1.Location

CRP faces new challenges

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Washington — Farm Bill 2007 is a couple years away, but conservation leaders already are promoting the continued need for the famed Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a set-aside program for marginal farmland authorized in federal farm aid bills. Leaders from Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited recently attended a Capitol Hill hearing to voice support for,…

Forest rangers may get police authority

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — DEC forest rangers would have police powers under legislation approved by the state House and Senate and set to be signed by Gov. George Pataki. The bill was crafted to allow forest rangers to perform police duties and came in response to the varied situations forest rangers encounter, particularly while patrolling state lands in…

Wetlands program gets more funding

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Washington — A federal program that supplies matching grant dollars for projects that benefit wetlands and associated uplands received a boost recently when Congress approved an increase in funding of about $2 million for next year. The increase in North American Wetlands Conservation Act funding raises to $40 million the appropriation. Other sources typically double…

As water temps take tumble, fishing activity on rise

ALGOMA AREA Chinook salmon are still being taken in good numbers, but they’re still rather small. Mixed bags of rainbow trout, lake trout, and coho salmon also have been taken. Anglers have had the best success in 60-150 feet of water from the surface to 80 feet down. As the sun comes up, follow the fish into deeper waters. Dodger/fly…

BWCAW blaze continues; some blowdown burning

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Ely, Minn. — A fire in the Boundary Waters Area Canoe Wilderness of northeastern Minnesota continued to burn near the Canadian border Tuesday, when a light rain in the morning did little but allow firefighters to change their approach. More rain was possible Tuesday night. “Over the fire, the amount of rain was just over…

Hunter Education

Aug. 13: Bowhunter Ed. Course, Millgrove Sportsmen’s Club, Alden (Erie Co.); pre-registration required. Call 585-937-9536, 585-599-6431 or 585-937-7632 after 6 p.m. Aug. 13: Hunter Ed. Course, Chemung County Rod & Gun Club, Latta Brook Road, Breesport. Pre-registration required at the club on July 27 from 6:30-8 p.m. or July 31 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Aug. 12-13: Hunter Ed. Course, Ellington Rod…

Minnesota rep to author Wetlands Loan Act bill

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Maple Grove, Minn. — Hoping to curb the trend of wetland and grassland losses nationwide, conservation group leaders met Tuesday with U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minnesota, in an effort to double the amount of money spent each year on habitat. Kennedy said he would author a bill in Congress to revive a program, the Wetlands…

Mixed results so far for salmon anglers

By Steve Griffin Field Editor Midland, Mich. — Anglers hungry for Great Lakes salmon action are sitting down to the seasonal feast. How they’re faring depends on where they go, and whether they’re after numbers or size. On Lake Huron, things are about the same as last year – pretty bleak, with a few northern-lake bright spots. On Lake Michigan,…

Early goose season is looking promising

By Bill Parker Editor Lansing — Hunters participating in the early September goose season can expect a pretty good year, perhaps better than last, according to some waterfowl experts. Despite the fact that the population of local giant Canada geese – the target of the early season – is below the population goal, biologists are optimistic about the upcoming season….

Weather issues inhibit walleye pond production

By Steve Griffin Field Editor Midland, Mich. — At first blush, losing half your rearing ponds’ usual production of young walleyes sounds like trouble. Coping with an output one-fifth of last year’s sounds catastrophic. But when multiple, weather-induced failures at several of the ponds ringing Saginaw Bay resulted in just 400,000 fish ready for plant-out, DNR district fisheries biologists Jim…

Hunters get duck ‘days,’ lower bag

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – Duck hunters in Minnesota will face tighter restrictions than waterfowlers in other Mississippi Flyway states when the season opens Oct. 1. Minnesota DNR officials this week announced a season with a bag limit lighter than the federal frameworks would allow – four instead of six ducks, including just one hen mallard. The…

Drought is cause of concern for the U.P.

By Marty Kovarik Correspondent Marquette, Mich. — The National Weather Service in Marquette reports that a combination of above-normal temperatures and a lack of rain has plunged some of the central and eastern Upper Peninsula into drought conditions. As of mid-July, portions of Alger, Delta, Dickinson, Luce, and Menominee counties were experiencing a severe drought. Moderate drought has occurred throughout…

Final aerial survey: Deer numbers vary

Staff Report Harrisburg — Deer numbers vary widely across the state, according to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ final analysis of an aerial white-tailed deer survey of state forestlands done last winter. DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis announced in late July that the department’s Bureau of Forestry had completed the analysis, and he contended it should prove a valuable…

Infection killing bass in Juniata, Susquehanna

By Jeff Mulhollem Editor Harrisburg — Ironically, the same very hot, dry weather that finally made the Susquehanna River wadeable for bass fishermen after two frustrating years of extremely high flows, may have created conditions that have resulted in a significant die-off of smallmouths. Biologists at the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission confirmed the bass-mortality event during the agency’s quarterly…

Uncommonly warm waters seeing heavy weed growth

NORTHWEST REGION Lake Erie — This has been a disappointing summer so far compared with other years. Perch fishing has been poor overall, though it picked up a little late last month. Some anglers were limiting out in 39 to 42 feet off Trout Run and north of Walnut Creek. Bass fishing has been slow, though some catches were reported…

PF&BC struggles to assemble a quorum

By Bob Frye Capital Correspondent Harrisburg — Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission meetings do not, as a general rule, attract big crowds, like, say, Game Commission gatherings do. The agency’s July meeting was especially short on bodies, though. And this time, the commission could have paid a heavy price. The commission’s board — which sets policies such as seasons and…

Washington County man leads fight for pheasants

By Bob Frye Capital Correspondent Taylorstown, Pa. — Give Brian Hanna credit for at least trying. Hanna, who lives in Washington County, is a fan of online outdoor message boards. For months, he’s seen hunters lamenting the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s plan to cut its pheasant stocking allocation in half this fall. The commission — faced with cutting $3 million from…

Banquets/Fundraisers

Aug. 13: Tool City RMEF Chapter 6th Annual Banquet, Meadville Elk Lodge #219. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Call Dave or Barb Tobin for more info, 814-425-7528 or Tom Mattis at 814-789-4254. Aug. 19: Allegheny Mountain NWTF Chapter Banquet, 5:30 p.m., Casino at Lakemont Park, Altoona. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event and…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…