1.Location

State’s CWD efforts gain the spotlight

By Tim Eisele Correspondent Madison – Wisconsin’s battle with chronic wasting disease was front and center at the second International CWD Symposium that was held in Madison, July 12-14. Reports on Wisconsin’s experience, the first time that CWD had been found in a wild deer herd east of the Mississippi River, were provided throughout the symposium. The Wisconsin DNR launched…

DEC tailors bass regs to keep trophy season

By Steve Piatt Editor Dunkirk, N.Y. – Lake Erie’s trophy bass season, which would have been eliminated under a DEC bass regulations overhaul, will be maintained with some size-limit modifications. Doug Stang, DEC’s Bureau of Fisheries chief, says input and discussions with Lake Erie smallmouth anglers has prompted a move to bump up the one-fish size limit from the existing…

Waterfowl Association manages to stay afloat

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Plymouth, Minn. – A group with a cloud over its head the past two years, the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, has a new lease on life. The 39-year-old conservation group will stay in business after delegates learned Saturday its $150,000 goal had been reached and voted unanimously to keep it running. “Everybody was pleasantly surprised,” said…

USFWS backs off Mississippi refuge plan

By Frederic J. Frommer Associated Press Washington (AP) – Federal officials are creating a new plan for protecting the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge after the original proposal prompted a backlash over restrictions on hunting, camping, and other uses. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which held 17 hearings and eight workshops up and down the river since announcing…

DNR debating 2005 6/60 duck offering

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Bemidji, Minn. – Federal officials this week recommended a liberal season – 60 days and six ducks in the Mississippi Flyway, which includes Minnesota – for all U.S. flyways. But state officials say this time around, they won’t be so quick to accept the offer. “There’s serious consideration in the agency (DNR) that maybe we…

State’s first dove season produces 107,000 birds

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – Minnesota dove hunters last fall, in their first season in nearly 60 years, shot about 107,000 birds, though the number of hunters who pursued them was below early estimates. The DNR estimated up to 50,000 people might hunt doves; about 14,000 hunters did, according to data released by the U.S. Fish and…

Opposition may not stall lease plan

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany – DEC officials say they’re not surprised with the overwhelming opposition to a proposal to lease 21,000 acres of state land for gas and oil exploration in several Southern Tier counties. And, in fact, that doesn’t mean they won’t go ahead with the plan in some form. “People had a lot of questions and concerns,…

Osprey nest could disrupt activity at Irondale High

New Brighton, Minn. (AP) – A federally protected bird of prey has made its nest atop a light pole at Irondale High School’s football field. And because it’s against the law to disturb an osprey, school officials are waiting to see whether school activities can go on as scheduled. If not, the completion of an artificial turf project may have…

USFWS revamps plan for Mississippi River refuge

By Frederic J. Frommer Associated Press Washington (AP) – Federal officials are creating a new plan for protecting the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge after the original proposal prompted a backlash over restrictions on hunting, camping and other uses. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which held 17 hearings and eight workshops up and down the river since announcing…

NRC adjusts furbearer trapping, hunting regs

By Bill Parker Editor Lansing — Several changes have been made to furbearer regulations that will affect trapping and hunting this fall. The changes were approved by the state Natural Resources Commission at its July meeting in Lansing and take effect immediately. The biggest changes are in non-lethal snaring regulations. Snares are intended to be used as non-lethal restraining devices….

It’s official: Dove hunts cancelled

By Bill Parker Editor Lansing — There will be no dove kabobs or dove casserole made from mourning doves harvested in Michigan during the 2005 or 2006 hunting seasons. That’s because there will be no dove hunting seasons in Michigan for the next two years, until a ballot referendum is decided at the polls in November of 2006. When the…

USFWS: Duck harvest takes a dive in 2004

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul — Preliminary harvest reports from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicate the Michigan duck harvest last year took a dip from that of 2003. The agency estimates the duck harvest was about 333,000, down from about 367,000 in ’03. Steve Wilds, USFWS Region 3 chief of the Division of Migratory Birds, said…

Agencies approve plug plan for dry Rice Lake

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – A lake in a state wildlife management area – accidentally drained following ditch maintenance by the Rice Creek Watershed District – will be plugged with an earthen structure that could perhaps make the lake a viable option for duck hunting this fall. According to a press release from the DNR, which manages…

WMAs, CREP II top bonding proposals for 2006 agenda

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – Next year’s bonding bill – assuming it’s passed on time, and if the DNR and Board of Water and Soil Resources get what they’ve proposed – will be a boon to sportsmen. Potential highlights include: $20 million for the acquisition of wildlife management areas; $30.15 million for RIM Reserve and a second…

Case of TB in cattle prompts deer testing

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – The discovery of bovine tuberculosis in a cattle herd in northwestern Minnesota has prompted the state DNR to announce deer testing will take place in Roseau County this fall to see if area whitetails contracted the respiratory disease. Mike DonCarlos, DNR wildlife program manager, said the exact area and the target number…

Shows

Aug. 6-7: MDHA 10th Annual Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival, Sat. 10-6 p.m. Sun. 9-5 p.m., Bay City State Recreation Area. Event includes the 2006 MDHA Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Contest, duck and goose calling contests, waterfowl clinics, wildlife arts and crafts, dog trials and demonstrations and much more. Call 989-667-0717 for more info. Aug. 13-14: Calumet-Keweenaw Sportsmen’s Club Gun and Sports…

Summer fishing action has been as hot as the weather

SOUTHEASTERN LP Lake St. Clair Muskie fishing has been good on Lake St. Clair near the Dumping Grounds as well as on the Canadian side of the lake. Bass fishing has been hot. Anglers have been catching smallmouths while fishing for walleyes with minnows and nightcrawler harnesses. Lakeside Fishing Shops (586) 777-7003, (586) 468-9913. Pontiac Area Bass and pike fishing…

Hot, very dry conditions starting to affect fishing

NORTHWEST REGION Lake Erie (Erie County) — Smallmouth action has improved a little but is still down from last year. The best bet is 20 to 30 feet, from the cribs, moving east. Perch also have been inconsistent with fewer limits reported than last year and jumbo sizes hit or miss. The best bites are in the morning and late…

Classic anglers say ‘expect low weights’

By Deborah Weisberg Contributing Writer Pittsburgh — Though the three rivers could set an all-time low in tournament pounds, they will pay big money in the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, slated for the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio, July 29 through 31. The $700,000 showdown will cap a week of festivities that includes: a big outdoors show at the David L. Lawrence…

Commissions get $47.5M from bond

By Jeff Mulhollem Editor Harrisburg — Officials at the Pennsylvania Game and Fish & Boat commissions were understandably pleased when the state Legislature on July 6 passed a bill authorizing $47.5 million of the recently voter-approved $625 million bond issue to be used for sorely needed capital improvement projects for the agencies’ existing lands and facilities. After Gov. Ed Rendell…

State duck numbers, harvest down

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – Preliminary harvest reports from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service support what Minnesota duck hunters suspected since their last trip to the duck blind: The 2004 duck season was one that often lacked one important element – ducks. State hunters last year killed about 683,000 ducks, compared to about 884,000 in 2003,…

For most fish species this time of year, think deeper

ALGOMA AREA Not much has changed since last week, with excellent numbers of rainbow trout and chinook salmon coming to boat. Rainbow trout were still being caught in good numbers farther out from shore, 10 to 30 feet down. A lot of chinook salmon were caught with most of the action occurring in 140 to 300 feet of water and…

Spring gobbler harvest may be up just slightly

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — New York State hunters may have bagged just a few more gobblers this spring than in 2004, according to preliminary data received by the DEC. But DEC Game Bird Unit Leader Bryan Swift says more accurate numbers will come later this summer after hunters return mail surveys, about 12,000 of which are being sent…

Survey shows Wisconsin duck numbers are good

By Kevin Naze Correspondent Madison — Variable spring habitat conditions observed in the U.S. and Canada present a mixed picture for fall waterfowl season, but Wisconsin duck numbers appear to be in good shape, according to Wisconsin waterfowl biologists. Preliminary information shows areas ranging from very good wetland conditions to very dry. The impact of these conditions on actual breeding…

Woodcock population stable for second year

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – Their numbers may not be on the rise, but woodcock enthusiasts nonetheless can take comfort in the fact that the birds’ population apparently is stable. For the second year in a row, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trend estimates show two separate woodcock populations – Eastern and Central regions – that are…