Legislators more confident after D.C. face-time

Property owners and sport fishing industry voice their concerns to Senators about the IJC Plan 2014 for Great Lakes. Stakeholders have forum with aid of International Joint Commission. Excerpt follows:

“In a conference call with county leaders, Johnson said they stressed their concerns about the plan and its impacts on the southwestern shoreline with legislative aides to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Charles Schumer.

“It was apparent they were well-versed on the subject,” Johnson said,” and they indicated that they feel no decisions should be made in the short-term … it was a very productive hour.”

Later, Collins’ office hosted the delegates for a meeting with representatives from the State Department’s Office of Canadian Affairs and Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, two groups who will weigh in when the federal government considers the Lake Ontario water level regulation plan.

Godfrey said Collins backed their opposition.

“He told them (Plan 2014) is in violation of the IJC charter, that no plan should result in disproportionate loss to any area from the plan,” Godfrey said. “It needs to be thrown out, let’s not waste any more time on it.”

Johnson said the trip was successful in presenting a view countering the IJC’s, which she said was based on out-of-date info — from the use of old Census data to documents addressing how the plan would effect the long-gone Fast Ferry between Rochester and Toronto.

“Our mission was to tell them that their study group has outdated information,” Johnson said. “I think we really educated them.”

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Lower water levels boon for boat ramps

I am reposting Doug Leier’s reporting on low water levels in North Dakota rivers and lakes. Devil’s Lake Basin will have above moisture and in process of becoming ice free. Levels in northeast will be up two feet for season. Posting:

“Even though Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe are approximately 10 feet lower than last year at this time, anglers shouldn’t have a problem finding public access points to launch a boat.

Bob Frohlich, North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries development supervisor, said most of the main recreation areas will have a usable boat ramp and provide ample boating access. “Some of the main concrete ramps are out of the water, so anglers will have to use low-water ramps in those areas,” Frohlich said. “While these low-water ramps will certainly be sufficient to get boaters on and off the water, anglers may notice that some may not be as wide or quite as nice as the primary ramps and may be located some distance from the other amenities in the area.”

Many low-water ramps were installed through cooperative efforts during the previous drought, Frohlich said, and are now becoming usable once again as the water level approaches those same elevations.

At Lake Sakakawea, where fisheries biologists expect a banner open-water fishing season, all but two of the 34 recreation sites will have a usable ramp. Only Littlefield Bay and West Totten Trail will be unusable.

All 12 boat ramps will be usable on the Missouri River stretch from Garrison Dam to MacLean Bottoms. “These ramps are usually more reliable as they are not dependent on a lake elevation,” Frohlich said. “The biggest problem with these river ramps is the 2 foot degradation in the river bed that occurred during the 2011 flood, so there’s now 2 feet less water on each ramp with the same exact releases from the dam as there was pre-flood.”

Seven of eight recreation areas will have operational ramps on Lake Oahe from Hazelton to the South Dakota state line. Only the Fort Yates ramp will be unusable. Although fishing may not be as good as last year on Lake Oahe, biologists expect anglers will have good success, albeit smaller fish.

Anglers in the northeast portion of the state are just starting to pull boats out of storage as Devils Lake and many other water bodies are just becoming ice-free. Frohlich said the Devils Lake Basin had above average moisture and is expected to be up 2 feet this summer. “All nine boat ramps are in exceptional shape and will be fully functional,” he added.”

A complete status report of Missouri River and Devils Lake boat ramps is on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.

 

http://dougleier.areavoices.com/2013/05/21/missouri-river-and-devils-lake-access/

Kayak Fishing Lake Erie | Fishgator – Freshwater Kayak Fishing

This is an excerpt from Kevin Websters fishgator.com blog about kayak fishing on Lake Erie:

…We had drifted a bit further out, but not quickly, and we decided to head back to where we were having hits and hookups. It was roughly 9:15AM now, and our phones weren’t telling us anything was up. However, all the boats had moved on. We were alone out there. As we paddled out of the 30 foot depths and back to the 20, the sky was starting to turn a bit pinkish. When we stopped paddling, there was a VERY thin line of clouds over Canada. Based on my Lake Ontario experience, I guessed we had 2 hours of “safe time” before we had to deal with those clouds, and even then, they weren’t the legendary low, tall nasty clouds you sometimes see coming out of Canada when you’re out on Ontario. These were thin, dark, wispy clouds. I didn’t give it much thought. Just then, jimmy Yansick hooked into a smallie, and I did too. We had a double hook up going, and we were excited. Both fish were landed (mine is pictured), and we were sitting on a very flat, windless Lake Erie for a minute or so afterwards, in about 21 feet of water, 1.5 miles offshore. Then it turned on us. Lake Erie is a Bear When it Churns Up I’ve fished some big lakes in my kayak before, and fought through 2 footers on Black Lake, Hemlock, and other long lakes that give the water a chance to really stand up. None of that prepared me for what I was about to experience. It helped me get through it with all my gear and my life, but by no means did it PREPARE me….. http://fishgator.com/wny-kayaking/kayak-fishing-lake-erie/

Chinese intrigued by IJC SUCCESS

The IJC settles water disputes between the USA and Canada. The organization was established by the 1909 International Boundary Waters Treaty. The IJC has been more successful in diffusing distributive water issues rather than regulatory. Afterall everybody gets something with distributive policies while regulatory policies aim to change behaviors. This short article written by Mike Vlasveld was published in the Blackburn News. The link to the article is attached: The International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Regional Office is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Director, Dr. Saad Jasim says the relationship between Canada and the United States, shared at the Windsor office, is very unique. “We had a Chinese delegation come to our office and they had problems dealing with waters shared by provinces within the same country, and they can’t get an agreement on that,” says Jasim. “They said, ‘how can you get agreements and (the IJC) be going for 100-years?’ I said, ‘That’s by good dialogue, good understanding, and improvement of communication.’” Jasim says 40-million people live along the Great Lakes, and use the water for drinking, fishing, and recreation. He explains that it’s the job of his office to ensure the quality of the water is as high as possible. Most recently, the director says they held a workshop where 40 scientists from both countries sat down for two days to discuss algae bloom issues in Lake Erie. http://blackburnnews.com/windsor/windsor-news/2013/03/07/ijc-office-celebrates-40th/