Friday, November 7, 2008

Eddies, Fall 2008, is online

The Fall 2008 issue of Eddies: Reflections of Fisheries Conservation,
published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is now online.

In this issue, the scientific and technological capabilities of fisheries
science are on display. You’ll learn how scientists use cryogenics,
genetics, nutrition, disease pathology – and the written word in scientific
literature - to conserve game fishes and seriously imperiled fishes.

If you want to know how the American shad makes a living, read the
“American Fishes” story by shad angler and scribe, T. Edward Nickens.

H. Dale Hall, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, ponders his
home waters, 30 years of experience around fish and bugs, and the future in
his back-page “Meanders” story.

You’ll want to read about the Apostle of the Black Bass . . . or was that
the Dean of American Anglers? History professor, Dr. Todd Larson, gives us
a slice of James Henshall’s life and accomplishments as a medical doctor,
fisheries scientist, and angler in “Pioneers.”

Veterinarian and fish biologist, Robert Bakal, writes about the serious
declines of frogs and toads from the fungal disease, chytridiomycosis, and
what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing about it, in "Fighting the
Amphibian Fungus."

John Tertuliani muses on the art work and life of the late Bob Hines. You
can sense a stick bait about to drop on his northern pike lurking on the
cover of Eddies; you’ll see more of his great work inside the magazine.

"Watermarks" has the newsy and noteworthy, and you’ll find it all here at

Steel slowdown to take some ships off the Great Lakes

Some ships may be laying up early in the Duluth/Superior port as the slowing economy impacts steel production in the region. Danielle Kaeding reports.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority Director Adolph Ojard says steel production was going full steam ahead this season, but the Wall Street meltdown put a stop to that.

“The iron ore from northern Minnesota is not in demand, and they’re making inventory adjustments for the year. As a result, less tonnage will move out of the port of Duluth and Superior. Fewer ships will be required to move that tonnage.”

Lake Carriers Association Spokesman Glen Nekvasil says iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.5 million tons in September—up more than 8 percent compared to a year ago.

“Everybody has said this came on almost of the blue. The steel industry was chugging along. Then, when the credit crunch really got bad, everything dried up. We’ve got to get this economy on a roll again. These are jobs were talking about.”

Ojard says for each vessel laid up an average of 25 people will be without jobs until March--or possibly longer. more

We Energies seeks approval of renewable energy plan

We Energies asked state regulators Wednesday to approve a plan, projected to cost up to $69 million, to help it comply with a state mandate to boost the state's supply of renewable energy by 2015.

The Milwaukee-based utility company wants the state ruling to give it flexibility to buy wind turbines and acquire potential wind farm sites well before the Public Service Commission approves a wind power project. Customers would not be billed until after the wind power projects are built.

State law requires utilities to add more renewable energy projects so 10% of the state's electricity comes from wind turbines and other renewable power sources by 2015. That will require at least three major wind power projects in addition to the one We Energies already has opened and one that it hopes to build by 2012, the utility said.

Last week, the utility asked the commission to approve Glacier Hills Wind Park, which would generate up to 200 megawatts in Columbia County at a cost of up to $530 million. Depending on the size of the project, Glacier Hills would generate enough electricity to power up to 45,000 typical homes.

The utility projects it will need to spend $45 million in down payments or reservation fees for wind turbines and $21 million for sites for renewable energy projects.

A consumer group said commission rules already allow the utility to recoup costs associated with building wind power projects, and that there is no need for state regulators to approve We Energies' proposal.

"This is an unneeded insurance policy that could put ratepayers at jeopardy for unreasonable costs," said Charlie Higley, executive director of the Wisconsin Citizens' Utility Board.

The utility also projects spending up to $3 million on a study to examine the feasibility of building a 20-megawatt wind power demonstration project on Lake Michigan.

More research into Great Lakes wind power was one of the recommendations of a draft report the commission recently completed. more

Old book sheds new light on Great Lakes shipping history

Windsor Star

An archivist who was digging through old documents in the basement of a Harrow chuch says she has unearthed a 19th century ledger that provides a rare glimpse into Great Lakes shipping history.

"It was as I went through the book and went closer to the back ... I realized this was something unbelievable and exceptional," Debra Majer said Wednesday.

The Catholic diocese of London archivist was holding a treasure trove: a ledger dating to the 1800s with hundreds of names of ships' captains and vessels with the dates they sailed and their fates. She held 255 pages detailing brigs, tugs and steamships that sailed the Great Lakes.

She knew she'd found something unique when she saw a list of steamboats and propellers lost since 1857. At the bottom was a legend identifying how the ship was lost, whether it was foundered, run ashore, burnt, sunk by collision, exploded, sunk by ice, capsized or dismantled. One vessel is recorded as the Phoenix, 1846 with a dot to indicate it was burnt.

Pasted over shipping statistics were clippings from Detroit newspapers dating between 1860 and 1900 and a clue to the meticulous author - an obituary for Robert C. Teuton, a Detroit businessman who died at age 57 on April 29, 1900. The obit says Teuton was a senior partner in a grocer and ship supply house until an explosion wrecked that business at Woodbridge and Second streets and the partners went into the freight-carrying business on the Great Lakes.

Majer said she believes Teuton and/or a family member may have kept the ledger, since the date of the marriage and death of his only son Walter and the address of Walter's wife Catherine is handwritten in the back. The last date on the back cover, March 11, 1942, appears to be the date of Catherine's death.

Even if Majer is right, it's not clear why Teuton would have kept such vast and precise records that predated him. And how did it end up in a church basement? Majer doesn't know.

What's clear is it's an "exceptional find." more