is published by theNebraska Game and Parks CommissionCopyright 2010
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Chairman: Jerrod Burke, CurtisVice Chairman:Mick Jensen, Blair2nd Vice Chairman:Ron Stave, WaterlooDr. Mark Pinkerton, WilberDr. Kent Forney, LincolnLynn Berggren, Broken BowRex Fisher, OmahaMark Spurgin, PaxtonNorris Marshall, Kearney
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Vol. 19, No. 2
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a petition calling for a ban onthe manufacture, use and processing of lead infishing gear.On Aug. 3, 2010, the American BirdConservancy and many other groups petitionedthe EPA under the Toxic Substances ControlAct to “prohibit the manufacture, processing,and distribution in commerce of lead for shot,bullets, and fishing sinkers.” On Aug. 27, theEPA denied the portion of the petition relatingto lead in ammunition because the agency doesnot have the legal authority to regulate this typeof product under TSCA.In a letter to the petitioners, the EPAindicated the petitioners had not shown thatthe requested rule is necessary to protectagainst an unreasonable risk of injury to healthor the environment, as required by the ToxicSubstances Control Act (TSCA). The letteralso indicates that the increasing number of limitations on the use of lead fishing gear onsome federal and state lands, as well as variouseducation and outreach activities, call intoquestion whether a national ban on lead infishing gear would be the least burdensome,adequately protective approach to address theconcern, as called for under TSCA.Nontoxic alternatives to lead are availableand commonplace.
Antlerless Season Nets 3,000 Deer
Hunters harvested 3,000 deer during therecent October Antlerless season, according to theNebraska Game and Parks Commission. There were 7,230 October Antlerless permitssold, and 2,700 deer shot by those permit holders,for a hunter success rate of 37 percent. Another300 deer were taken by Season Choice permitholders during the Oct. 2-11 October Antlerlessseason. The October Antlerless season was createdin 2009 to allow for the additional harvest of antlerless white-tailed deer in eastern Nebraska.
Hedgeeld Rehabilitation Completed
Hedgefield Reservoir in Lancaster County isrefilling following completion of a lake restorationproject, according to the Nebraska Game and ParksCommission.Major components of the rehabilitation includelake deepening, construction of an ADA-accessiblebreakwater jetty, a sediment trap on the south end,and a concrete boat ramp with expanded parkingon the west side.Rough fish were removed from the lake andreplaced with largemouth bass and bluegill. Anglers will find some fish to catch next fall, but it will beapproximately two years before the fish will belarge enough to harvest.
Record Number of Bull Elk Harvested
Not all elk hunting seasons have closed, butalready a record 76 bulls have been harvested,according to the Nebraska Game and ParksCommission. Thirty-nine antlerless elk also havebeen taken.In a year in which elk populations continue toexpand in Nebraska, a record 2,290 applicantsreceived a record 272 permits. The 2009 elk harvest included 66 bulls and 72antlerless elk. The 2010 bull elk and the first half of theantlerless elk seasons closed Oct. 24. Antlerlessseason reopens Dec. 1-21. The Boyd Unit elk season continues through Dec. 31, except for theclosure for the November firearm deer season.
Changes Made to Open Fields and Waters
The Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners, in its August meeting, approvedchanges to the Open Fields and Waters Program. The program is designed to expand hunter andangler access to private lands. The following changes were made:• Create a signing bonus for contracts of five years or longer – This applies to huntingand fishing access. The bonus will equal 25percent of the annual payment amount, and it would be paid after the contract is signed.• Create rates for hunting access to woodlandalong rivers – The rate is $15 per acre for thetarget area and $12 for standard.• Create rate for hunting access for springturkey season only – The rate equals a75-percent reduction of the annual payment.• Create a rate for ice-fishing access fromDecember through February – The rateequals a 75-percent reduction of the annualpayment.
New Trail Features at OutdoorNebraska.org
Trail users have a new tool on the NebraskaGame and Parks Commission’s Web site. A newpage dedicated to trails includes information abouthiking, biking, equestrian, water, and motorizedtrails.Visit the page at http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/ trails.asp. The page includes an interactive map detailingtrails and their amenities, as well as photographs.Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (SP), Platte RiverSP and Branched Oak State Recreation Area (SRA)have been mapped so far, but all state parklandseventually will be included.
Muzzleloader Deer Season Opens Dec. 1
The statewide muzzleloader deer season is Dec.1-31. Hunters will hope for better conditions thana year ago, when snow covered the state much of the month. Harvest during the 2009 muzzleloaderseason decreased 15 percent from the previous year. The permit fee is $30 for residents and $209 fornonresidents, and permits are unlimited in number. The bag limit is one deer of either sex, exceptno mule deer may be taken in the Mule DeerConservation Area (MDCA), and one antlerless white-tailed deer. The MDCA is comprised of theBuffalo, Frenchman, Republican, and Platte units.
Pheasant Hunters Should Report Leg Bands
Hunters should report any leg bands they find on the pheasants they shoot this fall in theSouthwest Focus on Pheasants area, according to Jeff Lusk, upland game program manager for theNebraska Game and Parks Commission.Game and Parks is capturing wild birds in thefocus area and putting leg bands on them. Thepurpose is to help understand how pheasantsmove and use the study area, portions of Hitchcock,Hayes and Red Willow counties, as well as hunterharvest in the area.Hunters should provide the number of the band,and the location and date it was recovered. Huntersmay keep the band after reporting it. Bands may bereported by calling (402) 471-1756.
EPA denies petition calling lead ban in shing gear