Friday, July 15, 2016

Asian carp in the Great Lakes.

Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program is asking the public to be on the lookout for Asian carp in the Great Lakes.
First brought to North America in the 1960s and 1970s, the voracious eaters have out-muscled native fish species in the Mississippi River and its tributaries, while migrating closer to the Great Lakes.
If Asian carp become established in the Great Lakes, it's feared the negative impact on the Ontario's sport fishing, and other commercial and recreational activities on the lakes, could reach several billion dollars, annually.
Asian carp consume up to 40 per cent of their body weight each day, leaving little food for native fish. Grass Carp, a variety of Asian carp, also destroy wetlands.
Asian carp also reproduce any quickly, allowing them to dominate habitats, according to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
“There have been some reports of grass carp, but they're not currently established in the Great Lakes,” said Sarah Chadwick, a spokesperson for the federation.
An established population would mean that the fish are reproducing in the Great Lakes, she said.
The most recent Asian carp report is a 29-kilogram fish caught in the St. Lawrence River.
Since 1992, the federation has partnered with the provincial and federal governments on programs to fight invasive species, including Asian carp.
That includes a new push to educate the public about how to identify Asian carp, and encourage them to report sightings to the Invading Species Hotline, 1-800-563-7711, or by contacting the nearest Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry office.

Monday, July 11, 2016

spawning lake sturgeons

Environmental Conservation is encouraging anglers to be aware of spawning lake sturgeons in New York’s Great Lakes waters, Great Lakes connecting channels and in tributaries of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, Finger Lakes and Oneida Lake.DEC staff received numerous reports of lake sturgeon caught by anglers targeting walleye at this time of year.“Due to ongoing restoration efforts by DEC and our partners, encounters between anglers and lake sturgeon are becoming increasingly common,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “We ask for anglers to help protect these impressive fish during this critical period in their long recovery.”Lake sturgeons are listed as a threatened species in New York, therefore, there is no open season for the fish and possession is prohibited. Anglers should not intentionally target the fish. If an angler catches a sturgeon, they should move to another area or change fishing gear to avoid catching another. Anglers who do unintentionally hook one should follow practices to ensure that the fish are returned to the water unharmed. These include: avoiding bringing the fish into the boat if possible; using pliers to remove the hook; always support the fish horizontally — do not hold a sturgeon in a vertical position by their head, gills or tails; never touch the eyes or gills; and minimize the time out of the water and return them to the water immediately once they are freed from fishing gear.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

pike family, muskellunge

 Members of the pike family, muskellunge are apex predators. They’re distributed primarily throughout northern Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Great Lakes region, northward into Canada and the St. Lawrence River drainage. Typical fish run 28 to 48 inches, weighing upward of 30 pounds, although fish approaching 60 inches and over 60 pounds have been recorded.