October 2, 2007
Mystery of catching more trophy muskies in the fall remains unsolved
Low water flows complicate Lake Michigan trout and salmon egg collection
Open house Oct. 6 allows chance to see “king” salmon, egg collection up close
Waterfowl hunters cautioned to watch for swans and cranes
State’s largest wildlife area hosts wildlife festival Oct. 7
Mystery of catching more trophy muskies in the fall remains unsolved
MADISON – The jury is still out on whether the adage that fall is the best time to catch trophy muskies is true, but the old saying does carry enough weight to send scores of musky hunters out and about as autumn winds blow in.
“There is a common perception that fall is the best time to catch trophy muskies,” says Tim Simonson, a Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist. “It’s hard to argue that point, given the fact that two 50-plus pound muskies were caught in Wisconsin waters last November. However, our data indicates that there are no differences in the average size of fish harvested from one month to another.”
This doesn’t necessarily prove that the expression isn’t true, according to Simonson. It just means that the size of fish kept by anglers in surveys doesn’t vary from spring to fall and that there’s a big difference between the size of fish kept and the size of fish caught, especially in recent years.
“It seems that smaller fish are more likely to be kept and thus show up in our creel surveys,” says Simonson. “All in all, 70 percent of muskies kept by anglers over the last 15 years were less than 40 inches in length.”
This means that many large muskies could still be caught by autumn anglers, but they wouldn’t show up in the creel surveys if they weren’t kept.
“One strong trend we have seen over the years is the actual number of fish being kept by anglers,” says Simonson. “From 1991 to 2005, the total number of muskies harvested by anglers and measured by creel clerks each year has declined from 84 to three. These days, we just don’t see enough muskies harvested in our creel surveys to be able to say much about their sizes and we don’t record the sizes of fish that anglers catch and release.”
In 2001, more than one-third of Wisconsin’s 1.4 million anglers reported fishing for muskies, a number that has increased steadily over the years. Additionally, the number of muskies 48 inches and greater reported to Muskies, Inc., a non-profit organization with the goal of improving the sport of musky fishing, has increased steadily over the last 15 years with an all-time high in 2006.
“Musky fever is caught by anglers who want to reel in a large fish,” says Simonson. “Even if you catch a small musky, it’s still a lot bigger than a bass.”
So, while we can neither prove nor disprove the notion that fall is a trophy time for muskies; it should be known that Wisconsin’s 63.5 inch record musky was caught in October. And regardless of your success, fall is still a great time to be on the water.
“A crisp fall day stirs a musky hunter’s heart,” says Simonson. “The Jet Skis are put away, the vacationers are back in school and the hunters are in the woods. Northern lakes are about as quiet as they get and the blazing fall colors provide a great backdrop for that trophy musky you catch, photograph, and release!”
Use of “quick strike” rigs encouraged with live suckers as bait
Fall is the most popular time for musky anglers to use live suckers as bait, and fish managers encourage anglers to use “quick strike” rigs to avoid killing the fish they release.
A recent Department of Natural Resources study found a very high proportion of deeply hooked muskies died after being released, despite minimizing handling time and cutting the line without trying to remove the hook, according to Tim Simonson, the DNR fish biologist who leads the DNR’s musky team.
“The study found that single hook rigs, even though people released the fish, resulted in 83 percent delayed mortality,” Simonson says. “So we’re encouraging people to use quick strike rigs for live bait rather than single hook rigs.”
Next spring, in fact, DNR will ask anglers and others attending the Spring Fish and Wildlife Hearings to approve a regulation requiring musky anglers to use quick strike rigs.
Musky anglers statewide are also reminded that emergency rules to help prevent the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia, a new, deadly fish disease, require that live bait fish be purchased only from a registered Wisconsin bait dealer. Anglers who are fishing waters where VHS has been detected in fish or is suspected of being present must kill any live fish – bait fish included – before leaving the water.
Find these and more rules to help prevent the spread of this disease on the DNR Web site at [http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/pages/vhs_prevent.html#1].
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Simonson - (608) 266-5222
Crews collecting fish eggs take steps to prevent spread of deadly fish virus
Low water flows also complicate Lake Michigan trout and salmon egg collection
STURGEON BAY - Fall trout and salmon runs up Lake Michigan tributaries are trophy time for anglers and a great time for everyone else to see these big fish up-close at the state egg collection facilities critical to continued fantastic fishing on the big pond.
Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan trout and salmon fisheries depend on stocked fish that start as eggs collected at the three Department of Natural Resources facilities -- C.D. Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility near Kewaunee, Strawberry Creek Spawning Facility near Sturgeon Bay, and the Root River Steelhead Facility in Racine.
Chinook, steelhead and coho aren’t native to Lake Michigan but were stocked starting in the late 1960s to help control alewives and have since become a popular target for anglers. These Pacific Coast natives don’t reproduce in significant numbers in Wisconsin, so eggs collected during spring and fall spawning runs are needed to produce the next generation of fish.
Strawberry Creek is the primary chinook egg collection facility or “weir”; the other two provide back up on chinook and capture coho, steelhead and brown trout for spawning later in the year, according to Paul Peeters, DNR fish supervisor in Sturgeon Bay.
This fall, while the fish are starting to follow the same biological imperative that’s driven their species for millennia, state fish crews at the three weirs are preparing for a challenging year for several reasons. Foremost among those reasons is the detection last spring of a deadly fish disease, viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, in fish from Lake Michigan and the Lake Winnebago system.
No DNR hatchery fish, water supplies or brood stock have tested positive for VHS. The DNR, however, has instituted additional testing, disinfection and other requirements for its hatchery and stocking system to minimize the risk of accidentally spreading VHS to new waters, to DNR hatcheries, or to Lake Michigan tributaries beyond the first barrier impassable to fish.
In addition, low water levels on Lake Michigan and its tributaries will make the runs up the Kewaunee River to the weir more stressful for fish and fish handler alike, according to Mike Baumgartner, the Kewaunee facility supervisor.
The spawning runs are normally triggered by a change in stream flow; if the rain never comes this fall, or not in sufficient amounts, then daylight cues kick in and the fish start their spawning runs. They typically arrive all at once, making it more difficult for fish crews to process them. The low water levels make it more difficult for the fish to swim upstream, increasing their stress and consequently the potential for disease, Baumgartner says.
Fortunately, DNR’s construction several years ago of a pipeline to pump water into Strawberry Creek during low water years allow the Chinook to get upstream. So on a misty Monday morning, the pump at Strawberry Creek was hard at work supplying water and the DNR crews readied their equipment to collect eggs and milt from the fish, as they’ve done for decades.
They set up for the first time a disinfection station at the weir where eggs are bathed in iodine before being packaged up. Normally, eggs collected at the weirs are disinfected before being brought into a hatchery to kill any viruses. This fall, the Chinook eggs are being disinfected onsite at the weirs, and then again before they are brought inside a DNR hatchery.
In another change, DNR Fish Health Specialist Sue Marcquenski is collecting fish samples every week for VHS and other viral tests, instead of just once during the weeks-long spawning period. This way, DNR can assure that fish that reach the spawning weirs during all parts of the spawning run – not just those fast swimmers arriving in the early weeks – are healthy. DNR collects eggs from the early part of the spawning run, the middle, and the tail end to assure the greatest genetic variety.
Other changes made to reduce the risk of spreading VHS mean the DNR will limit where eggs collected from Lake Michigan fish can go. The Chinook eggs, for instance, will be kept only at hatcheries within the Lake Michigan basin, and the fish stocked only into waters in the Lake Michigan basin, where VHS has been detected. In past years, some Chinook eggs collected at Strawberry Creek have been sent up to the Bayfield hatchery for hatching and raising and the fish eventually stocked into Lake Superior.
In Kewaunee, the threat of VHS means that DNR fish crews will harvest all Chinook that arrive at the weir – a task that could mean fish crews will handle thousands of fish in a short time span. “We’d normally pass the majority of the chinook run upstream before they get into our ponds, but this year, because we’re trying to control any potential spread of VHS, we’ll be harvesting any fish that come up to keep them from going farther upstream,” Baumgartner says.
And VHS means that the brown trout and steelhead also beginning their spawning runs will be kept at the Kewaunee weir until they are “ripe” for spawning. Normally, DNR collects a certain number of adult fish of these species and transfers them to a hatchery where the fish are kept until they’re ready for spawning -- in December for browns and a little later for steelhead, Baumgartner says. Because of the possibility of VHS, DNR will be keeping those adult fish at the Kewaunee and Root river facilities instead of sending them on to hatcheries until they ripen.
Once DNR has collected the browns and steelhead it needs for spawning, it will continue to capture browns and steelhead instead of letting them go upstream, again to contain fish that possibly might have VHS. Fish crews will likely load them on to a hatchery truck that will deliver them downstream so they’ll run the gauntlet of anglers again, Baumgartner says.
In Racine, the Root River Steelhead Facility was up and running as of Sept. 24, having successfully cleaned up a lot of woody debris left in the wake of heavy rains and high water in August. John Komassa, who supervises the facility, said fish crews had added the extra disinfection step for the eggs to prevent the spread of VHS. “We also are trying to incorporate Root River Facility specific equipment and enforcing the new disinfection protocols for all equipment on site,” he says.
Visitors will find more than ever to see at this facility. Volunteers from Salmon Unlimited are opening and closing the facility’s viewing window daily, and new educational signs were installed this past summer around the facility.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Baumgartner, Kewaunee facility (920) 388-1025; Paul Peeters, Strawberry Creek (920) 746-2865; John Komassa, Root River facility (262)594-6218
Open house Oct. 6 allows chance to see “king” salmon, egg collection up close
KEWAUNEE, Wis. – The place is jumping and you can watch! The annual salmon run is underway at the Department of Natural Resources’s “Buzz” Besadny Fish Facility on the Kewaunee River in Kewaunee County.
The facility will hold its 6th annual open house on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with guided tours of the facility at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visitors will want to take a special walk to the underwater viewing windows to watch salmon jump up the fish ladder.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn about the history of Lake Michigan fisheries and the salmon egg collection process,” says Kathy Dax, DNR naturalist guide. “Don’t forget to bring your camera!”
Throughout the day fisheries staff will be demonstrating the egg collection process that is crucial to Wisconsin’s outstanding Lake Michigan sport fishery. Most Wisconsin tributary streams lack the potential to support substantial reproduction, so DNR fish managers collect adult trout and salmon eggs and milt each year to rear fish for release. About 4.7 million trout and salmon are stocked into Lake Michigan tributary streams to support this internationally recognized put-grow-and-take sport fishery.
The DNR’s Besadny Facility is nestled in a secluded area long a quiet stretch of the Kewaunee River upriver from the bridge on County C west of Kewaunee. The facility is ideal for fisheries professionals to show students and the public how the DNR provides a diverse sport fishery for anglers.
The Besadny facility encourages tours, wildlife viewing and numerous positive educational experiences for people of all backgrounds. The annual salmon run is expected to continue through the month of October. For more information call (920) 388-1025.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Baumgartner, DNR fish facility manager, (920) 388-1025; Kathy Dax, DNR naturalist guide (920) 388-1025
Waterfowl hunters cautioned to watch for swans, whooping cranes
Population of trumpeter swans continues to increase in state
MADISON – Waterfowl hunters currently in the field hunting geese and heading out this month to hunt ducks need to be especially careful in identifying all birds before shooting. With more than 100 pairs of endangered trumpeter swans nesting in Wisconsin this year, state wildlife officials estimating the total population of free-flying swans in the state with close to 600, many of which are immature, so they have a not yet developed their signature white feathers and have a more grayish plumage.
In addition, about 60 endangered whooping cranes are now in Wisconsin and both the swans and cranes will soon begin fall migrations.
The growing swan population is due to a successful restoration effort that began in 1987 that involved collecting swan eggs from Alaska, and then hatching and rearing the swans for release in Wisconsin. Nesting pairs occurred in 19 counties in Wisconsin, with over half the population in northwester Wisconsin, according to Sumner Matteson, an avian ecologist with the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Endangered Resources.
Trumpeter swans are the largest waterfowl species in North America. Adults are all white and stand up to 5 feet tall, weighing between 20 and 35 pounds with a 7-foot wingspan. Younger swans, called cygnets, have grayish plumage and are smaller, but are still are significantly larger than Canada geese, with which they are sometimes confused.
The whooping cranes are members of a growing population that has primarily remained within the lower two-thirds of the state along major Wisconsin rivers and wetlands, and in the core reintroduction area of the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.
Whooping cranes also have snow white plumage with the exception of black wing tips and a black mustache. They can reach 5 feet in height with a 7 to 8 foot wing span, and weigh up to 17 pounds. Juveniles have a plumage that is heavily mottled with cinnamon-brown feathers.
Cranes are currently using wetlands along the lower Wisconsin River, more than 25 state wildlife areas, Horicon Marsh and numerous private wetlands as they prepare to migrate, according to Beth Kienbaum, DNR whooping crane coordinator. The crane reintroduction program is being carried out by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, which is working to reestablish an eastern migratory population.
The unintentional shooting of a swan or crane can result in fines and restitution costs exceeding $2,000; the intentional shooting of a swan can exceed $5,000 in fines and restitution costs. Additionally, hunters found guilty of shooting a swan can loose their hunting privileges for up to three years.
Since the swan reintroduction program began, more than 30 Wisconsin swans have been shot accidentally or intentionally in the Midwest, Matteson says.
“Hunters have done a great job in learning the differences between swans and geese, but with the growing number of swans and now whooping cranes present in the state, we want to remind them to continue to be vigilant in identifying their game.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Sumner Matteson - (608) 266-1571 and Beth Kienbaum – (608) 266-3219
State’s largest wildlife area hosts wildlife festival Oct. 7
MADISON – Fall colors and migrating waterfowl will be the viewable celebrities at the Oct. 7, Crex Meadows Wildlife Festival.
At 30,000 acres, Crex is the largest state-owned wildlife area in Wisconsin. This intensive property is home to 270 species of birds, nearly every mammal found in Wisconsin, and 600 species of plants. Wildlife is especially abundant and visible during the fall migration when as many as 50 bald eagles, 7,000 sandhill cranes, 12,000 Canada and snow geese, and thousands of ducks are present.
From Grantsburg on Highway 70, follow the yellow geese painted on the streets of Grantsburg to the Education Center. Visit the Crex Web site at [http://www.crexmeadows.org/] and the Department of Natural Resources public lands Web site at [http://dnr.wi.gov/] and click on Maps.
The festival, hosted by the Friends of Crex and the Department of Natural Resources, is an excellent opportunity to see literally thousands of ducks, geese and trumpeter swans. There will be free guided 90-minutes bus tours of the property leaving from the Education Center at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. There also is a special three-hour tour and a one-hour sunrise tour for sandhill crane viewing leaving at 7 a.m., again leaving from the Education Center.
Other events, programs and demonstrations held throughout the day include: edible wild plants; outdoor skills; introduction to geocaching; wild ricing demonstration; wildlife ecology and habitat management and the wildlife activities room.
The Friends group will also sell brats, burgers and snacks throughout the day.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area - (715) 463-2896
*Indicates date remains the same each year, except some permit deadlines may be extended one day if they fall on a Sunday or Federal Holiday.
September 15 through December 31
• Illegal during this time to shine for wild animals between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
September 15 through First Saturday in May
• From Sept. 15 through the first Saturday in May, hook and line fishing is prohibited from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise in all Lake Michigan tributaries except the Oconto River and its tributaries and the downstream portion of the Peshtigo River (see regulations for details).*
• Youth deer hunt. Youth hunters ages 12 to 15 who have successfully completed a hunter education program and possess a gun deer hunting license may participate in this hunt. Qualified hunters may harvest one buck deer on their gun buck deer carcass tag and additional antlerless deer with the appropriate carcass tag. Adults accompanying the youth may not gun deer and cannot accompany more than two youths. All hunting regulations apply, including blaze orange clothing requirements. Archery hunting remains open but archers must wear blaze orange. See regulations for additional requirements.
• Special deer hunt open to people with disabilities who have a disabled hunting permit. The hunts are held by landowners who have agreed to sponsor the hunters on their property. Hunters must have registered to participate at a designated sponsor location by Sept. 1.
• Canada goose season closes in the south exterior zone and Mississippi River subzone. Season reopens Oct. 13 and runs through Dec. 14 in the south zone and Dec. 27 in Mississippi River subzone.
• Duck season closes in the southern zone; reopens Oct. 13 through Dec. 2.
• Black bear season closes. See current Wisconsin Bear Hunting Regulations for specific season dates and zones.
• Canada goose season reopens in the South Zone Oct. 13 and runs through Dec. 14.
• Canada goose season reopens in the Mississippi River Subzone and runs Dec. 27.
• Duck season reopens in the Southern Zone through Dec. 2.
• Early gun deer season opens in CWD disease eradication zone through Oct. 21. See special CWD regulations in the current deer hunting regulations pamphlet for details.
• Hook-and-line lake sturgeon season on designated waters closes (except Wis./Mich. boundary waters season closes Nov. 1). See current Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations.*
• Early gun deer season opens in CWD herd reduction zone through Oct. 21. See special CWD regulations in the current deer hunting regulations pamphlet for details.
• Pheasant season opens at noon; runs through Dec. 31.
• Ruffed grouse in the zone B opens through Dec. 8.
• Sharp-tailed grouse by permit opens through Nov. 5.
• Bobwhite quail season opens at noon through Dec. 6.
• Hungarian partridge season opens at noon through Dec. 31.
• Jackrabbit season opens through Nov. 15.
• Cottontail rabbit opens at noon in southern zone through Feb. 28.
• Raccoon gun and trapping for state residents opens through Jan. 31
• Red and gray fox hunting and trapping in the northern zone opens through Feb. 15.
• Coyote trapping season opens in the northern zone through Feb. 15, 2007.
• Hunting and trapping season for bobcat north of Hwy. 64 through Dec. 31.
• Muskrat season in the northern zone opens through Feb. 28, 2007.
• Mink season in the northern zone opens through Feb. 28, 2007.
• Fisher trapping season opens in various zones, through Dec. 31.
• Period 2 Collins Zone closes.
• Early gun deer season closes in CWD disease eradication and herd reduction zones. See special CWD regulations in the current deer hunting regulations pamphlet for details.
• Period 3 Collins Zone Canada goose runs through Nov. 16.
• Periods 1 and 2 Horicon Zone Canada goose close.
• Periods 3 and 4 Horicon Zone Canada goose run through Dec. 16.
• Fox season opens in the southern zone, through Feb. 15, 2007.
• Coyote trapping season opens in southern zone through Feb. 15, 2007.
• Mink season opens in central (through Dec. 31) and Winnebago (through March 15) zones.
• Muskrat season opens in south zone (through Feb. 28) and Winnebago zone (through March 15).
• Mourning dove season closes.*
• Lake trout season closes on waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan and their tributaries.*
• Deadline to purchase Lake Winnebago system sturgeon spearing licenses.*
• Wild ginseng season closes.*
• Hook-and-line lake sturgeon season closed on Michigan boundary waters.*
• Beaver trapping season opens in the northwest zone (A), northeast zone (B) through April 30 and in the southern zone (C) through March 31.
• Otter trapping season opens in all zones and runs through April 30 in the North zone and through March 31 in the Central zone and South zone.
• Non resident raccoon season opens through Jan. 31.
• Woodcock season closes.
• Sharp-tailed grouse season closes.
• Early archery deer season closes statewide. Reopens Nov. 26 through Jan. 6.
• Fall turkey hunting season closes.
• Jackrabbit season closes.*
• Fall crow season closes.
• Trout and salmon fishing closes on downstream section of Lake Superior tributaries that remained open after Sept. 30. (see current trout fishing regulations for stream sections).*
• Collins zone Canada goose hunting period 3 closes.
• It is illegal to hunt with a firearm the day before the gun deer season opens, except for waterfowl hunting or hunting on licensed game farms or shooting preserves.
• Regular gun deer season open through Nov. 25.
• Late gun deer season opens in CWD disease eradication and herd reduction zones through Dec. 9. See special CWD regulations in the current deer hunting regulations pamphlet for details.
• Northern zone duck season closes.
• Regular gun deer season closes.
• Muzzleloader season opens through Dec. 5.
• Late archery season opens through Jan. 6.
• Muskellunge season closes.*
• Turtle season closes. *
DNR Public Hearings and Meetings
Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodations, including the provision of informational material in an alternative format, will be provided for qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. Please call the contact person listed for the meeting or hearing with specific information on your request at least 10 days before the date of the scheduled hearing.
October 4 - A Class 1 contested hearing case pursuant to Wis. Stats. § 227.01(3)(a) in the matter of the application of Maryke and C.J. Schmidt for Water Quality Certification to place a culvert and fill 0.15 acres of wetland on property located in the Town of Ahnapee, Kewaunee County will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Meeting Room at the Algoma Public Library, 406 Fremont Street, Algoma. Maryke and C.J. Schmidt, 2551 Oak Ridge Circle, De Pere, Wisconsin, 54115, filed an application with the Department of Natural Resources for water quality certification pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act and Wis. Admin. Code § NR 299, to place fill in 0.15 acres of cedar swamp wetland and place a culvert for construction of a private driveway. The proposed project is located in the NE ¼, SE ¼, South 33, Town 25 North, Range 25 East, Town of Ahnapee, Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. The Department of Natural Resources denied the application for Water Quality Certification as outlined in a letter to Maryke and C.J. Schmidt dated April 10, 2006. On May 15, 2006, the Schmidts filed a request for a contested case hearing. On May 30, 2006, the Department granted a contested case hearing pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 227.42. On August 13, 2007, the Department filed a Request for Hearing with the Division of Hearings and Appeals. For information contact the Division of Hearings and Appeals at (608) 266-7709.
October 5 - The Accumulated Sediment Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will meet at 10 a.m. in the Board Room of the Offices of the Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), 2811 Agriculture Drive, Madison to begin developing a regulatory framework for the regulation/management of the sediment that accumulates in stormwater detention ponds. The committee will begin by discussion the TAC's objectives, the process to arrive at possible rule/exemption language and ultimately any documents to assist the user/stakeholder in implementation. For more information contact Tom Portle at (608) 267-0877.
October 9-10 - Pursuant to Wis. Stat. §§ 31.06 and 31.185, a Class 1 contested case hearing in the matter of the application of North Central Power Company, Inc. for abandonment of the Grimh Dam on the Couderay River, Village of Radisson, Sawyer County will commence at 9 a.m. on Oct. 9, at the Radisson Community Center, 3795N Clark Street, Radisson. The hearing will continue, if necessary, on Oct. 10 at the same location. The issues for hearing are whether the application of abandonment shall be granted or denied and, if it is granted, whether the applicant shall be required to comply with any conditions in order to preserve the public interest in navigable waters, to promote public safety, and to protect life, health and property. North Central Power Company, Inc. (NCPC), 104 South Pine St., Grantsburg, is the owner of the Grimh Dam, a hydropower facility located approximately 1.5 miles upstream of the confluence of the Couderay and Chippewa Rivers in Section 22 (NW ¼ of SE ¼), Township 38 North, Range 7 West, Sawyer County in the Village of Radisson. After an inspection of the Grimh Dam, the Department of Natural Resources issued an order to the NCPC to drawdown the impoundment held by the Grimh Dam and not refill the impoundment unless and until the dam was reconstructed. As an alternative to reconstruction of the dam, the department gave the NCPC the option of abandoning and removing the dam. By application dated July 3, 2003, the NCPC applied for a permit pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 31.185 to abandon the dam. On July 3, 2007, the Division of Hearings and Appeals received the Request for Hearing from the Department of Natural Resources. For more information call the Division of Hearings and Appeals at (608) 266-3865.
October 12 - Pursuant to §§ 285.11(1) and (6) and 285.21(1)(a), Stats., interpreting § 285.21(1)(a), Stats., the Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing on revisions to chs. NR 404 and 484, Wis. Adm. Code, relating to ambient air quality standards for total suspended particulates (TSP) and particulate matter (PM) and affecting small business at 1:30 p.m. in Room G09, of the State Natural Resources building (GEF 2), 101 S. Webster St., Madison.. The State Implementation Plan developed under § 285.11(6), Stats., is also revised. The proposed rule will repeal ambient air standards for TSP and annual PM10 from ch. NR 404 and federal monitoring requirements for TSP and annual PM10 from ch. NR 484. The proposed rule will adopt U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promulgated national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for PM2.5 into ch. NR 404 and incorporate the corresponding federal PM2.5 monitoring requirements for that ambient air standards into ch. NR 484. The proposed rules would assure that the Wisconsin Administrative Code is consistent with the NAAQS for particulate matter, as required under s. 285.21(1)(a), Stats., and reflect the science of particle pollution effects on human health. If any areas in the state are designated as nonattainment for the new air quality standards, the Department is required to develop an air quality state implementation plan to ensure that the ambient air quality standards are attained and maintained in those areas. The proposed rule may have an impact on small businesses emitting particulate matter. The department made a preliminary determination that this action does not involve significant adverse environmental effects and does not need an environmental analysis under ch. NR 150, Wis. Adm. Code. The proposed rule and supporting documents, including the fiscal estimate may be viewed and downloaded and comments electronically submitted through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules Web site [http://adminrules.wisconsin.gov/] (Search this Web site using the Natural Resources Board Order No. AM-23-07). Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted via U.S. mail to Bill Adamski, DNR Bureau of Air Management, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or by e-mail to William.Adamski@wisconsin.gov
by Oct. 22, 2007. For information contact Bill Adamski at (608) 266-2660.
October 19 - The Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing pursuant to §§ 29.014, 227.11 and 227.24, interpreting §§ 29.014, 29.041 and 227.885, Wis. Stats., on Natural Resources Board Emergency Order No. WM-20-07(E) pertaining to the 2007 migratory game bird season at 1 p.m. in Room 606, of the State Natural Resources building (GEF 2), 101 S. Webster Street, Madison.. This emergency order took effect on August 30, 2007. The significant regulations are: Ducks: The state is divided into two zones with 60-day seasons. The season begins at 9 a.m. Sept. 22 in the north and closes on November 20. In the south, the season begins at 9 a.m. on Sept. 29 and continues through Oct. 7, followed by a 5-day split, reopening on Oct. 13 and continuing through Dec. 2. The dates of the youth waterfowl hunt are Sept. 15 and 16. The daily bag limit is 6 ducks including no more than 4 mallards (one hen), one black duck, one pintail, 2 canvasbacks, 2 wood ducks, 2 redheads and 2 scaup. Canada Geese: The state is apportioned into the Horicon, Collins and Exterior zones plus four subzones within the Exterior zone. Season lengths are: Collins zone – 62 days (periods, first period beginning Sept. 16); Horicon zone – 92 days (4 periods, first period beginning Sept. 16); Exterior zone in the northern duck zone – 85 days (Sept. 16 to Dec. 9); Exterior zone in the southern duck zone – 85 days (Sept. 16 to Oct. 7 followed by a 5-day split and Oct. 13 to Dec. 14); and Mississippi River subzone – 85 days (Sept. 29 to Oct. 7 and 13 to Dec. 27). The Burnett County subzone is closed to Canada goose hunting. The statewide daily bag limit for Canada geese is 2 birds per day. In addition to these annual regulatory issues, the emergency rule requires the use of non-toxic shot for rail, snipe and moorhen statewide and allows the placement of decoys and shooting at birds that are within a 75-yard area around the boundary of the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge as long as the hunter is more than 75 yards from the boundary. The emergency rule may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules Web site: [http://adminrules.wisconsin.gov]. Written comments on the emergency rule may be submitted to Kent Van Horn, DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 no later than Oct. 23, 2007. For information contact Kent Van Horn at (608) 266-8841.
October 3 - The DNR Sex-Age-Kill Advisory Team will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the UW-Stevens Point Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor's Center at 2419 North Point Dr. in Stevens Point. The meeting will include DNR employees and non-DNR stakeholders to the SAK audit. At the meeting, there will be SAK updates shared since the last meeting, updates on the SAK report presented to the NRB, progress updates on topics such as the Buck Recovery Rate, development of an implementation plan, and a final conclusion to the team. The SAK review was recommended by the NRB after an audit was conducted of the Department's SAK model for deer population estimation. For information contact Keith Warnke at - (608) 2646023.
October 3 - The Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming - Industry Work Group will meet from 9 am to 12 noon in room 413, GEF 2 - DNR, 101 S. Webster St., Madison. The agenda includes: a discussion of emission estimates and a discussion of draft policy templates developed by Work Group members. For more information, or if you need special accommodations to attend this meeting, contact Nick Sayen, DNR, at (608) 267-2466 or email@example.com
October 4 – The Groundwater Advisory Committee created by 2003 WI Act 310 will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room G09 of the Natural Resources building (GEF 2) at 101 S. Webster St., Madison. Contact Jill Jonas at (608) 267-7545 for more information or view updated agenda on the drinking water pages of the DNR Web site.
October 4 - The Department of Natural Resources will host a public information meeting to update area residents on the agency’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) control efforts. The meeting, which will be conducted under an informal Open House format, runs from 6 to 9 p.m. in the UW-Baraboo cafeteria, 1006 Connie Rd., Baraboo. DNR staff will discuss the status of CWD management in general, and the Baraboo Surveillance Area in particular. The Baraboo Surveillance Area, including Devil’s Lake State Park, marks the northern most extent of the deer disease in Wisconsin. Wildlife experts recommend preventing CWD spread by eliminating outbreaks near the edge of the known infection area. For this reason, the DNR is offering free disease testing of deer killed by hunters this fall in the surveillance area. For information contact Don Bates, CWD Operations Supervisor, Dodgeville, at (608) 935-1947 or Nancy Frost, CWD Biologist, Dodgeville at (608) 935-1924.
October 4 - The Advisory Council on Well Drilling and Pump Installing will meet at 9 a.m. in Room 613 of the State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101South Webster, Madison. For more information contact Dorie Turpin at (608) 266-0162.
October 5 - Representatives of the Wisconsin DNR, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Eagle Lake Management District will meet from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Sturtevant DNR Service Center, 9531 Rayne Road, Suite IV, Sturtevant. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss recent developments regarding implementation of the Eagle Lake Management Plan - including delaying the rotenone treatment, results and expectations for herbicide management, as well as grant issues related to the Plan. For more information, contact Craig Helker, DNR Water Resources Biologist, at (262) 884-2357.
October 10 - The Implementation Oversight Committee of the Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center, 2419 North Point Drive, Stevens Point, just east of Michigan Ave. on the UW Stevens Point Campus. Contact: David R. Lentz, Division of Forestry (608) 261-6451.
October 13 – The Brule River State Forest will hold its annual fall public open house meeting at noon at the Cloverland Town Hall, located off County Highway 13 between Skoglund Road and Balsam Bend Road. The agenda includes presentations by Brule River State Forest staff on their annual operations and projects including; recreation program, law enforcement, development projects, real estate transactions and the recent land purchase in the Town of Cloverland. Additional information is available on the Department’s Web site at http://dnr.wi.gov/forestry/stateforests/
or by calling the State Forest Headquarters (715) 372-5678 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
October 15 - The Mid-Kettle Moraine Partners Group will meet from 9 a.m. until noon at the Forest Room in the Retzer Nature Center, S 14 W28167 Madison St., Waukesha. The Mid-Kettle Moraine Partners Group is a group of individuals representing governments, private nonprofit conservation agencies and others interested in the Mid-Kettle Moraine. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss activities related to the Partners Group education and outreach activities and to share information on members activities. For additional information, please contact Paulette Harder at (414) 263-8525 or (262) 255-0227.
October 16 – There will be a Richard Bong ATV/OHM Riders INC. meeting, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Richard Bong State Recreation Area inside the Molinaro Visitors Center, 26313 Burlington Road, Kansasville. The meeting is designed to gather members and volunteers for the newly created Richard Bong ATV/OHM Riders INC. with support of the Wisconsin ATV Association (WATVA). The newly created club intends to assist the park in the maintenance and redevelopment of the ATV/OHM trails at Richard Bong. For more information contact John R. Meyer, DNR, at (262) 878-5606.
October 16 – The DNR fall wolf population monitoring meeting will take place from 10:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Park Falls Public Library, 121 4th Ave N., Park Falls. The main items for discussion will be: wolf trapping & collaring results from summer; wolf howl surveys; wolf depredation management; wolf depredation payments; plans for winter track surveys; plans for any winter trapping; and equipment and supply needs. Updated pamphlets of "Wolves in Farm Country" will be available for people to take back to their offices or distribute. For information contact Adrian Wydeven, DNR mammalian ecologist/ conservation ecologist at (715) 762-1363.
October 17 - The Migratory Game Bird Committee will meet at 9 a.m. at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center, 2419 North Point Drive, Stevens Point to discuss several different topics including the waterfowl strategic plan, the new duck hunter survey, waterfowl stamp projects and more. For information contact: Kim Benton, DNR Assistant Migratory Game Bird Ecologist, at (608) 261-6458.
October 18 - The Groundwater Advisory Committee created by 2003 WI Act 310 will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 613 of the Natural Resources building (GEF 2) at 101 S. Webster St., Madison. Contact Jill Jonas at (608) 267-7545 for more information or view updated agenda on the drinking water pages of the DNR Web site.
Wisconsin DNR News
Edited by Paul Holtan
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921
Fax: (608) 264-6293