discussion, but if the class meets outside of the store, individuals will be responsible for whatever fees, licenses, permits or waivers which may be required.

 

Below are the topics for the first six club meetings:

 

January 8 – Traditional archery

February 12 – Bird watching

March 11 – Medicinal plants

April 8 - Fishing

May 13 - Camping

June 10 – Star gazing

 

There is no fee for the adventure club, but registration is required. Attend one session or all sessions. For more information on the Bass Pro Shops Adventure Club or to sign up, please contact Tisma Juett, Promotions Manager at 847-856-1229 or:  TEJuett@basspro.com .


DNR asks snowmobile operators to ramp up safety efforts

DNR Snowmobile safety classes currently being offered

SPRINGFIELD – As the snow begins to fall through out the state this winter, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding snowmobile enthusiasts keep safety in mind before, during and after a ride.

 

Considerable snowfall near the end of the 2006-2007 snowmobile season resulted in increased activity and an increased number of accidents. Last year, three of the 19 reported snowmobile accidents resulted in fatalities. In most instances, being alert, knowing the trail and traveling at a reasonable rate of speed for trail conditions can prevent most accidents.  In North America, more than 50 percent of snowmobile fatalities involve intoxicated operators. 

 

While IDNR encourages everyone to take a snowmobile safety class before their first ride of the season, state law requires that persons at least 12 years of age and less than 16 years must have in possession a valid Snowmobile Safety Education Certificate of Competency issued by DNR in order to operate a snowmobile alone.   For snowmobile safety information or a list of upcoming snowmobile classes, see www.dnr.state.il.us/safety/snowmobile.htm.

 

Current snowmobile safety education courses require students attend an eight-hour class where certified instructors teach basic safety principles, maintenance, operation, winter

survival, regulations and a proper attitude of respect for the student's fellow person and the environment.

 

Basic safety tips for safe snowmobiling:

• Know your equipment and make sure that equipment is in proper working order.

• Wear sensible, protective clothing designed for snowmobiling like a full-size helmet, goggles, or face shield to prevent injuries from twigs, stones, ice chips, and flying debris.

• Avoid wearing long scarves. They may get caught in moving parts of the snowmobile.

• Know the terrain you are going to ride. If unfamiliar to you, ask someone who has traveled over it before.  Be aware of trails or portions of trails that may be closed.

• Drowning is one cause of snowmobile fatalities. When not familiar with the thickness of the ice or water currents, avoid these areas.

• Know the weather forecast and especially the ice and snow conditions in the area.

• Always use the buddy system. Never ride alone or unaccompanied.

*Reminder to riders and hikers:  A minimum of 4” of snow cover must be present for snowmobile use on state managed property.  Please call ahead to site offices to get the latest snow conditions and trail closures at individual sites.  For a list of site offices go to: www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/PARKS/index.htm .


Indiana

Experimental February Canada goose season

The Indiana DNR has passed a temporary rule establishing an experimental 2008 February Canada goose hunting season in selected areas in an attempt to control the population of breeding Canada geese in and around urban areas of the state.

 

 Counties where geese can be hunted during that season, which runs Feb. 1-15, include Steuben, LaGrange, Elkhart, St. Joseph, La Porte, Starke, Marshall, Kosciusko, Noble, De Kalb, Allen, Whitley, Huntington, Wells, Adams, Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby, Vermillion, Parke, Vigo, Clay, Sullivan, and Greene.

 

According to Adam Phelps, Indiana DNR waterfowl biologist, populations of breeding Canada geese in Indiana appear to have leveled off during the past few years at about 125,000. The DNR's target population for reducing human-geese conflicts in urban areas is 80,000.

       

The bag limit for the experimental season is five Canada geese per day, with a possession limit of 10, same as for the September season. Shooting hours are from a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.

The same regulations and restrictions that apply during the September season apply during the February season. In addition to a valid hunting license, signed Indiana waterfowl stamp (unless exempt), a federal duck stamp, and an HIP (Harvest Information Program) number, a free permit is also required. Free permits are available at (812) 334-3795, www.goosehuntingpermit@dnr.in.gov, or any state Fish and Wildlife Area, field office, or reservoir during regular hours.

 

Data collected during the season will be used to determine whether the late season will continue to occur in future years. Even if Indiana’s season meets federal guidelines, the season may be closed in future years if local Canada goose populations are sufficiently reduced.

       

This temporary rule also establishes a one-year Feb. 1 to March 31 season for the lesser snow goose and Ross's goose. The HIP number and federal duck stamp are not required to take a lesser snow goose or a Ross's goose.

       

The DNR director has exclusive authority to adopt temporary rules regarding such issues. Such rules are valid for a maximum of one year and can be renewed by the director for an additional period not to exceed one year.


Indiana and South Carolina Commit to Lapsed Angler Recruitment Program

First-Ever Direct Mail Marketing Program from RBFF to Increase Fishing License Sales

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) last week announced that the Indiana DNR and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will both participate in a direct mail marketing effort to increase fishing license sales. The direct mail toolkit, developed by RBFF to help increase participation in the sport

and generate awareness of the connection between fishing license sales and conservation efforts, will be used to implement a lapsed angler recruitment program in Indiana and South Carolina.

 

The product will include direct mail templates, instructions to implement a direct mail campaign and marketing assistance from RBFF. A workshop for states that will implement the program will be held January 16-17, 2008 in Dallas, Texas


Michigan

Funding Deal would Prevent Fee Increases, Restore Conservation District Funds

(LANSING) -Through the efforts of State Representative Joel Sheltrown (D-West Branch) an agreement has been reached to use $5 million from the Michigan Business Tax to restore a portion of conservation funding eliminated through budget cuts. Under the agreement, $4 million dollars will be dedicated the state's beleaguered Game and Fish Fund, preventing cuts to state fish stocking programs, game habitat restoration and the layoff of dozens of DNR Conservation Officers. The supplemental funding will also alleviate the need for hunting and fishing fee increases for the current fiscal year.

 

Sheltrown, who has supported the restoration of General Fund support for conservation programs rather than fees increase, described the agreement as a tremendous victory for sportsmen. According to the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan sportsmen spend $3.3 billion annually, contributing $100 million to $200 million in state sales tax revenue. Sheltrown is currently drafting legislation to permanently dedicate a portion of the sale tax paid on sporting

goods to conservation funding.

 

"Governor Granholm and I recognize that an investment in Michigan's conservation programs yields a high rate of return for many small businesses throughout the state and the state budget's bottom line," Sheltrown said. By restoring state support of conservation programs through a means other than fee increases, it's my hope we can improve Michigan's fisheries and game management, reinvigorate participation in outdoor sports and expand this segment of the state's economy.

 

Also in the agreement, $1 million dollars will be returned to local conservation districts for forestry programs. The funding had been vetoed from the 2007-2008 budget. Sheltrown explained that the $5 million in agreed funding will be restored through a supplemental budget to be approved by the House on December 12 and by the Senate shortly thereafter. The funding is a result of the enactment of the Michigan Business Tax earlier this year. The Michigan Business Tax replaced Michigan's unpopular Single Business Tax.


Minnesota

Update on the McQuade Public Access

The scheduled opening of the McQuade Public Access is June 10th 2008, The contractor is completing the work on phase 1 and phase 2 plus making some changes which were noted or mandated by government programs or policies.  The launch ramps are being adjusted because of lower then average water levels, better and easier boat launching and retrieval and access for the handicapped folks. 

 

There are also some changes being made for handicapped folks on the fishing piers and travel ways.  The restroom facilities are under construction and should completed by the end of the year.  In the harbor basin itself, there are some rock rubble areas which are being cleaned out which is nothing major chores but have to be done.  The frontage walkway below the highway is being worked on with railings to be installed and the completion of the pedestrian tunnel and passage.     

 

Pictured on the left is the “North Eastern” ramp which is without a doubt the most important ramp of the entire McQuade Access. It should be finished shortly.

 

On the right is pictured the walkway from the pedestrian tunnel walkway along the frontage where additional dockage will be installed for short term tie up. 

 

Pictured on the left and viewed from through the bridge opening is the building which will house the restroom facilities and maintenance room.  The work on the building should be completed in December 2007.

 

The lower right picture shows the center ramps and boat launching and retrieval area.

  

 

 

 

 


Some fishing regulations change on Dec. 10

Minnesota anglers should be aware of changes in fishing regulations when new rules are published Dec. 10 in the State Register, according the Minnesota DNR.

Rule changes include:

ICE FISHING MEAL PREPARATION

While on or fishing waters with size restrictions, all fish for which the size restriction applies must have their heads, tails, fins and skin intact and be measurable except when a person is preparing and using such fish for a meal.

TAKE A KID ICE FISHING

Anglers older than 16 do not need a license from Feb. 16-18, 2008, if they are accompanied by a child younger than 16 and are actively participating in Take A Kid Ice Fishing Weekend.

MUSKIE SEASON

 Muskie season will close on Dec. 10, 2007. The 2008 season will begin on Saturday, June 1, 2008, and close on Monday, Dec. 1, 2008.

PACKED FISH LABELING

When packing fish, labels identifying the fish must include the name of the lake where the fish was caught and the size of each of the fish that are regulated under a special size limit.

NIGHT BOWFISHING

Taking fish via archery at night will be allowed from June 1, 2008, to Aug. 31, 2008, on selected lakes. Some special provisions for barbed arrows and noise level restrictions will apply.

CANADIAN-MINNESOTA BORDER WATERS NORTHERN PIKE LIMIT

The bag limit for northern pike caught in Canadian-Minnesota border waters now is three fish with only one of those fish longer than 30 inches.

WINTER TROUT FISHING

All lakes in Aitkin County and Blue Lake in Hubbard County are open to winter trout fishing.

ZEBULON PIKE RESERVOIR

This 10-acre portion of the Mississippi River near Little Falls is closed to fishing.

MADTOM/STONECAT HARVEST

A permit is required to harvest madtoms or stonecats in Dodge, Freeborn and Mower counties.

-MORE-

WHITEFISH/CISCOE NETTING

Changes in regulations open Devils Track Lake (Cook County) and Elbow (St. Louis County) and remove Upper Red Lake (Beltrami County),  Reilley Lake (O'Reilly; Itasca County), Burgen (Douglas County), East and West Fox (Crow Wing County), Island (Itasca County), Little Jessie  (Itasca County), Latoka (Douglas County), Mitchell (Crow Wing County), Nisswa (Crow Wing County), Osakis (Douglas and Todd County),  Roy (Cass and Crow Wing County), Serpent (Crow Wing County) and Victoria lakes (Douglas County).

For a complete list of regulation changes and additional details go to: www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing/index.html .


 

Wisconsin

Onshore treatment of ship ballast feasible, study concludes

Encouraging results for efforts to prevent arrival of new invasive species

MADISON – Onshore treatment of ballast water discharged from international ships arriving in Great Lakes ports is an economically and environmentally feasible option to eliminate the pathway by which dozens of invasive species have arrived in the Great Lakes, according to a recently released study.

 

The Department of Natural Resources-funded study concludes that a barge pulled alongside a ship to collect, store and treat the ballast water appears to be feasible and potentially the most cost effective option. The water then would be treated using filtering screens and ultraviolet light disinfection to eliminate organisms, according to study authors, the Milwaukee Office of Brown and Caldwell, a national environmental engineering consulting firm.

 

While the study focused on the Port of Milwaukee, its authors conclude that such an approach could work in other Great Lakes ports. Brown and Caldwell estimated that installing the system at a Great Lakes port would cost $1 to $2 million.

 

“This is good news in the fight against invasive species,” says DNR Secretary Matthew Frank. “Further study and a pilot project still need to be done, but these study results take us one step closer to finding a way to turn off the spigot of invasive species arriving in the Great Lakes via ballast water discharge.”

 

Ballast water has been the primary way by which more than 180 invasive species, including zebra mussels and round gobies, have arrived in the Great Lakes in the last century.

 

Brown and Caldwell researchers concluded that onshore treatment would have the ability to address a wide range of aquatic invasive species, from large, visible fish species down to microscopic viruses and pathogens, like viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS for short. VHS is the fish disease that has caused large fish kills in the lower Great Lakes and was found in May 2007 in the Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago

systems.

 

The feasibility study assumed that the onshore treatment would be done on overseas vessels, not domestic ships, and from that smaller group, those that discharge ballast water. The Port of Milwaukee alone handles 322 commercial vessels carrying nearly 4 million tons of commodities, including 82 overseas vessels. Coal, salt, grain and cement are the top four commodities handled, according to Eric Reinelt, with the Port of Milwaukee.

 

Frank says the study complements the Great Ships Initiative, a multi-state, multi-agency effort underway to explore options for more cost effective treatment of ballast water. “On-shore treatment offers a less expensive route that can address the smaller ships that may find on-board treatment prohibitive,” he says. “Together, they represent an important, locally-based solution to this problem.”

 

The impetus for the study came through Gov. Jim Doyle’s Conserve Wisconsin initiative, which identified controlling the introduction of invasive species as a priority. DNR staff met with representatives of environmental organizations, the U.S. Coast Guard, shipping interests and port authorities in June 2006. A consensus developed at the meeting that there should be a study to investigate whether treatment could be done on ballast water and whether or not shore based treatment was feasible.

 

The department received funding for the study through the Great Lakes Protection Fund [www.glpf.org] (exit DNR); a private, nonprofit corporation formed in 1989 by the Governors of the Great Lakes States as a permanent environmental endowment to support collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

 

Wisconsin and other states continue to urge Congress to address invasive species comprehensively, including tackling ballast water discharges. “Unfortunately, the federal government has been slow to act, prompting consideration of state legislation and other measures such as shore-based treatment, to address the problem,” Frank says


 

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