Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wisconsin is Open for Business! (Never mind the Environment)

We have one BIG PROBLEM here in Wisconsin . Scott Walker has opened Wisconsin for Business! He has put his people in place and they will not turn down a thing! To think Mr Lynch is going to make a decision and not address basic concerns is outlandish. The environment will suffer. I'm not a left wing,tree huggin Wisconsin whack job( I have most of my front teeth) . I don't like to take sides in politics, its not my style. I would just like our basic environmental needs met and I think this crosses the line. There are codes that are put in place to protect the environment but they seem not to matter in this case . This is however Scott Walkers style,He thinks he's above the law as witnessed by America for the shenanigans that was pulled at the state capital. 
The Landowner, Darrell Long, insists he would use the well only sporadically to sell bulk water in times of emergencies, such as after a terrorist attack or natural disaster. He describes himself as a Christian whose motivation came from reading the Bible.
“I think God told me to do it,” he said in an interview. (Quoted from Wisconsin state Journal )

I am a god fearing man, and last night as I was sitting on the couch , God told me to run to the top of the highest bluff in Crawford county and yell,

So if your in Wisconsin Bluff Country and you hear someone high atop a bluff yelling at the top of his lungs , it's little old
Here is another letter to Lynch

Please send a letter to the Address below or

Lawrence Lynch
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
101 S. Webster Street
Madison, WI 53707

RE: Environmental Assessment of the Proposed High Capacity Well in the Town of Utica, Crawford County

Dear Mr. Lynch,

Midwest Environmental Advocates, Wisconsin’s sole public interest environmental law center, is deeply committed to the protection of the state’s groundwater and groundwater-dependent surface waters and natural habitats. As a representative appointed to the Groundwater Advisory Committee, MEA attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin worked with other stakeholders to evaluate Wisconsin’s Groundwater Protection Law (“Act 310”) and contributed to the development of the law’s regulatory program under Natural Resources Chapter 820, Wis. Adm. Code.

Upon consideration of the information set forth in the Environmental Assessment (EA) of the high capacity well proposed by Mr. Darrell Long within 1,200 feet of the North Branch of Copper Creek, a Class 1 trout stream, and of the NR 820 provisions governing the required review, MEA finds that DNR’s assessment, to date, is incomplete and insufficient to determine whether or not significant adverse environmental impacts could result from the operation of the high capacity well at issue. 

NR 820.30(6) provides that the DNR may not issue an approval for a high capacity well within a groundwater protection area unless it is able to, and does include, conditions that “ensure that the well does not cause significant adverse environmental impact.” NR 820.30(4)(d) details that these conditions may include pumping capacity, pumpage schedule, months of operation, rate of flow, conservation measures, and “[i]n the case of Class 1, 2 and 3 trout streams. . . flow conditions in the stream shall be maintained such that the fish populations and critical habitat are not adversely affected.” Nonetheless, here, the DNR has neither identified nor included any such conditions for the high capacity well proposed in the instant groundwater protection area. 

As such, the Department cannot issue an approval for the proposed high capacity well until it includes approval conditions on the well’s operation that provide the requisite assurance that no significant adverse environmental impact will result in the future, including but not limited to conditions, definitions and parameters relating to (i) proposed “intermittent” uses; (ii) proposed “local emergency” uses; and (iii) well pumping rates and limits necessary to avoid adverse impacts arising from reductions in flow levels of the North Branch of Copper Creek, e.g. temperature or chemistry changes, and to maintain trout population at current levels. 

NR 820.30 (5) provides that, as part of a high capacity well approval, the Department may require the owner to implement a monitoring plan to document stream flow conditions in the vicinity of any well located within a groundwater protection area may revise the approval based on results of the monitoring program. Here, the DNR’s environmental analysis and preliminary determination fail to include a monitoring component to establish a baseline or to assess stream flow conditions of the North Branch of Copper Creek in the vicinity of Mr. Long’s proposed high capacity well. MEA requests that this lapse be remedied by requiring Mr. Long to implement a monitoring plan in accord with established field practices, the results of which can be easily accessed (e.g. published on-line) and monitored by DNR and citizen groups as well. The well approval must also include language that outlines a process that facilitates revision of the approval in the event that ongoing monitoring identifies a need for additional resource protection.

Given the vital ecological and economic concerns raised by the proposed high capacity well within 1200 feet of this designated Groundwater Protection Area, MEA further recommends that the DNR not rush to complete this approval process without first eliciting additional expert input from hydrogeologists and biologists to more thoroughly evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposed withdrawal—including effects upon stream flow, water temperature, water chemistry, aquatic life in the North Branch as it flows into the rest of Copper Creek, and other nearby surface waters. Given the critical nexus between flow levels and biological considerations, the DNR’s approval must specify ecological parameters and include enforceable language to allow cessation of pumping if it were demonstrated that fish populations or critical habitat were adversely impacted. 

Thank you for this opportunity to comment and your further careful attention to this matter. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Jodi Habush Sinykin

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lake Winnebago Comes Alive

After nearly 5 months under a frozen sheet of ice Lake Winnebago is back in full swing. The pelicans,ducks and  gulls are cruising above. The reefs are dotted with boats and did I mention the lake flies? Yes, the fly hatch has a firm grasp on the lake homes and its residents.Yesterday I could hear a low pitched buzzing noise as I put my boat in at the launch.The hatch might last into next week but with some wind they are far less bothersome . Oh yeah, walleyes are back too.
Yesterday we focused our efforts on small reefs on the the west shore. 1/16 ounce jigs cast over the tops of reefs put  a limit of walleyes in the boat in short order. I did notice that with all the flies  hatching the walleyes seemed to prefer the smaller leeches and very small  jigs. We bought jumbos and mediums and the mediums out fished the larger leeches 2-1. The thing about a fly hatch you have to keep in mind, walleyes have food in front of them 24/7 so the profile of your bait needs to be downsized a bit. Most all the fish had lake flies in their stomachs and the walleyes just needs to swim around with their mouth open to eat. They are not chasing the flies down so its an easy meal.

The other thing I will mention here is water clarity.  The water is stained so the tops of the reefs will hold fish but as the water clears they will vacate to shadier areas.  The way I tell if its too clear is  I look at my anchor rope. If  I can see down the rope into the water more than three or four feet I move deeper. Not all reefs hold fish at this time of year so remember to keep moving  until you find the fish. Now get out and enjoy Wisconsin’s FINtastic Outdoors!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

High-Capacity well threatens Trout Stream in Crawford County WI

Foes to Crawford County well plan spring forth

Residents of a small town in western Wisconsin have raised a large red flag about a high-capacity well proposed near their community.
At the center of their concern, both real and symbolic, is a tinkling trout stream.
The groundswell of opposition to the project may carry regional and statewide significance.
First the proposal: Darrell Long of Lima, Ohio, has applied to construct a high-capacity well on 45 acres he owns near the Village of Mount Sterling in Crawford County.
The property is set among the scenic bluffs and valleys of the Driftless Area. The proposed well is 500 feet from the North Branch of Copper Creek, a Class 1 trout stream.
The well would withdraw a maximum of 500,000 gallons of groundwater per day.
For what purpose?
As stated on the application, the well would be used to "supply water to any nearby water users that may need an emergency supply of water, such as local public water supplies, fire departments and farming operations. In addition, the well may also be used for emergency water bottling purposes if there were to be an emergency situation that necessitated provision of bottled water. It would not be used for commercial water bottling purposes."
Local residents find the idea of an emergency water source "laughable," said Stephen Peck of Mount Sterling.
"No one here has ever needed that kind of help," said Peck, 55. "But if someone starts taking large volumes of water out of the ground and our wells go dry, then we might."
Residents like Peck are convinced that, despite the statement in the application, the valley's public water will be used for Long's personal economic gain.
The reason?
Long is listed on a business website as contact for DPL Properties, LLC, a supplier of "bulk water and bottled water products for public consumption and manufacturing." The company is listed as a purveyor of "pure spring water" from "a deep aquifer" in "Wisconsin, United States." The product's brand name: "Mount Sterling Water."
Long is a podiatrist by profession; he has owned the property near Mount Sterling for about 25 years.
When reached by phone Wednesday, Long would not comment on his plans for DPL Properties.
"My wife and I plan to retire in Crawford County," said Long, 64. "The last thing I'd want to do would be to harm the water resource."
In order to construct the well, Long must obtain a high-capacity well approval under Chapter NR 812, Wisconsin Administrative Code. In addition, since it would be within 1,200 feet of a trout stream, it would be reviewed under NR 820 to determine whether it could result in significant adverse environmental impacts.
Larry Lynch, hydro geologist for the Department of Natural Resources, said the application was "unique."
"I'm not aware of any other application for emergency water supplies," Lynch said, adding that the department was taking the application at face value.
A decision on the application could come in three or four weeks, Lynch said.
According to a DNR review of the proposal, the well could result in "adverse impacts to the trout population" but "impacts to stream flow are expected to be minor." The report also stated "construction and operation of the well will have minimal social and economic impacts."
And it said this: "It is not expected that this well proposal will generate significant controversy."
Surely all sides agree the last prediction missed the mark.
Opposition turned red hot Monday at a meeting in Mount Sterling, the same day local residents learned about the well proposal and the public comment period expired.
"This is an outrage," Peck said.
Wisconsin Trout Unlimited issued a letter this week with its concerns about the project, asking for denial of the permit unless better safeguards for Copper Creek were included.
Trout fishing in the Driftless Area was found to have a $1.1 billion annual economic impact, according to a 2008 survey by Northstar Economics.
"Copper Creek is the heart and soul of the valley," Peck said. "No one here wants to see it put at risk."
Local outcry about the proposal has resulted in a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Town Shop in the Town of Utica. The DNR's Lynch will be at the meeting.
In 2000, a battle was waged over a high-capacity well in Adams County. That project, proposed near the Mecan River and by the bottled water company Perrier, was opposed by a coalition including local officials, residents, environmentalists and anglers, and ultimately defeated.
A taconite mine is being proposed in a 12-county area of northern Wisconsin.
The Mount Sterling high-capacity well is not on the scale of the Perrier proposal or the taconite mine.
But residents along Copper Creek are registering a word of warning along with their dissatisfaction.
"We're taxpayers and we hoped we could trust the government to look out for us and the resource," Peck said. "If people around the state have a local issue, they better be vigilant. None of us have a good feeling about this."
PLEASE write and voice your concern ! 

WDNR hydrologist

Did I mention the weather?

Did I mention the weather?
 Some days on the  stream feel SO unproductive yet maybe I did take something away from a windy, cold miserable day other than aching joints??Are you with me?.....Still with me ? .........Still?  Ok , I'm thinking.

  Well, yesterday  was "flat line" on a stream I had high hopes in catching a big one. It was a  TU restoration project and it just isn't a good stream and it might  never  be.  I did end up catching one dumb rainbow stocker and a handful of  small browns on some of my homemade spinners. None were camera worthy but
while I was away  I got you all  some  flowers  .  So, here you go....
Catch of the day

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thousands of fish washing up on Lake Erie shore

OTTAWA COUNTY (WTOL) - Thousands of dead walleye are washing up along the shores of Lake Erie.  Members of the Wildlife Division of The Ohio Department of Natural Resources started receiving complaints in early May.
"We are seeing fish numbering in the thousands, that are floating in the western basin," said Eric Weimer with ODNR.
ODNR crews have been monitoring the walleye kill by surveying the water and flying above it.  Although crews cannot be sure, they believe it has to do with the weather this spawning season.
"With fish, spawning is a stressful time anyway. And this spring especially, with the colder weather, and the winds, and the weather conditions we've been dealing with, is especially stressful for them. So they are more susceptible during that time period to other pathogens, natural pathogens in the lakes" said Weimer.
Weimer said it is not unusual for walleye to die during the stressful spawning season, but this year the number of dead fish is unusually high. ODNR crews are also testing walleye samples for VHS, a fish virus that entered the Great Lakes recently.
"We hate to see fish floating and dead anyway. But right now, we're not seeing the number of fish that would really get us worked up," said Weimer.
He adds there are 20 million walleye in Lake Erie.
The walleye kill has been the topic of conversation for anglers at the Happy Hooker Bait Store.
"They're really concerned about the amount of dead fish they are seeing out there," said Owner Carrolyn O'Neal.
"When you ain't catching them, and you see them floating, yes that's frustrating," said angler Scott Slane.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Can anyone name the town?

So in my trout fishing travels this is what I stumble on. Its been there for years and I thought you might like to take a look again.  I'm A Dale Jr fan  but its worth a look see. I would like to knock on the door and take some pictures of the inside. Who can name the town? 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Driftless Area Doesn't Disappoint

Well, its been a while since my last post and for good reason. I was gone fishing and just as quick as it started its over. I'll say what a weekend ,great weather, good food and great company .Saturday morning was a little cool but by noon we were in t- shirts  and  despite a little shower at night the weather was incredible. As expected tons of people flocked  to the  area and it seemed  there was a car at every parking lot and a person  in every hole.By 10:00 , many people  had enough and the steams where  fairly calm. There was a fly hatch around noon and one that started at 4:00  and lasted into the evening. Matt at the  Driftless Angler hooked us up some with some crane and caddis fly patterns and the Saturday night bite was the best I ever witnessed . We fished a piece of non designated water and the fish were feeding like piranhas. This went on for almost three hours. Sunday was just as good with many caught again but the fly hatch   was earlier in the day. We caught fish on spinners, worms and flies this weekend and all in all, this is one for the record books. The best fishing in a three day stint  the boys and I ever had. We landed close to 200 trout,maybe more. I think we are a couple weeks behind and  the fishing might be better it a few weeks.

 Shawn Landed his first fish this weekend on a fly rod!

 I had to run to two different holes to help the boys land these trout. I wish we had a video.This was the first 2 holes and 5 minutes into
our evening

A few for supper

Thursday, May 5, 2011


It must be spring!

  • Mexican Ceviche

  • lb halibut fillets (or use a mixture of fish and shrimp) or 1 lb sea bass fillets (or use a mixture of fish and shrimp) or 1 lb red snapper fillet (or use a mixture of fish and shrimp)  Any fresh water fish works!

    5 -6 limes (Enough Juice to cover fish)

    1 cup diced fresh tomato

    1 green pepper, sweet, chopped

    4 tablespoons chopped parsley or 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    1/2 teaspoon oregano

    2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (or more to suit your taste)

    2 tablespoons white vinegar

    1 medium onion, finely chopped

    2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

    1 dash Tabasco sauce

    lettuce leaf (to line serving bowls)

    avocado (optional)

    black olives, sliced (for garnish) (optional)


    Prep Time: 20 mins
    Total Time: 1/2 day

    1. 1 Dice the fish (approximately 1/2-inch dice if using shrimp use cleaned shrimp).
    2. 2 Marinate fish in the lime juice in the fridge overnight (this step cooks the fish).
    3. 3 Stir often.
    4. 4 Pour off most of the lime juice (just leave it moist).
    5. 5 Add remaining ingredients except lettuce, avocado and olive. Do this preferably a few hours before serving & refrigerate.
    6. 6 Toss well and arrange in individual serving bowls that are lined with the lettuce leaves.
    7. 7 If you wish garnish with sliced avocado and sliced black olives.

    Any freshwater  fish works in this !

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Can't Wait!

    Opening weekend in Wisconsin is only four days away.
    Fishing with my two best buddies for a change.My oldest 
    son Casey has usually been at a soccer game or what not for 
     the last few years.They each get 100 hooks and sinkers and
     and a couple dozen worms.We are camping stream side and
     unless something goes wrong I would expect the boys and I
     to catch and release over a 100 trout this weekend and make
     thousands of  memories. If you want to get a kid hooked on fishing 
     for life there is absolutely no better place than a trout stream. 
    They will run me ragged and my back and knees will take a 
    beating.I would guess the last cast  of the day 
    will be as the sun fades over the hills of the Driftless.
    We will all sleep well.

    Monday, May 2, 2011


    They buried Osama bin Laden at Sea! Those poor fish , but the piece of garbage had to go somewhere.