Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WCSFO Holds Election of Officers

The Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations (WCSFO) held its’ Election of Officers recently at their Fall Meeting on October 17th.

The results of the Election are as follows:

President: John E. Durben
Green Bay Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen (GBAGLSF)

Vice President: Jim Schommer
Walleyes for Tomorrow (W.F.T.)

Secretary: Lawrence A. Van Veghel
Wisconsin Fishing Club

Treasurer: Cornell Stroik
Wisconsin, The BASS Federation (WTBF)

Walleyes for Tomorrow donated the use of their Headquarters Office in Fond Du Lac, WI. to host the meeting in which we are deeply indebted.

Our sincere thanks go out to past WCSFO President Ted Lind who served the Club for years and decided to step down for now. His dedication to the Wisconsin Angler and this Club has been most beneficial.

Chuck Plotz our retiring Treasurer also deserves some recognition for being a servant of the Club in his financial rolls as well as our Historian.

Thanks to the both of you.

Larry Van Veghel is also tasked with the duties of Media Director where he does a great job publicizing our events.

The 2010 WCSFO Spring Meeting will be held on the 3rd Saturday in March at Gander Mountain in Franklin, Wisconsin.

ENVIRONMENT-US: Greatest of Lakes Hit by Climate Change

By Adrianne Appel

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, Oct 22 (IPS/IFEJ) - The weather was right for swimming this summer along the shores of Lake Michigan, but on many days, the only living things seen on the beach were gulls, picking away at zebra mussels ensnared in a thick, green slime that covered every rock, pebble and grain of sand for miles. [Full Story]

Source: Inter Press Service

2009-2010 Angler Education Workshops

Please check back from time to time for updates to this schedule. Unless otherwise noted, all workshops are free of charge and include lunch or dinner, however, we do have a $15 workshop commitment fee to ensure good attendance by registrants. Please arrive a few minutes early to settle in so that we may begin on time. If your plans change, please notify us so that we may plan accordingly and refund your workshop commitment fee.

To schedule a volunteer or teacher training workshop in your community, please contact Theresa Stabo, Aquatic Resources Educator, (608) 266-2272. We need a minimum of 8 to 12 adult participants, depending on location, to hold a workshop.

Learn to be a Fly Fishing Instructor

Saturday, February 6, 2010
Time: Noon - 5 p.m.
Place: Holiday Inn Convention Center - Stevens Point
1001 Amber Avenue
Registration Form: Download, complete and return the Trout Unlimited Registration Form [PDF, 99KB] to Theresa Stabo (see form for details).

This DNR certification class will be presented by Chuck Bomar and Dennis Vanden Bloomen, UW-Stout Fly Fishing Instructors and members of the elite WI Clear Waters Chapter Instructor Program. Materials available from the DNR, at no charge, include the Scott Rod Company Fly Fishing booklets. The DNR has purchased 100 St. Croix fly rods and reels for instructor use through the equipment loaner program; they are distributed at 18 locations. Trout Unlimited members, fishing club members, youth leaders, classroom teachers, and civic leaders are encouraged to attend as a team or form one at the workshop. Successful models include after-school fishing clubs, summer enrichment classes, school-family events, and Boy Scout Fly Fishing merit badge training. The program is aligned to state academic standards making it an easy fit in the classroom. Participants in this training will also be given a complimentary ticket to the State Council banquet held later that evening. This class is limited to 25 people.

For additional angler education programs in Wisconsin, visit Take Me Fishing [exit DNR].

Teacher Conferences

Look for us at teachers' conferences and conventions throughout the year.

Summer Teacher Enhancement Courses

These courses are offered for university credit and provide in-depth explorations of fisheries, aquatic resources and environmental education methods. Field experiences that bring teachers into close contact with Wisconsin's lakes and streams highlight these courses. Stipends may be available to currrent Wisconsin teachers to help defray teacher expenses.

Wild Rose hatchery education center wins top national award

MADISON – The Department of Natural Resources Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery renovation has won a second prestigious award, one recognizing the facility’s educational emphasis. The previous award recognized the facility’s engineering design.

The Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery Education Center -- a new building with aquariums and exhibits along with the restored, historic hatchery grounds -- has received one of three Outstanding Project of the Year Awards given by the American Fisheries Society.
Take a look inside the Wild Rose Education Center [VIDEO Length 3:15].

The American Fisheries Society, the nation’s oldest and largest professional fisheries organization, gives three awards for projects built using Sport Fish Restoration funds, revenues collected through a federal excise tax on fishing and boating equipment and revenues and returned to the states to enhance fisheries and boating. Wild Rose won in the “Education” category.

The award was presented Oct. 21 at the Natural Resources Board meeting in Madison by Don Gabelhouse, fish chief for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and outgoing president of the AFS Fisheries Administration Section.

Accepting the award, along with DNR Secretary Matt Frank, Fisheries Director Mike Staggs and Board Vice-Chair Jonathan Ela, were Wild Rose Supervisor Steve Fajfer, Assistant Supervisor Randy Larson, DNR State Fish Propagation Coordinator Al Kaas, and Theresa Stabo, the DNR aquatic education coordinator who designed the concepts and features in the center.

“Wild Rose belongs to everyone,” said Stabo, addressing the board and Gabelhouse. “It has been a pleasure to make it a welcoming and interesting place for everyone to visit.”

While visitors may not remember how many eggs are spawned or fish are raised by the facility, they’ll remember that this is a really interesting place and that our waters are interesting places to explore and fish, she said.

Staggs said after the presentation that the award “underscores the importance of having an aquatic education program as part of what we do, to get kids and others out on the water fishing and interested in our great aquatic resources.”

“It’s really great to hear that what we’re doing up there at Wild Rose is recognized on the national level,” he said.

The education center was completed in 2008 as part of the first of three phases to renovate the century-old hatchery to meet environmental standards and continue to meet stocking needs, particularly for Lake Michigan trout and salmon. It incorporates four historic buildings from the hatchery to share the story of Wild Rose and fisheries management.

Center favorites are the two large, free-standing aquariums that house fish species raised right at Wild Rose, the fish identification wall, many interactive exhibits geared for children and a meeting room available for staff or public use.

The historic hatchery grounds with restored buildings and a picnic area allow visitors and local citizens to continue to stroll the grounds and enjoy a picnic lunch in the picturesque setting, much as people have done for the past century.

“It’s great that the visitor center, which is the focal point for visitors, gets recognized,” said Fajfer, the hatchery supervisor.

This summer, Wild Rose’s new coldwater fish rearing facilities received an Award of Excellence in Engineering from an international association, the Association of Conservation Engineers. That design reflected many of the innovations and other suggestions made by Wild Rose supervisors and staff.

More information is available on the Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery page of the DNR Web site.
Wisconsin annually receives almost $14 million in SFR funding to use for project to enhance fisheries and boating.

Tower area whitefish and cisco sport netting seasons open

(Released October 27, 2009)

Whitefish and cisco netting season in the Tower area is open, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Lakes open to netting from Oct. 17 to Nov. 11, the county in which they are located and the legal description are:

  • Basswood, Lake County, T.64,65; R.9,10,11; S. Var.
  • Fall, Lake County, T.63,64; R.11; S. Var.
  • Fall, St. Louis County, T.63; R.12; S. Var.

Minimum gill net mesh size for Basswod and Fall shall be no less 1-3/4-inch net stretch measure.

Lakes open to netting from Oct. 17 to Nov. 11, the county in which they are located and the legal description are:

  • Newton, Lake County, T.63,64; R.1; S. Var.

Lakes open to netting from Oct. 17 to Nov. 1, the county in which they are located and the legal description are:

  • Vermilion, St. Louis County, T.62; R.14,15,16,17 and T.63; R.15,16,17,18.

Minimum net mesh size for Newton and Vermilion shall be no less 3-1/2-inch net stretch measure.

Lake Vermilion’s Pike Bay, south and west of a north-south line at narrowest portion between Echo Point and Punchers Point, is closed to netting. The legal description for the closed area is T.62, R.15, S.19 + Var.; T.61 and 62, R.16, S. Var.

To access the online listing of netting dates, visit www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing and click on “Whitefish and Ciscoes Sport Gill Netting Regulations.” Opening dates for these lakes are determined based on fish abundance, climatic conditions and vulnerability of game fish.

Fishing regulations require that:

  • Nets be set after sunrise on the opening day and be removed before sunset on the closing day.
  • A whitefish netting license is purchased and in possession.
  • Only one gill net is used, not exceeding 100 feet in length and 3 feet in width.

Net stretch measure means the interior distance between opposite knots or corners of a single mesh of net, when taken between the thumb and forefinger and enough pressure is applied laterally to allow the opposite sides of the mesh to touch.

Netters are reminded that if netting on infested waters, the net may not be used in other waters unless it has been dried for a minimum of 10 days or frozen for at least two days.

Upper Red Lake walleye anglers still can keep four fish beginning Dec. 1

(Minnesota) Upper Red Lake walleye anglers still can keep four fish beginning Dec. 1, but all walleye 17-to 26-inches in length must be immediately released. Anglers can keep one walleye longer than
26 inches.

“Winter angling pressure has been consistently higher than open-water fishing pressure, making the adjustment back to the 17- to 26-inch protected slot limit for the winter season a necessity,” said Gary Barnard, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor for the DNR. “Anglers still will have good success because walleye abundance remains high and there are good numbers of fish smaller than 17 inches.”

The change from the open water 20- to 26-inch protected slot limit to the winter 17- to 26-inch protected slot limit that begins Tuesday, Dec.
1, will continue through Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010.

The estimated open-water walleye harvest from state waters of Upper Red Lake for 2009 was 147,000 pounds. That harvest level is 21,000 pounds below the threshold that would trigger a more conservative three-fish limit.

Regulations for the 2010 open water fishing season will be determined later this winter and announced in advance of the walleye opener on Saturday, May 15, 2010.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunfish with big mouths

Three of Wisconsin’s panfish portion of the Centrarchidae family have larger mouths than do bluegills. Well, actually five do, but I’m saving the minnow loving crappies for a later article in this series.

The largest is the northern rock bass whose Latin name is Ambloplites repestris meaning having a blunt armature (Ambloplites), and living among rocks (repestris) per “Fishes of Wisconsin” by George C. Becker, University of Wisconsin Press. Most anglers in our area just call them “rock bass.”

Nicknames for the “rocky” include redeye, redeye bass, goggle eye and rock sunfish with the latter being the most accurate, since the rock bass, like the largemouth bass and the smallmouth bass are not true bass.

As mentioned, these fish are found in rocky bottomed areas where they spawn in warmer temperatures than do other sunfish. These fish are often found in shallower water that warms earlier.

When fishing for bluegills on a lake, such as Walworth County’s Lake Beulah, panfish anglers casting almost onto the shore are often surprised to get a bite in mini-depth water. This is rockbass territory. These fish are seeking terrestrials, that is insects like grasshoppers who end up in near shore water, and any other tasty invertebrate or fish deemed edible. The diet for a rocky is a combination of meat and fish. Think of them as eating what both bluegills and crappies eat. Rock bass are nocturnal, so midnight snacks are common.

The slightly smaller and darker colored warmouth, Lepomis (Chaenobryttus) gulosis, whereas Lepomis means “sealed operculum” and gulosis means “gluttonous.” It can survive in lentic, “still,” or slow-moving, waters having low oxygen content.

This specie is a fairly recent addition to the family. The warmouth had been thought to be the solo member of the genus Chaenobryttus, but it is now considered a Lepomis family member, and Chaenobryttus is considered a subgeneric rank.

The Wisconsin record warmouth came from Eagle Lake, in Racine County, before its current redoing.

Other nicknames for this aggressive sunfish include warmouth bass, goggle-eye (shared with the rock bass), black sunfish, wide-mouthed sunfish, stumpknocker, mud bass, wood bass and weed bass.

Our final triple panfish threat member is the green sunfish. This tasty fish is best described as looking like a bluegill with a big mouth. Green sunfish, Lepomis cyanellus, whereas Lepomis is a scaled operculum and cyanellus means blue, are usually smaller than are warmouth, but occasionally a larger fish is caught. This sunfish can tolerate turbidity.
Green sunfish, like many of the sunfish panfish members can stunt due to inadequate food supply and lack of angler harvest. It can hybridize, making for difficult fish identification.

Among the sound making fish, green sunfish males grunt during courtship.

Nicknames for this inhabiter of lakes, ponds and slow-moving creeks include green perch, black perch, logfish, blue-spotted sunfish, sunfish, little red eye, blue bass, creek sunfish, rubbertail and sand bass.

The green sunfish diet consists of invertebrates and smaller fishes, so it too prefers a combination of the bluegill and crappie menus.

Milwaukee Fishing Examiner
L.A. Van Veghel