NACO

National Association of Charterboat Operators

Coast Guard Backs Off, But Tells Lake Erie Charter Captains to Start Complying With Rules

The U.S. Coast Guard said it will work with Lake Erie charter fishing captains to help them get their boat papers in order, but will give them time to comply without citing them.

Charter captains of small, six-passenger boats complained that they faced $40,000 fines and the threat of missing most of the fishing season for not having papers documenting that their boats were made in the United States. Two captains of small fishing boats made by SportCraft and a tugboat operator were cited in May, the Coast Guard said, and three charter owners filed papers asking the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration to waive the U.S.-build document requirement. 

But the waiver process can take two to three months, putting the charter operator out of business for that time.

 

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Coast Guard Warns of Debris in Lakes Erie, Ontario

The U.S. Coast Guard is warning boaters on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario to be on the lookout for large logs and other debris washed into the waterways by recent heavy rains.

Coast Guard officials tell local media outlets in Buffalo and Rochester that the objects often float just below the surface of the water and can be difficult to spot.

 

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Proposal to Expand Thunder Bay Boundary from 448 sq miles to 4,300

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposes to expand the boundary of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (TBNMS or sanctuary) and revise the corresponding sanctuary terms of designation. The proposed new boundary for TBNMS would increase the size of the sanctuary from 448 square miles to 4,300 square miles and would extend protection to 47 additional known historic shipwrecks of national significance. A draft environmental impact statement has been prepared for this proposed action. NOAA is soliciting public comment on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement.

Comments will be considered if received by August 13, 2013. 

Public hearings will be held at 6 p.m. in the following locations:

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Buoy Camera Catches Waves and Sunsets on Lake Michigan

A weather buoy that got its start thanks to Holland area businesses and groups is now broadcasting video at regular intervals three miles offshore of Port Sheldon in about 85 feet of water.

“This webcam is the first of its kind in the Great Lakes and is capable of transmitting high-resolution images and video clips over the Internet on a regular basis,” said Ed Verhamme, project engineer of LimnoTech, an Ann Arbor environmental engineering company.  Video clips and images are updated every two hours between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

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Unusually High Numbers of Fish Dying in Many WNY Waterways

Officials of the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have been taking samples of dead fish in the Erie Barge Canal, along Old Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Town of Amherst.

According to the DEC, an unusually high number of fish – mainly of the species known as the gizzard shad – have been dying off in Lake Erie and other local waterways, from Dunkirk to Wilson. During the months of April and May, DEC officials received many phone calls from people who have found the fish lying on beaches and floating in waterways throughout the region.

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Poison Larvae of Sea Lamprey

Federal wildlife workers will go after one of the Great Lakes’ greatest invasive pests this week when they poison the larvae of sea lamprey in a stream feeding Lake Michigan.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans treatments for Tuesday through next Sunday in the Mitchell Creek stream bottom. The creek flows through Traverse City State Park before entering Grand Traverse Bay’s east arm. The park is in Grand Traverse County’s East Bay Township, east of Traverse City.

 

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Input Wanted on Lake Michigan Plan

The Department of Natural Resources is asking anglers, commercial fishers and fish enthusiasts for input on the future of Lake Michigan.

Wisconsin's Lake Michigan fishery is guided by a 10-year plan. The current plan expires in 2013.

The agency is particularly interested in thoughts on how to keep sport and commercial fisheries strong in the face of ongoing and emerging changes to the lake.

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Invasive Species Field Guide

The Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and Wildlife Forever have produced a handy invasive species field guide called Invaders of the Great Lakes, available now from Adventure Publications in Cambridge, Minnesota.

The 171-page guide, complete with images and detailed descriptions of headline-grabbing Great Lakes invaders like sea lamprey and round goby and more obscure species like the faucet snail and the threespine stickleback serves multiple purposes. Specific sections are devoted to aquatic, plant and invertebrates. Each species page details how the invader impacts fishing quality as well as specific steps that can be taken to prevent its future spread.

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Sunken Treasure: Preserving Michigan’s Shipwrecks

With hundreds of shipwrecks scattered across the bottom of the Great Lakes, divers have access to an unrivaled underwater playground. The freshwater environment lends itself to preserving shipwrecks so well, some ships look ready to board.

Divers tempted to swipe an artifact for their mantle or crank a wheel and pretend to sail away could be fined or even imprisoned. A recent documentary aims to educate those with misguided intentions before it gets that far.

 

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