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Messages - Dave Kelch, Sea Grant Extension Specialist

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We wish to thank Kristy Meyer, M.S. Director of Agricultural & Clean Water Programs, for providing this update regarding Asian carp control.

Today, Senator Stabenow (D-MI) with Senators Portman, Brown, Durbin, Levin, Casey, Schumer, Gillibrand, Klobuchar, and Franken introduced the attached bill, the Stop Invasive Species Act of 2012.  This is Senator Stabenow's revised Stop Asian Carp Act, which she introduced last year.

The bill numbers of the new bills are: S. 2317 and H.R. 4406

Reps. Camp and Slaughter will be introducing a House version too.

Please thank Senators Portman and Brown!

Kristy Meyer, M.S.
Director of Agricultural & Clean Water Programs

Ohio Environmental Council
1207 Grandview Ave., Ste. 201
Columbus, OH 43212
Direct Phone: (614) 487-5842
OEC Phone: (614) 487-7506


Thanks for the great HEADS UP!!!!  post!!!
This is something that boaters need to be aware of, and as posted back in July of 2011, readers need to SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH OTHERS and be willing to sit down, contact their elected officials, and let their opinions/concerns regarding this issue be know.
Disrupting the GPS system could be a disaster for all---regardless of the user group.

Thanks again Ray.  Let's hope this shows up on other well known sites visited by Lake Erie anglers and boaters.

Dave Kelch, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

For easy to read and understand information regarding the harmful alage blooms in Lake Erie, please click on the links below.

Dave Kelch
Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist

Experimental Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin September 22 with forcast through September 25.

You can receive this bulletin automatically by going to the following link and registering:

This may be helpful for anglers over the weekend of September 23-25.

Dave Kelch, Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Lake Erie Hot Topics / Re: August Trawls ???
« on: 09/16/11, 11:05 »

Never say never. 
We have had years in the past (2007 was a good example) when the trawl reports were poor, yet once the 1-2 year old walleye began to show up in 08 and 09 trawls and angler reports, the 07 hatch report was corrected upwards.
Remember, this is an 'estimate' of the hatch----many variables (food abundance and location, wind, waves, currents, water temperature, oxygen levels) can impact if YOY walleye will be at those standard trawl sites every year at a given time. 
And it's the best estimate we have----sometimes it may be slightly off to the left or right, other times (2007) it can be way off, and sometimes it can be right on the money.
 None the less, the data is collected/compiled by our fishery management professionals on our side of the lake and from our management partners to the north with the best scientific knowledge that exists.  Trust their knowledge and expertise in managing this great resource.
Bottom line--it is what it is-----
We still have the greatest walleye fishery in the world.  :thumbsup:

Dave Kelch, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Please visit the link below for the current update and forecast for Lake Erie harmful algae blooms (HABS) for Septemebr 15-18, 2011.

You can subscribe to recieve this bulletin automatically as well at:

This information may be very important to boaters, anglers and scuba divers planning to venture out on Lake Erie this weekend.

Dave Kelch, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Please vist the link below to view a new HAB's bulletin developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  This experimental HAB bulletin has been developed to provide a weekly forecast for Microcystis blooms in western Lake Erie. When a harmful bloom is detected by the experimental system, scientists will issue a forecast bulletin. The bulletin depicts the HABs’ current location and future movement, as well as categorizes its intensity on a weekly basis.
To view the current bulletin, click on the PDF at the link site.
You can also sign up at this site to be placed on the HAB bulletin email list.
This may be an important email list to be on for anglers, recreational boaters and scuba divers planning a trip on Lake Erie.

Dave Kelch, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Lake Erie Hot Topics / Re: August Trawls ???
« on: 09/07/11, 07:41 »
UPDATE:  Sept. 7, 2011---Ohio August Walleye and Yellow Perch Trawl Data Preliminary Results
According to Roger Knight with the Sandusky Fish Research Unit, ODNR Division of Wildlife, the August Ohio trawl data was considered to be very low for walleye (comparable to the 2000 August data), with the yellow perch data the lowest since 1987.
Ohio is waiting to see the Ontario MNR trawling data, which will be included in the final assessment.
It should be noted that although dissolved oxygen levels were back to near normal in most trawling locations, some trawl sites still were experiencing slightly anoxic conditions, which could result in a lower catch from those sites.

Dave Kelch, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Hageman Retires from Ohio Sea Grant After Introducing Thousands of Students to Science
John Hageman has worked to give K-12 students the same opportunities to experience science as he had at their age. He pulled his first fish trawl on Lake Erie as a high school sophomore during a Stone Lab field trip and he hasn’t ever forgotten the excitement. In fact, it will be what he misses the most when he retires at the end of this month.
Stone Lab has served as both a foundation for John’s interest in aquatic biology and as an outlet for his enthusiasm for science, as he watches students get excited about the same things he has been excited about for the 24 years he has served as Co-Manager of Stone Lab.
As the teaching assistant in his high school ichthyology class during 1976 and 1977, John went with the class to visit Stone Lab three times and grew more enthralled with fisheries biology each time. When his teacher heard that Ohio State University’s Center for Lake Erie Area Research (CLEAR) had an opening for a fish identification job, she recommended that John apply. His experience identifying fish honed in class and at Stone Lab prepared him well and John, a 17-year-old high school senior at the time, landed the job. The part-time position saw him receive his first paycheck from CLEAR at a humble $2.50 an hour.
“I became a very familiar fixture in the university’s zoology, natural resources, and biological sciences departments,” John says. Through college and for the four years after he graduated, John identified tens of thousands of larval fish samples, collected larval fish samples in Michigan, and studied fish spawning, nutrition, and feeding.
The field work made him the winning candidate for the Stone Lab Manager position when it opened in 1987. John remembered the fundamental role his initial Stone Lab experience played in his career and he focused on building the science field trip program to spark grade school students’ interest in science. While field trip students already went out on research vessels to collect plankton samples and trawl for fish, John saw that their teachers were requesting more activities. To fill the time and make the school trips more worthwhile, John developed an invertebrate walk where students collect organisms to study in the lab to determine water quality.
John didn’t stop there. He channeled the expertise already available at Stone Lab, and created ornithology and geology walks to study the birds and rock features on Gibraltar Island, and worked with a researcher to develop an edible plants walk. He also worked with Stone Lab Co-Manager Matt Thomas and Outreach Coordinator Kristin Stanford to plan herpetology sessions, allowing students to get up close and personal with the lake’s snakes and amphibians.
“We want to get as many students to come up here as possible,” John says. “Yes, it helps our bottom line, but what’s more important to me is that we can give more kids exposure to Lake Erie ecology and teach them about healthy ecosystems. I just think what would have happened if I hadn’t made those trips to Stone Lab as a high school student, or how many students have made the decision to become biology majors after coming here on field trips.”
With more activities to take, schools have had more reasons to stretch their Stone Lab trips to overnight stays and under John’s leadership, the program has grown from attracting 1,300 students per year to an average of nearly 5,000 students from an average of 70 schools in four neighboring states.
“There’s probably nobody in Stone Lab’s history that has meant more to the lab than John,” says Jeff Reutter, Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory Director. “We never had a more dedicated and hard-working employee than John. His focus was always entirely on enhancing our impact, improving our quality, and making room for one more student.”
Without a doubt, John’s favorite part of his job is watching students’ eyes light up in nature for the first time. “Looking at a plankton sample under the microscope and seeing water flees glide across the screen, you hear them say ‘ohh,’ and ‘ahh.’ They had no idea what lives in water,” he says. “And it’s exciting to see their anticipation—just like the feeling I still get when we pull in a fish trawl. It’s a thrill every time. That’s what I’m going to miss.”
View the online version at

John has been one of the contributors here on the discussion board, and his knowledge will be missed.  Good luck John in your retirement and future plans!!!  You have certainly left your legacy with both Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab!!

Dave Kelch, Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Take a minute to let your senators and congressional representative know if you want to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.  It will only take a minute, and your message will be sent directly to your senator/congressional representative based upon your zip code.

Please visit the Link below, provided by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Great Lakes Action Center.

PLEASE share this with your friends in other Great Lakes states!!!!

Dave Kelch, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Please visit the link below to read the AFS resolution to stop Asian carp. 

Hopefully this will get the attention of those who have been dragging their
feet in political mire and muck, and move forward with what needs to be done-----instead of studying the problem for five years.
(You may need to cut and paste this link into your browser)

The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources
For more information about The American Fisheries Society, please visit:

Dave Kelch, Associate Professor,Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program (and an AFS member)
Ohio Sea Grant Aquatic Invasive Species Program Leader

Lake Erie Hot Topics / Re: Sheepshead
« on: 07/30/11, 06:26 »
You are correct in the fact that gobies, zebra and quagga mussels are part of the sheepshead (Freshwater drum) diet. 
Perch, walleye, smallmouth bass and other predator fish species consume gobies as well. 
Zebra mussels and quagga mussels are consumed by the Drum. This is accomplished by a set of tooth-like pads inside the throat, called pharyngeal arches, with which they can easily crush the shells of zebra/quagga mussels. The next time you catch a sheepshead, stick your finger down the throat and you will be able to feel these rough, hard pads; and they are not sharp, so no need to worry about being cut or bit (unlike sticking your finger in the mouth of a walleye).
FYI---the diet of the goby is estimated to be about 60% zebra/quagga mussel!!! 
There are so many gobies and zebra/quagga mussels that what is consumed by drum does not make any difference.
The reason drum are important in Lake Erie is they are a native species and part of the lake's ecology.  Unlike the goby, they 'fit' the ecological environment of Lake Erie.
Gobies, zebra/quagga mussels are invasive species and have no real place in the lake's ecology.  They adapt, and shove their way into the food chain, and in turn, displace other speceis and compete for food resources with our native species.
Hope this answers your question.

Dave Kelch, Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

It's past time close the locks and then study the problem.  This crisis has gone from a scientific issue to political, with little hope for a solution in sight.
The ONLY sure cure (in Chicago) is permanent physical seperation of the Chicago Sanitary canal system from Lake Michigan starting with closure of the locks.  TODAY.
The only way this is going to happen is your concerns being raised to your congressional representative and Ohio Senators Brown and Portman.
Here are just a few recent links that should raise your level of concern:


Dave Kelch, Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Lake Erie Hot Topics / Re: Sheepshead
« on: 07/29/11, 10:24 »
According to Travis Hartman, ODNR/DOW fisheries biologist at Sandusky, their trawl data for 2011 has indicated that the the number of adult sheepshead are the highest they have been in the past 20 years.  Therefore, your on-water observations are correct!!!
Like other species, population peaks and declines occur depending upon all the conditions that impact the spawning success and recruitment for any fish; weather, temperature, predation, food supply for fry, etc.
Yes, they compete for food with walleye, and are native to Lake Erie.
Trying to reduce the numbers of sheepshead by tournaments would not be effective at all.
Commercial fishermen have limited markets for them, and wish they had more, as they are the most numerous species in their catch.
Numerous programs and projects over the past 30 years have attempted to develop new markets for sheepshead but with little success.
In all seriousness, they are not bad tablefare.  Those under 20" are the best.  You need to keep them COLD after catching, then take a skinless, boneless fillet.  Be sure to remove the belly flap section and cut away the dorsal (top) 1/4"-1/2" strip of flesh. Removal of the lateral line area (red connective tissue) is done in the same manner walleye are "zippered".  Cut a V notch along the lateral line and simply 'zipper' this piece out.
Now use your favorite batter and pan or deep fry.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the results----JUST GIVE IT A TRY!!
Sheepshead do not hold up well in the freezer, so preparing them fresh is the best way.

Dave Kelch, Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program


Dave Kelch, Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

NEWS From BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA  22304
BoatUS Press Room at
Press Contact:  D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864,
Photo Available at:
Photo Caption: Without reliable GPS to help boaters navigate, BoatUS fears more vessels could end up on the rocks like this sailboat, and put crew safety at risk.
Boaters Stand to Lose Critical GPS Navigational Aid
Voice Your Opinion: Comment Period Closes July 30
ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 13, 2011 - As a result of a proposal by a private company to use radio frequency bandwidth right next to the existing GPS radio bandwidth, the future reliability of the GPS system across the United States is now in question. The nation's largest recreational boaters group, BoatUS, says boaters could have a hard time avoiding treacherous shoals or simply finding their way home if GPS signals are interfered with, and is urging boaters to speak out during a 30-day comment period."This is a remarkably short comment period for an issue that has such dire consequences for America's boaters and every other GPS user in the country," said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich.
At issue is an unusual conditional waiver granted in January by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to a broadband wireless communications provider, LightSquared, to permit the dramatic expansion of land-based use of mobile satellite spectrum. This spectrum, or frequency bandwidth, is directly adjacent to the frequencies used for Global Positioning System (GPS) communications.
The company has proposed to build 40,000 ground stations. LightSquared's high-powered ground-based transmissions from these stations have shown to cause interference in hundreds of millions of GPS receivers across a wide range of uses, including aviation, marine, emergency response and industrial users such as delivery and trucking companies. A new report requested by the FCC says, "all phases of the LightSquared deployment plan will result in widespread harmful interference to GPS signals and service and that mitigation is not possible."
Recreational boaters lost their only other viable navigation system, LORAN, when the Department of Homeland Security shut the system down last year. At that time the US Coast Guard urged mariners to shift to GPS-based navigation systems. Boaters rely on GPS-enabled chart-plotters to steer clear of navigation hazards, keep them in the safety of deep-water channels, or even get them home when storms shut down visibility. "They are a critical piece of safety gear," said Podlich. "What will boaters do if they are unreliable, and how will the US Coast Guard's new emergency search and rescue system that stands watch over 36,985 miles of coastline, Rescue 21, remain effective, since it relies on GPS?"
Boaters and other GPS users are urged to speak up now by going to to send their comments to the FCC and their members of Congress.
BoatUS is a member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, which works to resolve this serious threat to the GPS system.
About BoatUS:
BoatUS - Boat Owners Association of The United States - is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services.  For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.
©2011, Boat Owners Association of The United States All Rights Reserved

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