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DEP and DNR Teaming Up for Christmas Tree Recycling Event January 02, 2015 at Capitol Market

CHARLESTON, WV – On January 02, 2015 the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP) and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) will accept donated Christmas trees that will be repurposed as fish habitat in lakes and rivers.

Trees will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Capitol Market in Charleston.

Any size tree will be accepted, provided that it is a real tree.

The Free Press WV


All lights, ornaments, and tinsel must be removed before the tree is donated.

This year donated trees will be used for fish habitat in Stonecoal Lake, Burnsville Lake, Big Ditch Lake, and Tygart Lake.

Those who donate trees can sign up to win one of several prizes.

One prize packet is two all-day lift tickets, ski rental, and a ski lesson at Winterplace Ski Resort.

Canaan Valley Resort has donated 18 holes of golf for four people.

Other prizes include three one-night stays at Chief Logan State Park and a $25 gift certificate to Capitol Market

Passage of Sportsmen’s Act OF 2015

Legislation will increase public lands access for sportsmen and promote West Virginia’s outdoor recreation economy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, applauded the bipartisan passage of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. The legislation will enhance hunting, fishing and recreational shooting opportunities by increasing access to federal lands. It also includes the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill passed the ENR Committee by a voice vote.

“As a lifelong, avid sportsman, I know firsthand that our hunting, fishing and outdoor heritage is so important to who we are as West Virginians and as Americans,” Senator Manchin said. “In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along, from one generation to another, a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer. I believe that we should protect these traditions that help define who we are. This bipartisan bill will boost West Virginia’s economy while expanding hunting and fishing rights and allowing people a greater ability to enjoy the outdoors.”


Senator Manchin’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

As an avid sportsman, I believe that hunting and fishing are an integral part of the American culture and a powerful force of good protecting and preserving the natural world around us.

In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along – from one generation to another – a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer.

One of my top priorities is to make sure that the people I represent can carry on that tradition by ensuring they have access to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on our nation’s public lands.

In my home state, we have more than 1.6 million acres of public land open to hunting with 28 shooting ranges on these lands.

We have a year-round fishing season, with more than 20,000 miles of streams and more than 100 public fishing lakes.

But this is about more than heritage and family tradition – hunting and fishing are big business in the Mountain State.

In 2011 alone, sportsmen and women spent $870 million on hunting and fishing in West Virginia and paid $81 million in state and local taxes.

Title II of this bill establishes an important precedent that seems pretty common sense to me – Federal land should be open to hunting and fishing, within existing laws, unless there is a reason for it not to be.

Nothing in the bill opens any sensitive areas that are already closed to these activities.

It merely establishes the precedent that our public lands should be open to the public so that people can enjoy them.

I think it’s a shame that we all too often get caught up in debates between environmentalists and sportsmen – both of whom want to preserve and protect the great outdoors.

Gale Norton, Secretary of the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush, once said:

“Dating back to Teddy Roosevelt, hunters have been the pillar of conservation in America, doing more than anyone to conserve wildlife and its habitat.”

I’m a firm believer that introducing someone to the great outdoors through hunting and fishing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to show them why conservation matters.

I was also very pleased to see that the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was included in this bill.

In West Virginia, LWCF has helped maintain and expand access to some of our State’s natural treasures for the benefit of all.

Access projects funded by LWCF, in places like the Monongahela National Forest, Canaan Valley, and the Gauley River, not only keep public lands public for sportsmen, but also promote West Virginia’s thriving and growing outdoor recreation economy.

A Section 6 habitat grant was the centerpiece of a project up in Cheat Canyon that leveraged state, local, and private funds to protect another incredible river that provides outdoor recreation in the northern part of the state.

A different type of grant protected key battlefield areas around Harper’s Ferry last year. 

The permanent reauthorization of the LWCF is another one of my top priorities, and I commend my colleagues for working together, across partisan lines, to include it in this bill.

For the past two Congresses, we have tried and failed to pass a Sportsmen’s package through the Senate despite strong bipartisan support.

I commend Senator Murkowski and Senator Heinrich for their leadership on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act this Congress, and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill.

DEP’s Massive Mobile Aquarium Makes Its Debut This Weekend at Charleston Fishing Tournament

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will unveil its newest public outreach and education tool at a fishing tournament this weekend in Charleston.

The 1,700-gallon, six-feet-deep, West Virginia-built freshwater mobile aquarium will make its debut at the Trail of Dreams bass tournament on May 09. Some of the bass caught during the tournament will be placed in the aquarium a little after 4 p.m., after being weighed in, and will remain there for an hour or two. The mobile aquarium will be set up near the Frontier boat ramp on the Kanawha River.

The aquarium - which weighs more than 25,000 pounds when full - features a chiller to keep the water cool even on the hottest days, two-inch-thick reinforced glass walls, and a net covering to prevent the fish from jumping out.

In addition to this weekend’s fishing tournament, several more mobile aquarium events are being planned. The aquarium will be on display during the DEP’s Youth Environmental Day festivities at North Bend State Park May 15-17, at the DEP’s Junior Conservation Camp at Cedar Lakes June 15-17, and during National Hunting and Fishing Days at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park September 26-27. Additional events are in the planning stages. After each event, the aquarium will be drained and cleaned and the fish returned to the stream or hatchery from which they came.

“I am very excited for the people of West Virginia to be able to get a fascinating, up-close view of the fish that call our streams and rivers home,” said DEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman. “As an avid fisherman myself, I hope people will come to see and gain an appreciation for the delicate underwater world that this mobile aquarium highlights.”

The overall purpose of the mobile aquarium is to help teach the public about water habitat and the water quality necessary to maintain aquatic life. The aquarium’s use as an educational tool will be conducted in partnership with the Division of Natural Resources, whose logo and website also appear on the back of the tank.

Fishing Report - 03.27.15

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BEECH FORK

Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304.525.4831 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/bbfns.htm  for information and current lake levels.  No current fishing reports, the lake is at summer pool almost due to recent rains.

BLUESTONE

During the winter season, anglers should fish slowly and methodically.  Fish will still feed but have a slower metabolism.  A few bass are being caught off rocky points using live minnows.  Anglers should look for points that have some cover such as stumps, logs, or ledges.  Some hybrid striped bass may be caught using large chubs.  Anglers should try spots such as at the mouth of the Bluestone Arm or near the dam.  With any warm, stable weather, fish may become more active.  Try to pick a day that is bright and sunny which warms up areas of the lake, especially dark or mud banks.  A few degrees can make a difference!  Right now the tailwaters are high and unfishable with more rain expected.  Anglers should be careful wading this time of year due to the cold water and slippery conditions.  Wear your personal flotation devices at ALL times!

BURNSVILLE

The lake is at winter pool and frozen in places.  Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout February 11. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304.853.2398 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/busns.htm.

EAST LYNN

For information on current lake levels call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304.849.9861 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/eltns.htm . No current fishing reports, the lake is at summer pool almost due to recent rain.

R.D. BAILEY

During the winter season, fish are still active but have a slower metabolism, so anglers should fish slowly and methodically.  Spotted bass are hitting plastic jigs in crawfish colors.  The spotted bass will be found along the rocky drops with points another good spot to try.  Walleye are starting to be creeled by local anglers.  Best places to try are along the shallow clay flats either early or late.  As the year progresses, walleye will be moving up the river to begin spawning.  Best baits are jigs tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers.  With any warm, stable weather, fish may become more active.  Try to pick a day that is bright and sunny which warms up areas of the lake, especially dark or mud banks.  A few degrees can make a difference!

STONECOAL LAKE

The lake is at normal pool and frozen in places.  Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  A few walleye have also been in about 10-15 feet of water.

STONEWALL JACKSON

The lake is at winter pool and frozen in places.  Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout February 11.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.269.7463.

SUMMERSVILLE

The lake is at winter pool and frozen in places.  Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  Walleye are being caught off rocky points in about 10-15 feet of water.  Try minnows and small crank baits.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout February 04.  For more information contact the Corps of Engineers at 304.872.3412 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/suens.htm.

SUTTON

T The lake is at winter pool and frozen in places.  Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout February 11.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.765.2705 and go to www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/suens.htm.

TYGART LAKE

The lake level is about 40 feet above summer pool and all boat ramps are currently closed.  Lake elevation is expected to decrease over the next few days.  The tailwater outflow is about 15,000 cfs and muddy.  Water temperature is 40oF.  The tailwater boat ramp has been under water for the last few days and shoreline access is minimal during these high flows.  Once water flow decreases, younger walleyes should be readily available as they have moved through the dam into the tailwater during high flow events (above 5,000 cfs).  Walleye fishing is best during higher flows (1,500 to 5,000 cubic feet per second).  Trout were last stocked in early February and trout fishing is best at low flows (less than 1,000 cubic feet per second).  Call the Corps of Engineers telephone hotline at 304.265.5953 for daily lake and tailwater conditions.

NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

OHIO RIVER (New Cumberland, Pike Island, and Hannibal pools and tailwaters)

Over the next week, warming water temperatures and high flows should trigger walleye and sauger to move into tailwater areas below dams.  Jigs with minnows are particularly good baits but 3-inch plastic grubs and deep-running crankbaits are also productive.

MONONGAHELA RIVER

Water temperature has warmed over the last week and is about 44oF.  The river is high and muddy, but increased water temperatures and flows should cause fish to start moving upstream and congregate at tailwater areas just below the Morgantown, Hildebrand, and Opekiska dams.

CHEAT LAKE

Recent heavy rains and warmer temperatures have caused ice to break up.  Debris may still be scattered around the lake due to ice damage last week.  The winter boat ramp at the Cheat Lake Park near the dam is the only public ramp currently open.  The tailwater fishing pier can be very good for walleye and sauger.  The pier is located entirely in West Virginia about 25 minutes from Morgantown.  Take U.S. Highway 119 from Morgantown to Point Marion, PA.  Turn right after crossing the Cheat River and proceed 4 miles to Cheat Dam.

Try the tailwater fishing pier for sauger, smallmouth bass, walleye and white bass.  Jigs with minnows or 3-inch power grubs are the best baits.  White or chartreuse are good colors.  Start fishing at dark when sauger and walleye begin feeding.  The pier is located entirely in West Virginia about 25 minutes from Morgantown and is lighted for night fishing and is handicapped accessible

EASTERN PANHANDLE

South Branch and Cacapon Rivers

Water levels throughout the area have dropped over the past week and near or slightly below normal flow for this time of year.  Water temperatures are in the mid 40’s at most locations and the water is clear.  Anglers are starting to catch a few smallmouth bass.  The spring trout stocking season is underway and many streams are receiving weekly trout stockings.

Shenandoah River

Flows in the Shenandoah River are near normal flow for this time of year.  Smallmouth bass are biting and fishing plastics near the head of pools around the bedrock ledges and in eddies is always a good strategy.

North Branch River

Flows in the North Branch are currently 800 cfs but projected to drop over the next couple days and there should be some great trout fishing opportunities by the weekend.  The first white whitewater event on the North Branch is scheduled for April 11 and 12.  Check the Corp or Engineers webpage for specifics or schedule changes. 

Small Impoundments

Most small impoundments are in great fishing condition and some are receiving spring trout stockings.  Check the 2015 fishing regulations to see if your favorite water is on the January or February stocking schedule.

Jennings Randolph Lake

There has been no recent reports of angler success at Jennings Randolph Lake.  The West Virginia boat launch is scheduled to open for the season next Wednesday April 1.  The WV launch is free and a $5 per day fee is collected for the Maryland Ramp. Jennings Randolph Lake has a dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information 304.355.2890.

Mt. Storm Lake

Anglers at Mount Storm Lake should target striped bass, black bass, and walleye.  This is a great location for winter fishing since the lake doesn’t freeze.  Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges.

CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

Water levels are high, milky and some still with ice cover.  If you are looking for a place to go, please check the fishing regulations and the WVDNR website for a list of public access sites or call your local WVDNR district office for some advice and a place to fish.  The March trout stocking is rolling and going well.  Make sure you purchase your 2015 WV fishing license.

SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

The New and Greenbrier rivers are high and off color right now with more rain expected so fishing may be slow there.  Sometimes high water improves the fishing at Kanawha Falls so anglers may also want to try their luck there for musky or walleye (use big chubs for bait) or lake anglers can find some excellent bass fishing at Plum Orchard Lake and Stephens Lake.  Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom, spinnerbaits are also good choices.  Anglers should call ahead to make sure that the ramps are not iced over.

SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA

Lower Ohio and Kanawha Rivers

Sauger and walleye will begin congregating behind locks, tributary mouths and along shoal areas in preparation for their spawn as soon as the water warms a bit, be ready!  R.C. Byrd tailrace is a great place to try.  Try bait, and small brightly colored jigs fished slow close to the bottom.  Added scent or a small piece of bait or nightcrawlers attached to the tail end of jigs really helps at this time of the year.  Fish S-L-O-W.

Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk, and Mud Rivers

A few reports of very large muskies caught and released from the Elk and Coal rivers using slow moving baits and soft plastics (large tubes).  Try for walleye and sauger behind lower and upper falls as they congregate with warming water temperatures to go through their spawning rituals.

Small Impoundments

Barboursville and Ridenour lakes were recently stocked.

WEST-CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

So far this month, trout have been stocked into the following area lakes:  Rollins and Turkey Run lakes in Jackson County, Tracy Lake and Pennsboro Water Supply Reservoir in Ritchie County, Mile Tree Lake in Roane County, Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County and Cedar Creek State Park Ponds in Gilmer County.  Additionally this month Mountwood Park Lake in Wood County will be stocked again.  This information is updated daily at 4:00 pm, January through May.  Trout anglers can use a variety of baits including small worms; mealworms, salmon eggs, cheese, or trout power bait.  Lure anglers like small spinners, Joe type flies, and trout magnets also work well.

This is a good time to fish Ohio River tailwaters.  Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching a few sauger, walleye and a few other species.  Suspended minnows or lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), which are fished along the bottom, are the lures of choice.  When the river is running high and muddy clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows.  Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual slow.  Fishing along the Willow Island tailwaters is restricted due to hydro-power development.  Anglers now have access only to a point approximately 150 yards below the dam, and flows have changed significantly.

Warm water discharges associated with industrial facilities hold fish in the winter along the Ohio River.  Best bet for lures here include crank baits and rubber jigs.  Expect to catch white bass, hybrid striped bass and a few other species at these hot spots.

Fishing for largemouth bass can be good during warm sunny days in area lakes.  Slowly fished rubber worms or jig-and-pig combos are good terminal tackle choices.  Area lakes with good winter bass angling opportunities include Mountwood in Wood County, Conaway Run in Tyler County, Charles Fork in Roane County, North Bend Lake in Ritchie County, and Elk Fork, Woodrum, and O’Brien lakes in Jackson County.

Musky streams are expected to be fishable this weekend.  Winter musky anglers use medium to large lures, and they concentrate their fishing efforts around brush piles or other areas of good cover.  Middle Island Creek, the major streams in the Hughes River system, and the Little Kanawha River are good area musky waters.


Stream Conditions
NORTHERN Levels Conditions
 
Low
Normal
High
Clear
Milky
Muddy
Ohio River (Wheeling)     X     X
Fish Creek   X     X
Fishing Creek   X     X
Big Sandy (Preston) X   X   X
Monongahela River   X   X  
Black Water Creek     X     X
Wheeling Creek     X   X  
Buffalo Creek   X     X
EASTERN PANHANDLE Levels Conditions
 
Low
Normal
High
Clear
Milky
Muddy
S. Branch (Potomac)   X   X    
S. Branch (Smoke Hole)   X   X  
Shenandoah River   X   X  
Patterson Creek   X   X    
N. Fork S. Branch   X   X  
Cacapon River   X   X  
Back Creek   X   X    
Opequon Creek   X   X  
Lost River   X   X  
CENTRAL Levels Conditions
 
Low
Normal
High
Clear
Milky
Muddy
Elk (Sutton)     X   X
Little Kanawha     X   X
Elk (Clay)     X   X
West Fork River     X   X
Gauley River     X   X
Cranberry River     X   X
Cherry River     X   X
Cherry River (N. Fork)     X   X
Cherry River (S. Fork)     X   X
Williams River     X   X
Knapps River     X   X
Greenbrier (E&W Forks)     X   X
Little River     X   X
Shavers Fork     X   X
Buckhannon River     X   X
Holly River     X   X
Elk River (Webster)     X   X
Elk River (Back Fork)     X   X
SOUTHERN Levels Conditions
 
Low
Normal
High
Clear
Milky
Muddy
New River (Hinton)   X   X    
Greenbrier (Hinton)     X X    
Greenbrier (Ronceverte)   X   X    
Anthony Creek   X   X    
Big Creek   X   X    
Meadow River   X   X    
Turkey Creek   X   X    
Potts Creek   X   X    
Second Creek   X   X    
Pinnacle Creek   X   X    
Horse Creek Lake   X   X    
Big Huff Creek   X   X    
Indian Creek   X   X    
Glade Creek (New River)   X   X    
Marsh Fork   X   X    
New River (Gauley)   X   X    
Glade Creek (Man)   X   X    
Camp Creek   X   X    
East River   X   X    
Fork Creek   X   X    
Dry Fork Creek   X   X    
Berwind Lake   X   X    
WESTERN & SOUTHWESTERN Levels Conditions
 
Low
Normal
High
Clear
Milky
Muddy
Little Kanawha River X   X  
Ohio River X   X  
Hughes River X   X  

Trout Stockings

March 25, 2015

  • Big Sandy Creek
  • Coopers Rock Lake
  • Cranberry River
  • East Fork Greenbrier River
  • Glade Creek of Mann
  • Horse Creek Lake
  • Jimmy Lewis Lake
  • Kings Creek
  • Little River East Fork Greenbrier River
  • Middle Fork River
  • Mountwood Park Lake
  • North Fork of South Branch
  • South Branch (Smoke Hole)
  • Summersville Tailwaters
  • Tomlinson Run
  • Tomlinson Run Lake

March 24, 2015

  • Anthony Creek
  • Beech Fork Tailwaters
  • Bullskin Run
  • Cacapon park lake
  • Dunkard Fork Lake
  • East Lynn Talwaters
  • Evitts Run
  • French Creek Pond
  • Jenning Randolph Tailwaters
  • Knapps Creek
  • Krodel Lake
  • Laurel Fork of Holly River
  • Left Fork of Holly River
  • Lick Creek Pond
  • Middle Creek (Berkeley)
  • Mill Creek (Berkeley)
  • New Creek
  • North Fork of Anthony Creek
  • North Fork of Patterson Creek
  • Opequon Creek
  • Right Fork of Little Kanawha
  • Rocky Marsh Run
  • South Branch (Franklin)
  • South Fork of Cranberry River
  • Wayne Dam
  • West Fork of Twelvepole
  • Williams River

March 23, 2015

  • Buffalo Fork Lake
  • Cranberry River
  • Deer Creek (Pocahontas)
  • Dillons Run
  • Edwards Run
  • Fort Ashby Reservoir
  • Greenbrier River
  • Kimsey Run Lake
  • Mill Creek of South Branch
  • New Creek Dam #14
  • Rockhouse Lake
  • Spruce Knob Lake (condition of lake: 75%-80% slush ice; clear 20 feet around edges)
  • Spruce Laurel Fork
  • Summit Lake
  • Tygart Valley River Headwaters
  • Watoga Lake

March 20, 2015

  • Anawalt Lake
  • Berwind Lake
  • Buckhannon River
  • Cacapon Park lake
  • Cranberry River
  • Dry Fork (McDowell)
  • Gandy Creek
  • Laurel Fork (Randolph)
  • Left Fork of Right Fork of Buckhannon River
  • Opequon Creek
  • Rocky Marsh Run
  • Second Creek (C&R)
  • South Branch (Franklin)
  • South Mill Creek Lake

“Today’s Catch” Photo on Social Media Results in WVDNR Citations Issued for Nearly 50 Poached

Following up complaints in person and by email that someone had been taking more than the daily creel limit of trout on Big Clear Creek along Anjean Road in Greenbrier County, Natural Resources Police Officers from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources District 4 Office in Beckley got some help from social media.

“I found that one of the suspect’s girlfriend had posted on Facebook a picture of what she was calling ‘today’s catch,’ a photo of a truck bed with approximately 48 trout on the tailgate,” said NRPO J.B. Hudson, who investigated the case. “I also obtained messages from Twitter about the catch and the time it occurred. I then began building my case.”

The Gilmer Free Press


Officer Hudson was able to obtain the identities of the suspects, both juveniles, and questioned them and their parents. He determined that the trout had all been caught the same day, Feb. 6, 2015, and that the fish had been dispersed throughout the community. The two suspects were each issued citations for exceeding the creel limit of trout, exceeding the possession limit of trout, and illegal possession of trout.

“This case was brought to conclusion in large part thanks to the public reporting the incident by way of email and social media,” said Col. Jerry Jenkins, chief of the WVDNR Law Enforcement Section.

Anyone who witnesses a violation of the state’s wildlife laws is asked to report it by telephone, email or online at wvdnr.gov/LEnforce/Poachers.shtm.

You do not need to give your identity to report a suspected crime.

Senior Lifetime Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping License designation on driver’s licenses and ID Cards

West Virginia DMV and DNR working together to provide opportunity

Division of Natural Resources Director Bob Fala and Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Pat Reed announce the opportunity for seniors who have purchased the Class XS Senior Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License to obtain a Class XS designation on their West Virginia driver’s license or identification card.

The Gilmer Free Press


According to Commissioner Reed, “DMV is pleased to offer a new, convenient driver’s license and ID card designation for our customers, in addition to other designation opportunities already available, including veteran, hearing impaired and organ donor.”

Working together with other organizations to further enhance good customer service is important to both agencies.  “We are pleased to partner with the DMV to make it easier for our Senior Lifetime License holders to show proof of a license while in the field,” said Director Fala.  “The Class XS License endorsement printed on the West Virginia driver’s license means they only would be required to carry that one proof of identification with them.”

The Senior Lifetime Hunting, Fishing and Trapping license can only be purchased through the DNR South Charleston Office at 324 4th Avenue. To obtain the Senior Lifetime Hunting, Fishing and Trapping designation, customers may visit their nearest DMV regional office and apply for the designation to be added to their driver’s license or ID card.  Customers will need to present the bill of sale for the license, or their permanent Class XS license card as proof of licensure, as well as all applicable documentation for a driver’s license or ID card.

Documentation required includes one proof of physical residency for a Not For Federal driver’s license or ID card and two proofs of physical residency for a For Federal card.

No fees will be collected by the DMV for the designation if the applicant is already renewing their license or ID card.

A $5 duplicate fee will be charged for the Not For Federal driver’s license or ID card if the customer is wanting to just add the designation.

A $15 fee will be collected for the For Federal driver’s license or ID card.

Commissioner Reed encourages all applicants to call the DMV Call Center at 1-800-642-9066 or visit the DMV website at www.dmv.wv.gov with any questions before going to a regional office.  “Our focus is customer service, and we want our customers to have a pleasant and efficient visit to the DMV.  Our fully-staffed Call Center and website are both great information resources to ensure that all of the necessary documents are in place before going to the DMV.”

For additional information about the senior lifetime hunting, trapping and fishing license, please call 304.558.2771 and ask for the licensing office.

2015 Hunting and Fishing Show in Charleston

The Gilmer Free Press

The annual West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show is this weekend at the Charleston Civic Center.

The largest outdoor theme gathering in the state is now in its 29th year.

The show features more than 200 exhibitors, including approximately 30 new vendors for 2015.

The exhibitors include product vendors and hunting and fishing outfitters from around the world.

All will be set up in the Civic Center’s Grand Hall from Friday thorough Sunday.

Hours are 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM Saturday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Sunday.

Admission is $8 for adults, children 6-12 $1, and under 6 admitted free.

MANCHIN ANNOUNCES HIRING OF FRANK JEZIORO AS LIAISON TO SPORTSMEN AND NATURAL RESOURCES GROUPS

The Gilmer Free Press

Jezioro will coordinate state and federal wildlife, sportsmen, and conservation groups

“I am thrilled to announce that a truly dedicated West Virginia public servant, Frank Jezioro, has agreed to join our Senate office as the new Liaison to Sportsmen and Natural Resources. Frank’s vision and foresight coupled with his invaluable support and insight, have always served as an asset to help me better serve the people of West Virginia, whether as Governor or as a United States Senator. As the new Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and as a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Frank’s experience will undoubtedly benefit hunters, fishers and outdoorsmen across the Mountain State and this country.

“It was a privilege to appoint Frank as Director of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources when I was Governor, where he played a vital role in preserving significant amounts of public land to expand access for hunting and fishing, along with protecting some of our state’s most beautiful landmarks. His intuition and leadership capabilities also helped launch the annual Governor’s One Shot Deer Hunt at Stonewall Resort State Park, which since 2007, has raised and donated $455,000 to the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program.”

Positive eDNA Results for Asian Carp Found in the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Section has confirmed that environmental DNA (eDNA) from the invasive Asian carp was found in water samples taken from the Ohio River and Kanawha River.

As part of a cooperative project, the fisheries biologists from the Wildlife Resources Section and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) collected water samples in July 2014 from the Ohio River within the New Cumberland Navigational Pool (Hancock County) and Pike Island Navigational Pool (Ohio and Brooke counties), as well as the Little Kanawha River (Wood and Wirt counties) and the Kanawha River (Putnam and Kanawha counties).

These water samples were tested for the presence of eDNA for bighead and silver carp by the USFWS.

Positive results were found for bighead and silver carp DNA from the New Cumberland Navigational Pool, as well as for bighead carp DNA from the Winfield Pool of the Kanawha River.

All samples were found to be negative for both bighead and silver carp DNA collected from the Pike Island Navigational Pool, as well as the Little Kanawha River.

The Gilmer Free Press


Researchers use eDNA analysis as a tool for the early detection of Asian carp.

The presence of eDNA does not provide physical proof of the presence of live or dead Asian carp, but indicates the presence of genetic material in the water body.

This genetic material may be the result of live carp, or transport of only the genetic material via boats, birds or other vectors.

Asian carp are a significant threat to aquatic ecosystems, as well as to angling and boating recreational activities.

Because of the harmful nature of these Asian carp species, the DNR urges anglers and boaters to help in slowing the spread of these invasive species.

Anglers and boaters should thoroughly clean gear and boats before entering new waters.

Anglers should never release live fish into a public water body and always properly discard baitfish after a fishing trip.

Boaters and anglers are asked to contact the DNR if they suspect that they have observed Asian carp in any West Virginia water body.

To learn how to identify Asian carp or more about these invasive species, please consult the DNR website.

All USFWS eDNA results, including the ones from the Ohio and Kanawha rivers, can be found at www.fws.gov/midwest/fisheries/eDNA.html.

West Virginia DNR Prepares for Changeover to Electronic Licensing System Effective January 01, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) announces that December 23 will be the last day in 2014 for processing lifetime licenses or permits.

The last week of December will be used to prepare for conversion of records into the new electronic licensing system which becomes effective January 01, 2015.

After December 23, 2014 applications for lifetime licenses and permits may still be dropped off or mailed to the DNR Headquarters, 324 Fourth Avenue, South Charleston, WV 25303, but they will be held until January for processing in the new system.

Lifetime permits include the Class Y crossbow permit and Class Q permits.

Hunters, trappers and anglers who buy their licenses online at www.wvhunt.com  or at an electronic point-of-sale license agent should not notice any difference when purchasing a license in 2015.

The old-style paper license on which stamps for additional privileges were placed will no longer be available.

Report Hunting and Fishing Law Violations to West Virginia DNR

The Gilmer Free Press

It’s easy to report hunting or fishing law violations in West Virginia, and those reports are helpful in protecting the state’s wildlife.

“Anyone who witnesses or is aware of hunting and fishing law violations can call the closest DNR district office, 911 or provide information on the DNR website,” said Col Jerry Jenkins, chief of the DNR Law Enforcement Section. “We are doing this to ensure a quicker response to the violations reported by the public.”

For non-emergency calls or questions, or to report questionable hunting or fishing activity, telephone calls should be made directly to the closest of six DNR district offices.

For emergencies or to report game law violations in progress, calls should go to local 911 centers or use the DNR website reporting at www.wvdnr.gov/LEnforce/Poachers.shtm which sends information directly to a Natural Resources Police Officer for immediate response.

“Call immediately, any time, day or night, if you see something going on in violation of the state’s wildlife laws,” said Col. Jenkins. “

When calling, please provide the following information, if known, to a West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officer:

•  the nature of the violation;

•  the location of the violation;

•  the name and/or description of the violator;

•  a description of any vehicle and license number or boat involved in the violation;

•  any other important information which will assist in apprehending the violator.


WVDNR Law Enforcement District Offices:

District 1 – Farmington 304.825.6787 (Barbour, Brooke, Hancock, Harrison, Marshall, Marion, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Taylor, Tucker and Wetzel counties)

District 2 – Romney 304.822.3551 (Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton counties)

District 3 – Elkins 304.637.0245 (Braxton, Clay, Lewis, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Randolph, Upshur and Webster counties)

District 4 – Beckley 304.256.6945 (Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties)

District 5 – Nitro 304.759.0703 (Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putnam and Wayne counties)

District 6 – Parkersburg 304.420.4550 (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood counties)

Global Warming Blamed for Trout Decline

Worried about losses to wildlife, hunting and fishing groups are backing limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

Ten outdoor organizations and businesses have released a letter supporting climate change rules by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The groups, led by the National Wildlife Federation and Trout Unlimited, cite damage already happening to moose and migratory bird hunting – and a frightening decline in Appalachia’s native cold-water brook trout.

“We’re in the field constantly evaluating habitat conditions,” says John Gale, national sportsmen campaigns manager for the National Wildlife Federation. “As Mother Nature’s bodyguards I think we feel really duty bound to raise the alarm when threats like climate change put our hunting and angling heritage at risk.“

The Gilmer Free Press
Worried about losses to wildlife, including brook trout now gone from a third of their
former homes in Appalachia’s cold-water streams, outdoor groups are
backing EPA limits on greenhouse gasses.


Gale says like many, hunting is a family tradition for him.

“I know that one day, when she’s all grown up, I’m going to have to look my sweet little 5-year-old daughter in the eyes and tell her I took a stand when it mattered the most,“ he says.

The EPA is taking comments on a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants 20% by 2020.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, the outdoor industry is worth $90 billion a year nationally. The group says fishing is big part of that.

Rick Weiss, president of Roanoke Valley Trout Unlimited, says the fishing is threatened by a sharp decline in native brook trout.

He says global warming is driving the brookies out of their cold-water mountain streams.

“In the lower levels of the Appalachian Mountains, 97% of the wild trout population is going to be gone,” he stresses. “It’s going to die – due to the current predictions of the effect of climate change on the freshwater fish.“

Critics say the power plant limits will be bad for the economy. But the Wildlife Federation says such criticisms have typically been exaggerated.

Jay Chancellor, the NWF’s Virginia sportsmen outreach consultant, points out that the U.S. economy grew 200% between 1970 and 2006 – despite new clean air rules that came with the creation of the EPA.

“Since 1970, every dollar invested in compliance with the Clean Air Act has actually yielded four to eight dollars in economic benefit,“ he says.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

 

FINAL LICENSE PLATE IN WEST VIRGINIA WILDLIFE DESIGN SERIES UNVEILED

Governor encourages West Virginians to support state’s wildlife

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today unveiled the third and final license plate in a three-part series, celebrating West Virginia’s native wildlife. Through a collaborative effort between the Division of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), West Virginia is now offering the new license plate as an alternative standard issuance plate option to West Virginia passenger vehicle owners. The license plate features the image of a black bear and her cub looking over Dolly Sods in Tucker County.

  “Today’s celebration marks yet another exciting opportunity to recognize some of the beautiful sights West Virginia is known for,“ Gov. Tomblin said. “Our state is home to much more than beautiful scenery, it’s also home to abundant wildlife whose natural habitats are found within our forests, rivers and streams. I appreciate this partnership between DMV and DNR and their continued effort to showcase all of the beauty West Virginia has to offer. I look forward to seeing these plates on our roads.“

The Gilmer Free Press


The black bear license plate is the third in a three-part series featuring wildlife native to West Virginia. Each year, this series of license plates provides more than $300,000 to DNR, and supports a variety of wildlife education outreach programs. Over the past 20 years, funds have been used to develop educational wildlife trunks for schools, publish numerous books and brochures, identify rare plants and plant communities, develop wildlife viewing areas, fund grants to schools for projects benefiting wildlife, and inventory and monitor nongame wildlife species.

A $15 annual fee added to the cost of a license plate will be issued by the DNR Wildlife Diversity and Natural Heritage programs, responsible for threatened or endangered species, as well as nongame wildlife and their habitats. Images for the three plate series were developed from paintings by the late DNR wildlife biologist Tom Allen.

Customers may exchange their current license plate at any DMV regional office or by mail at the time of renewal. They can also exchange their plate at any other time for a pro-rated registration fee. For more information on West Virginia license plates, call 1.800.642.9066 or Click H E R E.

Stonewall Jackson Lake Fishing Tournament Selection Meeting October 27, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section will host the drawing for 2015 fishing tournament dates for Stonewall Jackson Lake on Monday, October 27, 2014, at 6:00 PM.

The drawing will take place at the Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park Administration Building.     

Persons interested in holding tournaments consisting of 10 or more boats must attend the drawing for the random selection of 2015 tournament dates.

Tournaments with 10 or fewer boats will be permitted through an online system available January 06, 2015.

Two special event tournaments may be issued in 2015.

Special event tournaments will be available during the months of March, April, June, September and October.

Information about the special event requirements at Stonewall Jackson Lake is available on the Division of Natural Resources website, www.wvdnr.gov.

Applications must be submitted by December 01, 2014.

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