My Facebook pages

Robert Montgomery

Why We Fish

Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies

Pippa's Canine Corner 

 

 

Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Get Updates! and Search
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.

 

 

 

 

Entries in invasive species (247)

Thursday
May112017

Grass Carp Invasion Also Threatens Great Lakes Fisheries

 

While silver and bighead are the Asian carp of most concern these days for the Great Lakes, a third species has quietly been making inroads and is a growing worry for fisheries scientists in both the United States and Canada.

"For the first time, we have a binational, peer-reviewed study by some of the best minds and practitioners in the field who have a consensus on what the risk is to the Great Lakes from grass carp, and it's pretty substantial," said Marc Gaden of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

The vegetation eaters, which could decimate wetlands and aquatic grasses, have been found in Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Michigan. And, according to researchers, at least some of these invaders are reproducing.

"They've just been humming in the background," he added. "They haven't gotten a lot of attention. Once in a while one would get captured."

In fact, 23 have been caught in Canada since 2012, including five in Lake Ontario at Toronto, according to Becky Cudmore of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

"Right now, the sterile fish outnumber the fertile fish. This isn't game over, but we are finding more of these fertile fish."

How did they get into the Great Lakes? Possibly through the manmade connection between the Illinois River and Lake Chicago, before electric barriers were erected. Introduced in the early 1960s to control invasive aquatic plants, they been around far longer than their more notorious cousins.

Likely too, some were introduced either intentionally or by accident. Unlike with silver and bighead, grass carp are easy to acquire and have been introduced illegally into both private and public waters by people who don't understand the consequences.

"Our assessment is saying that yes, they were showing up before, but now they're starting the invasion process," Cudmore said. "They have arrived. Now is the time to act."

Tuesday
Apr252017

Remove Snakes, Win Prizes in New Python Pickup Program 

The FWC’s Python Pickup Program is an incentive program designed to encourage the public to remove Burmese pythons from the Everglades ecosystem and report locations to the FWC. Anyone can participate, and people who submit proof of python with location of removal will be entered into the monthly prize drawing as well as a grand prize drawing in 2018.

Monthly prizes include snake hooks, custom engraved Yeti tumblers, Plano sportsman’s trunks, GoPro cameras and Badlands backpacks, and the grand prize is a Florida Lifetime Sportsman’s License! 

You can submit pythons as part of the Python Pickup Program that have been removed from any property in Florida where you have authorization to do so from the land manager or land managing agency. This includes private lands, the Commission-managed lands listed below, and other public lands. On private lands, pythons can be humanely euthanized at any time with landowner permission - no permit required- and the FWC encourages people to remove pythons from private lands whenever possible.

The FWC allows pythons to be removed from 22 Commission-managed lands (listed below) without a permit except on those portions of the areas posted as “Closed to Public Access.” People may seek authorization to remove pythons from other public lands on their own.

Pythons and other nonnative reptiles may be taken without a permit or hunting license at any time throughout the year, except by use of traps or firearms (unless provided for by specific area regulations) on the following Commission-managed Wildlife Management Areas, Public Small Game Hunting Areas (SGAs) and Wildlife and Environmental Areas.  Do not enter areas posted as “Closed to Public Access.”

Monday
Apr242017

Michigan Offers Big Bucks for Best Way to Keep Carp Out of Great Lakes

Want to earn big bucks? Tell the state of Michigan how to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes and possibly decimating the sport fishery there.

The state has allocated $1 million for the global competition, with most of it going toward a prize for the best idea. The rest will be used to publicize and initiate the campaign, expected to begin this summer.

"Somebody out there possibly could have a really good idea," said Joanne Foreman of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. "Maybe they're not in fisheries or hydro-engineering."

Mary Flanagan with the Alliance for the Great Lakes added, "I think in the fight against Asian carp, there aren't really any bad ideas. We have to try a bunch of different things."

As silver and bighead carp spawn ever closer to Lake Michigan, the last barriers of defense are electronic barriers, but they are iffy at best. Officials fear that smaller fish could pass through them in the wakes of barges. Additionally, the best way to prevent invasion, closing the manmade connection between the Great Lakes and the Illinois River, almost certainly never will happen because of opposition from Illinois, Indiana, and power commercial navigation interests. Finally, the federal government, both under Barack Obama and Donald Trump, seems to see no urgency in developing a plan to keep the carp out.

All the other Great Lakes states, meanwhile, have pressed for years for an effective solution, with about $388 million spent since 2010, mostly by the feds. Those states have good reason to be concerned, too, as sport fishing in the Great Lakes region is worth about $7 billion annually. Michigan's tourism industry alone is valued at about $38 billion, with much of it focused on the outdoors.

Saturday
Apr222017

Stop the Snakehead Derby for Maryland's C&O Canal 

C&O CANAL Pennyfield Lock on June 3rd, 2017 at 9 a.m.

The Stop the Snakehead Fishing Derby will raise awareness and reduce the negative impact of snakeheads in our ecosystems. Snakeheads have spread beyond the Potomac River and throughout many tidal rivers in the Chesapeake Bay. In 2015 the species was found reproducing in the C&O Canal.

Please share the Snakehead Derby Flier with anyone you can. Our goal is to put a dent in the snakehead population and reduce the number of this invasive species in Maryland.

To sign up for this event use the online form and submit.

Prizes and giveaways provided by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 
United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Bass Pro Shops

Purposes of Fishing Derby
1. Raise awareness about snakeheads and other invasive species.
2. Raise awareness about fish that live in the C&O canal and that could be negatively impacted by snakeheads.
3. Remove any snakeheads that are caught, thus reducing potential impacts to C&O canal fish.

Rules of Fishing Derby
• June 3rd is a FREE FISHING DAY!! and no fishing license is needed
• Meet at Pennyfield Lock on June 3rd at 9:00 am. Check-in at the staging area. 
• Between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm, anglers can fish anywhere between Swains Lock and Violettes Lock (toward the inside of the floating boundary markers). When a fish is caught, the angler should flag down one of the staff in fluorescent vests. The staff member will measure the fish, record its species, take your name, and send the information to the staging area at Pennyfield Lock. Prizes will be awarded to anglers who catch the biggest fish and most different species. Anglers are encouraged to release the fish except if it's a snakehead
• If an angler catches a snakehead, then the snakehead should not be released alive. In order to increase the odds that an angler will catch a snakehead, snakeheads may be caught anywhere along the tow path. Staff may assist in taking the snakehead to the staging area and in disposing of the snakehead. The angler is welcome to take the fish home with them to eat. Prizes will be awarded for biggest snakehead caught.

Accommodations for individuals with disabilities will be provided upon request. Seven days advance notice is requested. Limited fishing gear may be available to borrow.

Thursday
Apr132017

Feds Stall Even More on Plan to Protect Great Lakes From Asian Carp

What had been a slow walk to better protect the Great Lakes from invasion by Asian carp now has been delayed indefinitely.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been scheduled to release draft results of a study that it began in April 2015, with intent of structural or technological upgrades  at Brandon Road Lock and Dam on the Illinois River near Joliet. A final version was to be released in 2019. The area is downstream of electrical barriers, intended to repel silver and bighead carp, but which have questionable effectiveness.

But now release of the draft "has been deferred pending further coordination" with government officials and advocacy groups, according to Allen March, Corps spokesman. He added that more consultation is needed "to address things like the range of diverse ecosystems and national economies that could be impacted by outcomes of the study."

In a nutshell, Illinois, especially Chicago, and Indiana oppose any option that would include closing the manmade connection between the river and Lake Michigan or otherwise impede commercial navigation. Fearing what might happen to a billion-dollar sportfishery if the carp enter the Great Lakes, other surrounding states long have lobbied for more aggressive action.

"After a lengthy review process, which included extensive outreach and collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders, it seems that the administration has decided to side with a narrow group of special interests intent on preventing actions to address the movement of Asian carp toward Lake Michigan," said Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

And Molly Flanagan of the Alliance for the Great Lakes added that "no credible reason" exists for additional delay.

The action was announced after 16 Congressional members, mostly from Illinois and Indiana, sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking for delay until a new assistant secretary of the Army for civil works is appointed.

In a statement, the lawmakers said the Corps "should not hastily recommend a structural alternative that could negatively impact the economy and the safety of towboat crews."

They also pointed out that 5 million pounds of carp have been removed from the Illinois River and argued that the leading edge of the invasion still is well below Brandon Road. But that amount is but a small fraction of the total biomass in the waterway. Additionally, the leading edge of the invasion by mature carp might not be advancing as rapidly as it once was, but the prolific exotics continue to spawn closer and closer to Lake Michigan. And the younger, smaller fish are much more likely to penetrate the electric barriers, possibly riding through in the wake of barge traffic.

Silver carp (top) and bighead carp.Do You Have a Better Idea?

Want to earn big bucks? Tell the state of Michigan how to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes and possibly decimating the sport fishery there.

The state has allocated $1 million for the global competition, with most of it going toward a prize for the best idea. The rest will be used to publicize and initiate the campaign, expected to begin this summer.

"Somebody out there possibly could have a really good idea," said Joanne Foreman of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. "Maybe they're not in fisheries or hydro-engineering."

Mary Flanagan with the Alliance for the Great Lakes added, "I think in the fight against Asian carp, there aren't really any bad ideas. We have to try a bunch of different things."

As silver and bighead carp spawn ever closer to Lake Michigan, the last barriers of defense are electronic barriers, but they are iffy at best. Officials fear that smaller fish could pass through them in the wakes of barges. Additionally, the best way to prevent invasion, closing the manmade connection between the Great Lakes and the Illinois River, almost certainly never will happen because of opposition from Illinois, Indiana, and power commercial navigation interests. Finally, the federal government, both under Barack Obama and Donald Trump, seems to see no urgency in developing a plan to keep the carp out.

All the other Great Lakes states, meanwhile, have pressed for years for an effective solution, with about $388 million spent since 2010, mostly by the feds. They have good reason to be concerned, too, as sport fishing in the Great Lakes region is worth about $7 billion annually. Michigan's tourism industry alone is valued at about $38 billion, with much of it focused on the outdoors.