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Lake Erie Watersnake off the endangered species list
The federally endangered Lake Erie Watersnake will be downlisted, thanks to the investment in the State & Tribal Wildlife Grants Program. Article from: http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20110825/SPORTS/108250310/Outdoors-Lake-Erie-watersnake-off-endangered-list?odyssey=nav|head
It’s good news for some and bad news for others, but the Lake Erie watersnake, an endangered species, will be downlisted from endangered to threatened, since the population has rebounded amazingly. State Wildlife Grant funds were used to conduct research and surveys of the snake, help establish permanent conservation easements, and inform and educate the public about this unique island reptile.
As a result, the population has grown to over 8,000 snakes making them a common sight around the Bass Islands and mainland.
» It’s an ill wind that blows no good, but while Asian carp would be a disaster in Lake Erie and other Great Lakes, they’ve always been a favorite food in China, and the Big River Fish Corporation in Illinois saw an opportunity.
They have secured a contract to sell 30 million pounds to upscale restaurants in China under a “wild caught” slogan. The Chinese raise their own carp on fish farms and in polluted rivers, and according to marketer Russ Harano their fish taste muddy. The American fish cost more, but taste better and should do well in better restaurants.
» Some unhappy outdoorsmen call cormorants “flying rats” since their population has exploded and the birds feed on small fish, including the young of many game fish.
But their greatest damage is done on Lake Erie’s smaller islands, where they nest and their guano kills trees and bushes that other birds need for nesting.
The Division of Wildlife recently culled double crested cormorants from several islands by killing more than 3,500 birds. The cormorant shooting program actually began in 2006 when DOW sharpshooters killed about 5,800 birds and has continued since that year.
» Ohio trappers will have some new rules to discuss when they meet for their annual convention Sept. 9 to 11 in London, Ohio. The Division of Wildlife is trying to address the issue of trappers holding their pelts for sale past the official end of the season.
Under current law, possession of furs is not allowed after the end of the trapping season for that species. But with fewer raw fur buyers in the state, many trappers and hunters have been holding their furs beyond that date. Some are waiting until the later fur sales, hoping for a better price and some are holding because pickup dates to ship to the Canadian auction houses are not until later in the winter.
The DOW is proposing that all legally harvested furs can be kept until June 15, a change that will benefit many Ohio trappers.
» A lottery drawing will be held on Sept. 17 for hunters wishing to participate in special deer gun hunts this fall at Lake Katherine State Nature Preserve in Jackson County.
Hunters must appear in person for the lottery drawing which will start at 10 a.m. At that time hunters may purchase tickets for the noon drawing. Tickets are $5 with a limit of five. The special hunts for lottery winners and their partners will be held on Nov. 28 and Dec. 3.
» Campers and other outdoorsmen might find good use for a mosquito repellent lantern called the ThermaCELL Outdoor Insect-repellent Lantern. The company says it provides a 15 x 15 mosquito-free zone and is used by the Department of Defense and the United States Army. It retails for $31.99 and can be purchased at mosquito repellent.com or via phone at 866-753-3837.
Dick Martin is a retired Shelby City Schools teacher and an outdoor writer in north central Ohio for more than 20 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org