News

Researchers seek avian influenza answers

When the year began, bleeding birds wasn’t high on Lou Cornicelli’s agenda. Then avian influenza was found in the state. As a result, Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager, was intimately involved in the agency’s portion of the response, which included determining where and how many wild birds should be tested. Also included was an amendment to the existing federal permit…

Coyote attack prompts calls to address problem in N.Y.

Seneca Falls, N.Y. — Two Seneca Falls residents are pushing for statewide changes in the way New York handles coyotes after one of the wild canines killed their small dog. Charlie Mayer and Marchael Heitmann lost their dog Tiki, an 8-and-a-half-year-old male Bichon Frise/Chihuahua mix, when a coyote attacked the small dog May 5 in the backyard of their home. …

Residents unhappy with name of firearms store

St. Croix Falls, Wis. (AP) — A western Wisconsin firearms retail store is drawing ire from some local residents because of its name. About a dozen people spoke out against the signage for F-Bomb Ordnance during an unusually packed city council meeting earlier this month, said St. Croix Falls Mayor Brian Blesi. The residents thought the signage violates the nuisance…

Chickadee is second wild bird with avian influenza

St. Paul — A chickadee recovered in Ramsey County has been confirmed to have carried avian influenza – the second confirmed case in a wild Minnesota bird this year – raising more questions about the pathogen. The chickadee, found in Vadnais Heights, was taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville on June 10. It was euthanized at the facility…

Great Lakes Compact to be tested by Wisconsin town

Madison, Wis. — Authors of the 2008 Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, aka, the Great Lakes Compact, likely had bigger fish in mind when they set out to protect the Great Lakes from the consequences of water diversion. But the first true test of the compact between eight states and two Canadian provinces likely will come from…

Bison project moving ahead with university, conservation partners

 Franklin Grove, Ill. — After a nearly 200-year absence, Illinois is once again a home where the buffalo – bison, that is – roam.  And the animals are already settling in. The discovery of a bison calf  this spring surprised staff at The Nature Conservancy’s Nachusa Grasslands prairie. “The first one was definitely a surprise,” said Cody Considine, restoration ecologist…

CRP options will trigger boost in acreage

Washington — Just five years ago, conservation acreage nationwide in the federal Conservation Reserve Program topped 31 million acres. Due in part to reductions called for the most recent Farm Bill, which requires a cap of 24 million acres by 2017, enrollment had decreased to 24.3 million acres as of April 31. But Tom Vilsack, secretary of the U.S. Department…

SAFE Act registrations show few complying

Albany — A group opposed to New York’s two-year-old SAFE Act gun law says registration data shows only a fraction of gun owners complied with a requirement to register firearms reclassified as assault weapons. NY2A, which advocates for Second Amendment rights, says newly reported data show only 23,847 people registered 44,485 firearms. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the architect of the law…

White perch, black buffalo are new state records in Michigan

Lansing — The Michigan DNR recently confirmed two new state records, a black buffalo and a white perch. This marks the second and third state-record fish caught in 2015. The state record for black buffalo was broken by a fish caught by Sage Colegrove, of Muskegon, on the Grand River in Ottawa County on Sunday, April 12, at 1 a.m….

No benefits from steelhead net pen experiment

Grand Rapids, Mich. — A 3-year experiment to determine if steelhead survival improves when hatchery-born yearlings are allowed to acclimate in a pen before being released to open water showed no benefit, according to state officials who add the approach may even be detrimental.  “We were a little surprised (by the findings),” said Jan VanAmberg, manager of Marquette and Thompson…

Testing continues, but Asian carp still not present in Erie

Columbus — Despite intense, ongoing search efforts, fisheries survey crews have not yet turned up any Asian carp species from Lake Erie. That’s the latest report from Rich Carter, the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife’s fisheries program administrator. In cooperation with the Division of Wildlife, a fisheries crew from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is continuing environmental DNA sampling…

Sandhill crane kill in Minnesota continues decline

Bloomington, Minn. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the harvest report for sandhill cranes, including the mid-continent population that is hunted in northwest Minnesota. Harvest in Minnesota was 247 birds in 2014, down from 378 in 2013, but that was largely a function of the DNR cutting the bag limit from two birds to one. “The drop last…

Clean Water Act finalized, but threats still loom

  Washington — The long-awaited and decidedly divisive final “clean water rule” was announced by the U.S. Environmental Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with both agencies promising the rule, as it pertains to the nation’s Clean Water Act, would “clearly protect from pollution and degradation the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water…

Record striper catch reminds anglers of potential [Photo]

Springfield — For nearly two decades, Illinois fisheries biologists have predicted that the state record for a striped bass would not only be broken, it would be shattered. But the current record, a 31- pound,  7 ounce striper caught out of Sangchris Lake by Eric Shivers in May of 1994, still holds today. A recent record-breaking striper caught in neighboring…

Rattlesnakes slaughtered basking in Centre County

Snow Shoe, Pa. — Blood splotches stained the top of a large rock. Many smaller stones – the weapons of mass destruction – also littered the flat-topped boulder. It was a sight disturbing to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission officers and staff, who investigated the case.   A serious wildlife crime occurred in Centre County nearly a year ago…