Boating/Fishing Groups Call on White House for Ethanol Policy Changes


WASHINGTON, DC, – In a letter sent today to the Trump administration and Congress, a coalition of recreational boating and sportfishing interests urged action to fix America’s broken ethanol policy. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) on behalf of the nation’s 12 million recreational boat owners, 46 million recreational anglers and 35,000 recreational boating businesses respectively expressed concern with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).The RFS is the 2005 law that mandates the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When written, it was assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to rise. However, US gasoline usage has actually dropped steadily since 2005 and now the law forces more corn ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline.

Boaters and anglers need access to safe and approved fuels. The letter said the RFS “…has discriminatorily affected the boating public – groups of boaters and anglers who purchase fuel for their boats… We write to ask that you to set a new course for the RFS – one that takes into account the objective concerns expressed by the boating community.”

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Proper disposal of pets or aquarium items very important to protect Michigan’s waters


Each year the Michigan Department of Natural Resources receives numerous reports of unique species showing up in waterbodies throughout the state. While oftentimes these reports consist of a single animal being found, occasionally they point to large populations of non-native species where you wouldn’t expect to find them.Screenshot ofHow these species got into the water can be a mystery, but there is one method that’s often the culprit and it’s 100-percent preventable.

Pet and aquarium owners often face the dilemma where they no longer want to keep their various organisms, so they sometimes opt to release them into the wild. Read more

MI DNR confirms virus involved in Lake St. Clair fish kill


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Monday announced that test results on fish collected in the ongoing fish kill event on Lake St. Clair were confirmed to be positive for viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv). Fish were collected during late March and early April and included gizzard shad, bluegill, and black and white crappie.”A total of 165 fish have been tested thus far using pooled samples of five fish, and of the 33 pooled samples, 31 of them have been positive for VHSv,” said Gary Whelan, research program manager for the DNR’s Fisheries Division. “Ten gizzard shad were tested individually and all were positive for the virus. These results confirm what we initially suspected, given the external signs on the fish, species involved, and timing of the fish kill, all strongly implicating VHSv as the cause of this fish kill.” Read more

Anyone who catches tagged walleye asked to report it to MI DNR

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently jaw tagged 3,000 walleyes in a number of Saginaw Bay tributary rivers. Anglers who catch any tagged fish are asked to collect information from the fish and report it to the DNR.

The DNR has tagged more than 100,000 walleyes in the Saginaw Bay area since 1981. Jaw tagging is part of a long-term research project to monitor survival and harvest rates and to learn about walleye movement. The program depends on anglers to report when they catch a tagged walleye, catch location, as well as the fish’s length, weight (if known) and tag identification number. Once reported, anglers will receive a letter back detailing the history of their fish.

This year about 20 percent of the tags include a $100 reward for reporting the tag. Read more

CBD Files Suit to Challenge the Congressional Review Act and Undermine Alaska’s Wildlife Management

This from Safari Club International

On April 20, 2017, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Congressional Review Act (CRA).  The CRA gives Congress authority to review and nullify federal regulations with which Congress does not agree within a 60-day period after the rules are finalized.    CBD’s suit focuses on a component of the CRA that prohibits federal agencies from issuing rules that are “substantially the same” as regulations previously nullified by a congressional joint resolution.  CBD claims that this prohibition interferes with the constitutional separation of powers between Congress and the executive branch.

The purpose of CBD’s suit is to invalidate House Joint Resolution 69 (H.J. 69), which was signed by the President on April 3.  H.J. 69 nullified a regulation adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) at the end of the Obama administration that prohibited forms of hunting on all National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.    SCI and its two Alaska chapters have long opposed the FWS regulations that were the subject of H.J. 69.

In January 2017, just before the new Administration took office, SCI filed suit to challenge those hunting restrictions.  SCI’s suit also challenges similar National Park Service (NPS) regulations that prohibit forms of hunting on all National Preserves in Alaska and challenges regulations regarding hunting and access on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.  The State of Alaska also filed a similar suit as did the Alaska Professional Hunters Association and the Sportsmen’s Alliance.   SCI also worked hard to help win passage of H.J. 69 by both houses of Congress and its approval by the President.  Read more

MI DNR investigating citizen reports of dead fish in Lake St. Clair

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is investigating several fish mortalities – particularly of gizzard shad – that have been reported by citizens around Lake St. Clair. A number of samples have been collected to determine the cause. Some of the fish may have been affected by viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv), a very contagious pathogen, but the DNR is still waiting on confirmation.

“Thanks to the public’s vigilance we are able to get timely samples from these fish mortalities, and it is very likely VHSv is involved,” said Gary Whelan, research program manager for the DNR’s Fisheries Division. “VHSv has been detected in these waters since at least 2003, and when conditions are right the pathogen will cause disease events like this one.”

Many of the collected fish showed the classic external signs of VHSv: bloody patches on the skin. VHSv first caused fish mortalities in the St. Clair-Detroit River corridor in 2006 and occasionally has been detected in these waters since that time. Read more

Fish stocking creates numerous fishing opportunities throughout Michigan


DNR employee manning fish stocking truck as it unloads cargoThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced it is in the middle of its new fish stocking season. This spring you’ll find DNR fish stocking trucks releasing their prized recreational cargo at hundreds of lakes and streams throughout the state.Fish stocking is a valuable tool used by fisheries managers to restore, enhance and create new fishing opportunities in Michigan’s inland lakes and streams and the Great Lakes. The DNR’s Fisheries Division accomplishes this task by rearing fish at its six fish production facilities located throughout the state, cooperatively managing up to 46 rearing ponds and eight Great Lakes imprinting net pen locations, and maintaining a fleet of 18 specialized fish stocking vehicles. Read more

New Zealand Mudsnail Invades Michigan Rivers

New Zealand mudsnail: New Zealand mudsnails are brown to black, about 1/8 inch long and have five to eight whorls.

Au Sable: Parts of the Au Sable River experience heavy use by boaters and anglers throughout the summer. Since the New Zealand mudsnail, an invasive species, has been detected there, it’s critical for river users to practice quality recreational hygiene.

Small snail, big problem: Researchers track invasive New Zealand mudsnail in Michigan rivers

New video illustrates key identification points of this invader

A tiny invader is threatening prized trout streams in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. A mere 1/8-inch long, the New Zealand mudsnail is barely distinguishable from a grain of sand, but over time its invasive habits can affect the quality and quantity of trout and other fish in the Au Sable, Pere Marquette and Boardman rivers where it has been found.

New Zealand mudsnails were first discovered in the United States in Idaho’s Snake River in 1987. Since then, infestations have spread throughout the western states and into areas of the Great Lakes. The discovery of New Zealand mudsnails in the Pere Marquette River in August 2015 signaled the first detection in a Michigan inland waterway. Within the next year, populations were confirmed in the Boardman and Au Sable rivers. The U.S. Geological Survey has developed an animated map illustrating the New Zealand mudsnail’s movement through the states.

What harm can a snail do?

This brown to black mudsnail, a native of New Zealand, is considered invasive and is prohibited in Michigan due to the environmental harm it can cause to rivers, streams and lakes. Because the snail reproduces by cloning (females a close-up view of the New Zealand mudsnaildevelop complete embryos without fertilization), just one snail can start a population. Read more

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Members Introduce Bill to Enhance Recreational Fisheries Management

On April 6, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Congressman Garret Graves, along with CSC Co-Chair Congressman Gene Green, CSC Member Congressman Rob Wittman and Congressman Daniel Webster introduced essential legislation that offers a solution to many of the challenges facing recreational anglers from federal fisheries management in our coastal waters.
The “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017” will provide much-needed modifications to the way the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approaches management of the recreational sector and the nation’s 11 million saltwater anglers.
“Private citizens who like to fish are on the losing end of the federal government’s failure to bring the way it manages our nation’s waters up to speed with the information age.
Our bill is designed to fix that. By leveraging technology and data collection capabilities that already exist, we can use real-time information to improve fisheries management decision-making and enjoy the flexibility that comes with being informed by accurate numbers,” said Rep. Graves. “By modernizing federal fisheries policy, the Modern Fish Act will let us practice data-driven sustainability, get more people out to enjoy recreational fishing and unlock economic growth for coastal communities that rely so heavily on fishing activities.”

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