NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 4,330 days

ARCHIVED Weekly News Published October 5, 2010

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Public hearing set on proposal to list cave bats as state threatened species

EDITOR'S ADVISORY: Public hearings on the emergency and permanent rule proposals to list four cave bat species as threatened and on the emergency and permanent rule proposals to list the white-nose syndrome fungus as a prohibited invasive species have been rescheduled to October 26 and November 29. See an updated news release on this proposal.

Listing will allow for incidental taking of bats when necessary

MADISON - Four species of cave bats would be listed as threatened species under state law and the fatal disease spreading across the country that is putting them at risk would be listed as a prohibited invasive species under two separate proposals that will be the subject of public hearings across the state later this month.

Link to Video

Wisconsin bats are threatened by a new disease called white-nose syndrom. Click on the photo for a new public service video. For more information see
"Saving Wisconsin Bats."  [VIDEO Length 0:35]

White-nose syndrome is a devastating disease of bats. It gets its name from a white fungus that grows on nose, ears, muzzles and wings. Scientists say the disease can be transmitted from bat to bat or to bats from a cave that has been infected, likely from a human introduction on shoes or equipment. It kills up to 90 to 100 percent of bats in infected caves or enclosures where bats gather during the day and over winter, known as hibernacula.

The disease has spread across 14 states and two Canadian provinces in just three years, and is currently 200 to 300 miles from Wisconsin's borders, well within the 280-mile migrating range of bats. Wisconsin has the largest concentration of bats in the upper Midwest. The most common Wisconsin bat - the little brown - is particularly susceptible to the disease and faces extinction.

"We're acting quickly to meet this extinction threat head on and deal with it," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank. "The disease could be in detected in Wisconsin caves this winter, so we need to take action now to slow the spread and to conserve as many bats as possible."

The state Natural Resources Board last month approved public hearings on both emergency and permanent rule proposals that would list four cave bat species as threatened species under NR 27 of the Wis. Adm. Code and that would list the white-nose syndrome fungus as a prohibited invasive species under NR 40 of the Wis. Adm. Code.

The four bat species added to the Wisconsin threatened species list include the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), and eastern pipistrelle (Perimyotis subflavus).

The department has been establishing volunteer agreements with hibernacula owners, holding stakeholder meetings, working with volunteer monitors, and implementing an education and outreach program, according to Dave Redell, a bat ecologists with the DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources.

Broad Incidental Take authorization and permit

As a part of listing the four bat species as threatened, the department is also proposing to issue a broad permit and authorization to cover the "incidental taking" of cave bats that may occur during certain activities under section 29.604 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the overall population of the species at risk.

This permit would allow for the incidental taking of state listed cave bats that may occur as a result of specific public health concerns, bat removals, building demolitions, forestry activities, bridge demolitions, miscellaneous building repairs and wind energy development projects throughout the state.

Conservation measures that will minimize adverse effects on cave bats are included in a conservation plan and will be incorporated into the finalized Broad Incidental Take Permit and Authorization. Copies of the conservation plan, jeopardy assessment, and background information on the listed cave bat species are available on the Incidental Take page of the DNR website or upon request from Rori Paloski, Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources, 101 South Webster, Madison, WI 53707.

White-nose syndrome fungus listed as prohibited invasive species

The white-nose syndrome fungus, Geomyces destructans, would be added to the list of prohibited invasive species, allowing the department to effectively manage its spread and limit human transport. The invasive species rule bans the transportation, possession, transfer and introduction of invasive species that are listed as "prohibited," with certain exceptions.

"Listing these species before the disease has been detected in Wisconsin will help ensure we can develop appropriate conservation measures, such as the protection of refuge hibernacula, in place in the event that white-nose syndrome affects Wisconsin," says Redell.

The proposed rules and fiscal estimate may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted at the Wisconsin Administrative Rules website.

Public hearings on the emergency and permanent rule proposals to list four cave bat species as threatened and on the emergency and permanent rule proposals to list the white-nose syndrome fungus as a prohibited invasive species have been rescheduled to October 26 and November 29. See an updated news release on this proposal.

Following a brief informational presentation, public comments and statements will be accepted. The hearings will begin at 11 a.m. on the following dates at the locations listed:

Written comments on the proposed rule changes may be submitted until Nov. 29, 2010 via U.S. mail to Stacy Rowe, DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or by email to [stacy.rowe@wisconsin.gov]. Written comments on the proposed Incidental Take permit and authorization should be sent by Nov. 4, 2010 to Rori Paloski, Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources, PO Box 2921, Madison, WI 53707.

For more information see the Saving Wisconsin Bats page of the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on bats and white-nose syndrome contact Paul White (608) 267-0813, or Gregor Schuurman (608) 266-8736; on the incidental take permit and authorization contact Rori Paloski at 608-264-6040

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Walleye catch rates climb in October

MADISON -- October may just be the best time to catch ol' marble eyes: catch rates are higher than at any time during the summer, the water's less crowded, the heat and bugs are tapering off, and the fall colors make every trip satisfying for the soul if not the stomach.

"People are putting away the rods and turning more toward the bow and shotgun, but the hardcore anglers are actually doing pretty well right now," says Mike Vogelsang, Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor based in Woodruff.

"About the time the leaves start falling on the water, that's when the action heats up. It is absolutely worth it for more casual anglers to get out on the water if they want to catch walleye."

Vogelsang supervises fish biologists in what's one of Wisconsin's top walleye regions: the area including Vilas and Oneida counties, which between them boast more than 2,000 lakes, and Langlade, Lincoln, Forest and Florence counties, which have fewer lakes and crowds but feature the same kind of prime walleye waters.

"This time of year is very much like the opening weeks of the inland fishing season," Vogelsang says. "It seems like the later it gets here the better it gets."

Walleye move into deep water in the summer in search of cooler water temperatures. In fall, they move up into shallow water, he says.

"This time of the year, that cooler water is up near shore," he says. "Walleye are sensing that winter is coming and they are feeding heavily on the forage fish, which are up shallow too. It's almost like they are putting on the feed bag."

Walleye actively feed through the winter, unlike bass, which tend to shut down. With this shore lunch favorite in close to shore, anglers stand a better chance of reeling them in, according to Tom Cichosz, a DNR fisheries biologist and treaty fisheries analyst.

UW-Stevens Point and DNR fisheries biologists analyzed angler surveys from 1991 to 2002 in northern Wisconsin to assess fishing pressure, catch rates and harvest rates. They found that catch rates in October were more than twice as high as in July, when most people were out fishing for walleye. Their results are presented in "Temporal Profiles of Walleye Angling Effort, Harvest Rate, and Harvest in Northern Wisconsin Lakes" (exit DNR) in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management.

"Walleye catch rates in October are higher than any time during the summer months," Cichosz says. "The fish go where the conditions are suitable for them to be, and in cooler conditions, that includes shallower water where they are more easily located and angled."

DNR fish biologists and technicians are busy conducting fall surveys, using electroshocking boats to help them capture fish to weigh and measure before returning the fish to the water. Below are fishing reports from those biologists able to respond on short notice. More information about fish populations are found in the Wisconsin Fishing Report 2010./ Look for the county listing for the water you want to fish.

Regional Fall Walleye Fishing Forecasts

Northern Wisconsin

Barron County

The Red Cedar Chain of Lakes located in northeastern Barron County is the top local walleye water. A good number of 14-18 inch fish are present at this time and many of those fish will be near the 18-inch minimum length limit this coming fall and winter and should be available for anglers to harvest. Walleye fishing on the Chetek Chain of Lakes in southeastern Barron County should be slightly above average when compared to past years. The local resort owners association along with Walleye's for Chetek have been stocking large fingerling walleye the past several years. Some of those fish should now be over the legal length limit of 15 inches this fall and available for anglers to harvest. - Heath Benike, fisheries biologist, Barron

Burnett and Washburn counties

The fall bite provides some of the fastest action of the year in terms of walleye caught per hour but few people are out there. Lake cabin owners are back in the cities and local sportsmen are mostly out hunting. Long and Shell Lakes and Minong Flowage in Washburn County and Yellow Lake in Burnett County are top fall choices. Jig and a minnow or trolling crank baits can be effective in fall. - Larry Damman, fisheries biologist, Spooner

Oneida County

Water temperatures cooled rapidly this fall despite an exceptionally warm summer. After fall turnover, walleye transition to the deeper waters of lakes, often concentrating around underwater points and the steeper contour breaks. River walleye make an upstream migration and concentrate in the deepest pools and near underwater structure. Cooler temperatures means a slower metabolism for the fish. They are feeding heavily to put on weight for the winter, but they do not like to chase baits. Most fall walleye anglers fish slowly and tip up-sized baits like 4-6 inch chubs or suckers are often preferred by the fish. Fall electrofishing surveys have been showing a moderate to strong year-class of yellow perch on many Oneida County lakes. Perch are an important food source for adult walleye, along with bluntnose minnow, rosyface shiner and even smaller walleye. The highest walleye populations and best action are found on lakes regulated under no minimum length limit but only one fish over 14 inches allowed. The reservoirs generally hold the best numbers of fish in the mid 'teens while fewer but larger fish are often found in the large, deep lakes. Netting and electrofishing survey results can be found on the Fish and Habitat Survey Reports and spring surveys pages of the DNR website - John Kubisiak, fisheries biologist, Rhinelander

Vilas County

Surface water temps are in the mid 50s and most waters have turned over. October is the second best (May is #1) time to catch good numbers of walleye. Fish steep rocky drop-offs with light jigs and minnows. This bite will continue until the lakes freeze up in November or your hands get too numb to turn the reel handle and you grow tired of chipping ice off your guides. I would write more but got to go shocking.- Steve Gilbert, fisheries biologist, VWoodruff

Northeastern Wisconsin

Green Bay

It should be a very good fall for anglers chasing walleyes on Green Bay and its tributary rivers. There has been excellent recruitment of walleyes in the past seven years with only the 2005 year class as a bust. Meaning there are a lot of walleyes and a lot of different sizes of walleyes out there. Particularly strong is the 2003 year class; these walleye average around 23 inches. This was the most common size of fish harvested in 2009 and continues to support a fantastic fishery. However, 2008 and 2009 were also very strong year classes when sampled last fall during our annual electrofishing survey. Those 2008 fish will be at the end of their third summer of growth and just short of, or becoming 15 inches this fall. The walleyes have had plenty to eat this summer, thanks to very abundant gizzard shad and a huge year class of yellow perch. Soon the walleyes will begin to concentrate in the rivers as they prepare for next year's spawning run, and they are in excellent condition. And as always on Green Bay, that next fish could be that 10 pounder! - David Rowe, fisheries biologist, Green Bay

Peshtigo

Lower Menominee River and Green Bay waters from the Menominee to the Fox rivers will continue to produce nice size walleye, 20 inches and greater. Traditionally, anglers troll with night crawler harnesses and/ or crank baits but jigging with a minnow is also effective. Musky anglers have several good opportunities in Oconto and Marinette counties for legal size fish including: White Potato Lake, Lake Noquebay, High Falls, Caldron Falls, and Chalk Hill flowages. I would suggest fishing in low light conditions and overcast days. Fish should be in shallower water during the fall. - Michael Donofrio,fisheries supervisor, Peshtigo

Marinette County

Anglers are catching walleye below the Hattie Street Dam in Marinette. The increased flows as a result of last week's rainfall have attracted fish in from the bay. Anglers are fishing from the Fisherman's Walkway on the bridge. Anglers have also been catching a few fish below the Grand Rapids Dam on the Menominee River from both the Wisconsin and Michigan shores. Fish are being taken on a variety of crankbaits and live bait The water is still high and fast, but falling steadily. Those interested on water levels in this area should refer to the U.S.G.S. gauge at McCallister (exit DNR) - P. Chip Long, inland fisheries biologist, Peshtigo

walleye
Walleyes are moving into shallow water, making for good fall fishing prospects. DNR fisheries tech Ryan Koenigs holds a 25 inch walleye crews captured last week during fall surveys on Lake Winnebago.
WDNR Photo

Lake Winnebago

There are some nice walleye in on some of the shorelines on the Winnebago system right now. We got more than 300 in a 4.5 mile section of shoreline Wednesday night! If you find turbid water there are likely young-of-year gizzard shad in there and the walleye must be in there feeding on the shad. Water temperatures were in the 61 - 63 degree range. Don't know how long they will be there but there were some nice fish along the shoreline at night.- Kendall Kamke, fisheries biologist, Oshkosh

South Central Wisconsin

Madison Lakes - As the water cools the fish will be heading to the shallows to feed and bulk up for winter. Head out to rocky shore lines and points to find fish. All the lakes will be picking up in the next couple of weeks. Keep moving until fish are found, our surveys last week showed that they are starting to show up. - Scott Harpold, fisheries technician, Fitchburg

Southeastern Wisconsin

Now's the time for fishing trophy walleyes on our larger lakes. Good lakes to consider are Pewaukee, Wind, Geneva, Delavan, Pine, Oconomowoc, Pike and Big Cedar. This is the time of year we see some truly large walleyes taken by trolling at night. Try fishing 12-16 feet down along rocky drop-offs. On lakes with ciscoes, try large Rapalla-type plugs trolled far behind your boat. Make sure to keep your running lights on while your motor is running and be sure to take a good flashlight along. - Randy Schumacher, regional fish supervisor, Milwaukee

Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha counties

Recent surveys of southeast Wisconsin lakes have shown that walleye populations are doing great. Some of the best bets for a bite include Pine Lake, Nagawicka Lake, Oconomowoc Lake and Lac La Belle in Waukesha County; Pike Lake and Big Cedar Lake in Washington County; Delavan Lake, Geneva Lake and Turtle Lake in Walworth County; Wind Lake in Racine County; and Powers Lake in Kenosha County. All have good public access. As the weather cools, expect these fish to put on the feed bag. Fish the steep dropoffs during the day, trolling parallel to the structure. However, some of the best action comes after dark, when walleyes move into shallow water to feed. Casting along the edges of weedbeds can bring out the big ones.- Sue Beyler, inland fisheries supervisor, Waukesha

West Central Wisconsin DNR

Dunn, Pepin and Pierce counties

Fall walleye action has been excellent in western Wisconsin. Large walleye are being taken on deep diving crank baits along the break line (9-14 feet) or off the tip of gravel bars. Smaller walleye are also being taken by jigging the weed line. - Marty Engel, fisheries biologist, Baldwin

Mississippi River

High flows are currently hampering walleye fishing on the Mississippi River. Current water levels are seven to ten feet high below the dams, and only a slow recession is predicted during the next seven days. As water recedes over the next few weeks, fishing conditions will improve.- Brian Brecka, fisheries biologist, Alma

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Vogelsang - (715) 356-5211 ext 239

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Ten replacement wardens start field training

FORT MCCOY - Ten new Wisconsin conservation wardens are one step closer to starting their mission to protect Wisconsin's natural resources and public safety.

They have completed the classroom portion of their training and are moving into field assignments for more than 20 weeks of extensive hands-on training under veteran wardens. The 10 will be assigned their permanent stations in July 2011, providing much needed help to a warden service rapidly losing officers to retirement.

"These 10 graduates will be the first new wardens stationed in three years and we are very excited about getting them out into the field," says Chief Warden Randy Stark. "They are highly qualified and they are receiving top-notch training."

The ten wardens emerged from a field of about 750 candidates who submitted online applications. They completed several written examinations relating to law enforcement, plant and animals species and recreational equipment, as well as multiple interviews, background checks, psychological and fitness testing, says Ron Cork, DNR recruit warden supervisor at the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy.

2010 warden recruits
Thirteen recruits graduated from DNR's law enforcement academy late last month, 10 of them DNR conservation wardens, two Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission conservation wardens, and one DNR forestry ranger. The graduates are listed from left to right. Aaron Young, DNR Forestry Ranger; Alan (Al) Erickson, Thomas (Tom) Dickson, Ryan Propson, Shaun Tyznik, Christopher (Chris) Shea, Jessica (Jessie) Gokey, GLIFWC Conservation Warden; Kirk Konichek; Brad Kacizak, GLIFWC Conservation Warden; Kyle Dilley, Benjamin (Ben) Mott, MacKenzie (Mac) Hannon, Shaun Deeney
WDNR Photo

"We were looking for people who are ethical, trustworthy, and hard working and who have good judgment," Cork says.

The 10 finalists were offered positions as recruit wardens and began their training in June 2010. During the following 13 weeks, the warden recruits learned natural resources laws, emergency response, investigative techniques, professional communications, community collaboration, and maintaining their firearms and other equipment. The new wardens also met and heard from representatives from conservation, agricultural, environmental, and ethnic groups about how they can work with wardens to address poaching and other natural resources problems.

The graduates are Tom Dickson, Alan Ericson, Ryan Propson, Shaun Tyznik, Christopher (Chris) Shea, Kirk Konichek, Kyle Dilley, Ben Mott, Mac Hannon, and Shaun Deeney.

Since graduating from the training academy in late September, the new wardens have been assigned to work with veteran wardens, or field training officers, for 20 weeks of on-the-job training. They also receive eight more weeks of specialized training before being assigned permanent posts in July 2011.

Wardens are responsible for enforcing state laws relating to wildlife, fish, boating, snowmobiling, all terrain vehicles, air and water pollution, invasive species, water laws, and forestry. Wardens also play a role in the statewide emergency response community, having unique experience, training and equipment for performing emergency response in rural areas.

While wardens' efforts are primarily focused on enforcement in the field, they also provide education to the public about regulations and safety issues, and introduce new people to hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities, Stark says.

When fully staffed, Wisconsin has 206 warden positions. The 2010 class and future classes are critically important to public safety and nature resource protection given the current demographics in the warden service, Stark says. There are currently 27 vacancies and about 40 more wardens are eligible to retire by the end of 2013, he says.

New GLIFWC officers trained at the same time

Two wardens from the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission completed the same training as the new DNR wardens, the first time for such an arrangement.

"We are very pleased with how this partnership turned out," says Wisconsin Chief Conservation Warden Randy Stark. "It's cost effective and efficient for both agencies, and it develops great partnerships and working relationships."

The Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) is an agency committed to the implementation of off-reservation treaty rights on behalf of its tribes. GLIFWC's mission is to help ensure off-reservation harvests while protecting the resources for generations to come.

A DNR forest ranger also completed the law enforcement training offered by DNR's warden service.

Stark said that DNR and GLIFWC wardens, and the DNR forest ranger, will settle into their field assignments with a headstart on one vital aspect of their jobs: building partnerships and working relationships with other law enforcement officers.

The GLIFWC officers who completed the academy training are Jessica (Jessie) Gokey and Brad Kacizak. Aaron Young is the DNR forest ranger who completed the academy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Randy Stark (608) 266-115; Darrel Waldera (608) 266-2425

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Public invited to submit water quality data

Used to determine list of impaired lakes and rivers

MADISON -- Citizens around Wisconsin are invited to submit information they've collected about streams, rivers, and lakes to feed into the state's biennial process for determining which waters do not meet water quality standards.

The Department of Natural Resources will use the citizen data it receives by the close of business Dec. 31, 2010, to help assess the condition of Wisconsin's water bodies and to form Wisconsin's list of impaired waters and the biennial water quality report it must submit to the U.S. Congress.

"More citizens and partner groups than ever before are collecting data on Wisconsin's waters, and that information can help make sure the DNR's got the most accurate picture possible of the condition of our streams, lakes and rivers," says Kristi Minahan, a DNR water quality specialist involved in the process.

Almost 1,000 lake volunteers and almost 2,000 stream volunteers participate in citizen-based monitoring programs, and many universities and state or local agencies collect water quality data as well.

Every two years, people have the opportunity to submit their data to the DNR for use in developing assessment reports that can help steer scarce state resources to clean up lakes and rivers. DNR considers that information along with internal DNR monitoring data and other assessments.

Data submitted by citizens by Dec. 31, 2010 that meets specific quality control requirements will be considered for use in developing the 2012 Water Quality Report to Congress and Impaired Waters List, both required under the 1972 Clean Water Act.

That landmark federal legislation establishes the goal that every water body should be able to maintain healthy aquatic communities, provide safe habitat for wildlife, and provide citizens opportunities for fishing and swimming. Every two years, each state is required to assess the condition of its water bodies to determine if they are meeting these goals.

Minahan says that Wisconsin DNR is interested in receiving all types of water quality data and information for lakes and rivers -- so-called surface waters -- for the 2012 Report, particularly data collected between the years of 2005-2010. Data must be submitted in a specific format to allow for efficient analysis, and meet the quality assurance and regulatory decision-making needs associated with these programs.

More information about data quality requirements and how to submit data can be found on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Minahan (608) 266-7055; Lisa Helmuth (608) 266-7768

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Wisconsin to receive $936,000 federal grant for leasing public hunting grounds

EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been revised to correct an editing error that implied the entire hunting acreage in Wisconsin had been quadrupled. This grant will allow the Department of Natural Resources to quadruple the amount of leased hunting acreage.

MADISON - Wisconsin has been awarded a federal grant for $936,040 for incentives to encourage owners of private lands to open those lands to public access for hunting and fishing through purchase of access leases.

The Department of Natural Resources currently leases 16,000 acres as public hunting grounds from private landowners.

"This grant enables us to quadruple that hunting acreage over the next three years. We'll also be able to pay more competitive rates for new lease lands and for any existing leases when they come up for renewal in 2011," said DNR Secretary Matt Frank.

The leased public hunting grounds (PHG) are in addition to approximately 1.6 million acres of state lands open to all forms of outdoor recreation. County forests and federal forests add another add another 3.8 million acres to the total.

Frank noted that in addition to the increased leasing incentives, the state will work to lengthen the lease agreements from the current one year to three-year contracts. Expected increases in lease fees are from the current $1 to $3 per acre to $3 per acre for cropland, $10 per acre for upland and wetland and $15 per acre for woodland.

The federal dollars were appropriated in the most recent federal Farm Bill as the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). The Farm Bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the US Department of Agriculture.

"Competition for these federal dollars was intense but friendly among the 26 states that applied," said Frank. "All the interested states worked cooperatively with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the US Department of Agriculture on a common application process that compared the merits of each state's proposal.

"I'd like to thank US Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's efforts in recognizing the need and working to secure these grants," added Frank. "Wisconsin's conservation community also deserves hearty thanks for their supporting efforts in winning these dollars. On short notice they met with us to discuss what they'd like to see in our application and just as quickly, submitted letters of public support for our proposal. It was a great team effort and it paid off."

The following conservation organizations and agencies provided input and support to Wisconsin's successful grant application: Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Ruffed Grouse Society, Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Wisconsin Conservation Congress, Wings Over Wisconsin, Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Missy Sparrow - (920) 892-8756 ext. 3041

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Wisconsin National Guard seeking to join state's Green Tier program

MADISON -- The Wisconsin National Guard has applied to participate in the Department of Natural Resources Green Tier program designed to recognize and reward companies that are committed to superior environmental performance. The public has an opportunity to review and comment on an application through Nov. 4, 2010.

The Wisconsin Army National Guard, part of the state's Department of Military Affairs, is applying for Tier 1 of the program. Green Tier encourages businesses to voluntarily collaborate with the DNR to move beyond regulatory compliance to superior environmental performance. To be accepted an applicant must have a good environmental record, commit to superior environmental performance, and implement an Environmental Management System.

The Wisconsin Army National Guard manages 91 facilities around the State of Wisconsin that work to maintain our state and national security. In addition to administrative facilities, the Wisconsin guard operates armories and maintenance support facilities including the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site, the Combined Support Maintenance Shop, Field Maintenance Shops, and Army Aviation Support Facilities.

Committed to environmental stewardship, the Wisconsin Army National Guard has implemented waste minimization strategies and recycling efforts, including recycling oil, antifreeze, batteries, tires, and other components. Standard Operating Procedures have also been introduced for responding to emergency spill situations in order to prevent or mitigate any corresponding environmental impacts. The guard has also implemented an Environmental Management System that conforms to the International Organization for Standardization 14001 standard.

As they move forward in Green Tier, the Wisconsin Army National Guard and their Environmental Quality Control Committee will work towards environmental objectives that ensure compliance and continue to improve their environmental performance. Initiatives include increased environmental training levels and training opportunities, protecting water quality near facilities, and preventing spills. In addition, all current and future military construction projects are designed and built to a minimum LEED Silver standard.

The DNR will accept public comments on the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Green Tier application through November 4, 2010. Specific information on this application and on the Green Tier program can be accessed on the DNR website.

Comments may be directed to: Gregory Breese, Wisconsin DNR CO/5, PO Box 7921 -, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or at gregory.breese@wisconsin.gov or by calling (608) 267-0802.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Breese, DNR Environmental Assistance Coordinator, Madison: 608-267-0802 or Scott Rickard, Environmental Specialist, Dept. of Military Affairs, Madison: 608-242-3431

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New video shows Lake Michigan fishing boat taking shape

MANITOWOC - A new video shows the state's new research vessel taking shape at the Burger Boat Company here, coming closer to setting sail on its mission to help keep Lake Michigan and its fisheries healthy in the 21st century.

The Burger Boat Company is building the 60-foot RV Coregonus, so named after the fish genus that includes lake whitefish, lake herring and bloater chubs, species that are mainstays of the Lake Michigan fishery.

The boat will replace the RV Barney Devine, which was built by the same company in 1937, and which has served the Department of Natural Resources and its predecessor agency on Lake Michigan for more than 70 years.

Although the RV Barney Devine has been well maintained, the vessel has become technologically obsolete and the maintenance expense is expected to increase dramatically, according to Paul Peeters, DNR fisheries supervisor at Sturgeon Bay, where the vessel will be docked.

So Peeters and Brandon Bastar, the DNR fisheries technician who will captain the boat, worked closely with SeaCraft Design in Sturgeon Bay to develop a design for the RV Coregonus that would maintain the ability to use gill nets but also expand abilities to include more types of fisheries and limnological sampling gear.

The RV Barney Devine has typically conducted Lake Michigan gill net surveys from early May through the end of December to help DNR estimate populations of lake trout and burbot, as well as seasonal gill net surveys for juvenile lake whitefish, spawning lake whitefish, yellow perch, and bloater chubs. In recent years the RV Barney Devine has also been used to conduct gill net surveys for chinook salmon and as a platform for other fisheries or limnological research with other DNR bureaus and agencies.

The $1,995,500 in funding for the vessel will come primarily from license revenues placed in the segregated fisheries account, with an additional $500,000 provided from salmon stamp revenues, Peeters says.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Peeters (920) 746-2865; Brandon Bastar (920) 746-2881

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DNR offices closed on October 11

Columbus Day Holiday weekend vacationers urged to plan ahead

MADISON - Many state offices, including all Department of Natural Resources offices, will be closed Monday, Oct. 11. for an unpaid furlough day for state employees as part of state government cost cutting measures.

Key DNR services will be maintained. State conservation wardens will be on duty. State parks, forests and trails will be open and staffed as necessary.

DNR partners with more than 1,400 retail stores offering convenient service and hours for purchasing hunting and fishing licenses. A list of license agents is available on the DNR Web site.

Customers can visit the online licensing center through the DNR website or call 1-877-945-4236 24/7 to buy a license. Phone callers can, for example, order a fishing license, get a confirmation number, and head out fishing right away.

Questions on rules, regulations, or other DNR program, can be directed to the toll free DNR call center available seven days a week. The center will be open Oct. 11 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 1-888-WDNRInfo [1-888-936-7463,] with Hmong and Spanish service also offered.

Live on-line chats are available on the DNR Web site 7 a.m. until 9:45 p.m.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Diane Brookbank (608) 267-7799

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 05, 2010




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