Tag «Fishing News»

Top court rejects states’ appeal on Great Lakes carp

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by five states seeking an order requiring that a range of steps be taken to keep the invading Asian carp out of the Great Lakes where they are considered a threat to fisheries.

The high court refused to hear an appeal by Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin after the states lost their bid for a preliminary injunction that would have required additional efforts to stop the migration of the voracious carp into the lakes.

The carp have taken over stretches of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago area waterway system already have adopted a number of measures to block the advance of the carp into Lake Michigan.

The states have argued that two species, the Bighead and Silver carp, pose a severe threat to the Great Lakes’ $7 billion fisheries. The carp can spread rapidly, crowding out other native fish species.

A federal judge and a U.S. appeals court in Chicago denied the request for a preliminary injunction that would have required additional physical barriers in the Chicago area waterways, new procedures to stop the carp and the speeding up of a study on how to devise a permanent solution to the problem.

Public Comments on Cormorant Damage Management

Larry Meier, Cormorant Citizen Advisor
2704 East West Branch
Prudenville, MI 48651

I have received several comments since I sent the draft cormorant letter to everyone on the mailing list concerning the 2003 Final Environmental Impact Statement: Double-Crested Cormorant Management in the United States. This Environmental Impact Statement provides the authority to the states to manage cormorant damage and the regulations are due to be revised. The Department of Natural Resources supports continuing the current cormorant management program but with modifications which would incorporate a regional approach. All the comments that I received were supportive of the draft letter that I proposed sending to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The letter supports the Department of Natural Resources’ position of expanding the current cormorant management approach to include a regional approach. The letter that I submitted from the Committee is attached and can also be viewed on the government website as described below.

As we all know, cormorant control in Michigan is vital for the management of the fisheries throughout the State so it is imperative that we provide as many comments as possible to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that the program continues. I am encouraging organizations and individuals to submit a letter either through the federal website or by regular mail as described below. Even a short letter supporting the Department and asking for base federal funding for the cormorant management program would be very helpful. Currently, cormorant control is critical to many fisheries around the State including: Les Cheneaux Islands, Bay de Noc, Thunder Bay, Beaver Islands, Ludington Pump Storage Project, Lake George, Nubinway Island, Paquin Island, Isle aux Galets, Bellow Island, St Mary’s River, Tahquamenon Island, South Manitou

40 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE

By Capt. Terry R. Walsh

The Michigan Charter Boat Association celebrated 40 Years of Excellence at its Annual Conference held the third weekend of October at the Doubletree Hotel in Holland, MI.  Well over 100 captains and their wives, first mates, dignitaries, congress representatives, state fisheries biologists, the United States Coast Guard and special presenters were all part of the gala event.  Several long-time MCBA members said, ìIt was the best attended, most educational, and informative conference we have ever attended.

After an appreciated welcome to a packed conference room, President Terry Walsh turned the Saturday morning meeting over to Dr. Dan O’Keefe, Southwest District Extension Educator, who would act as the dayís moderator.

The morning’s first speaker was Jay Wesley, Acting Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator from the Department of Natural Resources.Lake Michigan had a great 2010 year class of alewife with a high survival rate that produced the most exciting Chinook salmon fishery we’ve seen in many years, Wesley said.  The fish were much larger than in previous years.  Twenty-pound salmon were pretty common last summer, and I think we can expect similar results in 2012. Wesley added that the angler catch per excursion was nearly six salmon.

The Coho salmon and brown trout fisheries were a pleasant surprise, according to Wesley, who said, They showed up in good numbers in angler catches.  And again, like the Chinook, they were much larger than in previous years.  One Coho tipped the certified scales at 29-pounds!

Lake Michigan crews give coho, Chinook a hand to spawn success

The urge to procreate happens like clockwork and when the water reaches the right temperature, the Root River turns into a salmon singles’ bar each fall.

But to have a healthy population of coho and Chinook in Lake Michigan, the fish need a helping hand to hook up. That’s why a group of Department of Natural Resources employees dressed in chest waders, rubber boots and gloves worked quickly this week to scoop up coho salmon at the Root River Steelhead Facility, siphon eggs and sperm and mix the two together in plastic buckets destined for a fish hatchery.

The coho will be raised until they’re yearling size and then dumped in Lake Michigan destined for fish hooks wielded by Wisconsin anglers in 2013.

These are booming times for Lake Michigan’s salmon.

“It was a good year for coho. It was probably the longest and most sustained coho we’ve had in decades,” said Brad Eggold, DNR fisheries supervisor for the southern half of Lake Michigan.

Chinook salmon are also robust. Among the reasons for a healthy population is an abundance of forage fish like alewives that salmon snacked on last year and this year, growing big and fat.

Salmon are not native to Lake Michigan but were introduced half a century ago as a predator to alewives when the alewife population exploded; they’re now a popular fish among anglers.

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