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Time to think seriously about 2008 conservation grants


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Don't look now, but 2007 will soon be in the history books. We've had a banner year in terms of projects and accomplishments. We should feel proud of the things we've accomplished and help support.

 

The inaugural year of the ISA granting program has been a great success. The Clear Creek bank restoration and lunker structure installation has gone quite well. The Indian Creek bank stabilization went smoothly and the INHS and SIU research projects in turbidity and heat are proceeding.

 

Before we know it, the Bronzeback Blowout will be upon us and it will be time to consider funding for 2008. Considerable preparation will be needed for that process to work well. One step in that process is that the officers of the ISA need quality feedback about the kinds of things the membership wants to fund.

 

Options abound.

 

The USGS real-time stream gauging program has fallen on hard times. They're looking for funds to keep current sites running. We might be able to help them do that, or expand current monitoring by adding stream temperature gaugues to selected sites. There are researchers working in sediment effects, genetics, stream restoration, nutrient abatement...all projects that would benefit smallmouth fisheries and worthy of funding. The ISA stream monitoring and angler diary proposal needs funding. Bank restoration projects are out there and worthy of consideration...

 

Now is the time to start thinking seriously about 2008. What kinds of conservation projects do we want to see happen during the year?

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The USGS real-time stream gauging program has fallen on hard times. They're looking for funds to keep current sites running. We might be able to help them do that, or expand current monitoring by adding stream temperature gaugues to selected sites.

 

Would this have a conservation benefit? In any event, I would like to keep them running, and adding temperature would be great.

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The USGS real-time stream gauging program has fallen on hard times. They're looking for funds to keep current sites running. We might be able to help them do that, or expand current monitoring by adding stream temperature gaugues to selected sites.What kinds of conservation projects do we want to see happen during the year?

 

Like Steve, I think helping the gauging program and adding the temperature monitoring deserve top consideration for projects outside ISA. We would get a triple bang for the $. First, continuous monitoring is one way to insure that alarms sound when conditions deteriorate. Second, since some of this data is available via the web, as a fisherman, I have a chance to preview conditions on the river before I leave home. Third, in the ongoing discussion on global warming, we need all the hard data we can get. The USGS data would provide some of that.

 

Certainly set cash aside for ISA projects like bank restoration and planting vegitation. Since caring for family members has taken a lot of my spare time lately, I have not been able to get to those events. But I like to see those things happening looking forward to when I can go. I know that those who participate enjoy seeing the tangible results too.

 

Though I have nothing specific in mind, a third category is what I call general good works. Programs for disabled, for veterans, for kids, for food pantries, and for many other things all fall in there. Though these are not conservation activities in the strict sense, they are conserving people. We should be able to spare something for them too.

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Guest One More Cast

 

 

 

 

 

Though I have nothing specific in mind, a third category is what I call general good works. Programs for disabled, for veterans, for kids, for food pantries, and for many other things all fall in there. Though these are not conservation activities in the strict sense, they are conserving people.

 

If you are proposing a program(s) for Vets and/or kids and it has a fishing component....I'm in. This would fit the Mission Statement.

 

If you are proposing a donation of ISA monies to food pantries, I would be opposed as it does not fit the Mission Statement. A noble cause yes but not with monies raised under the ISA banner of Conservation.

 

 

 

Joseph

 

 

 

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Taking a kid or veteran fishing doesn't require donating money.

You ask them if they want to go fishing, put a rod in their hands and go.

 

We did this for over 1,000 kids in 2007.

 

We sometimes get so wrapped up in the details that we miss the simplest things.

 

Life is short.

Don't blink, or it will pass you by.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4ySSg4QG8g

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Guest rich mc

i would like to see more small projects done on our most used rivers. as we will see at the blowout, the rehabbing of the west branch. pile of rocks at a creek mouth.rocks around some islands that are washing away. this would all be with proper permission and guidance. when we did log jam removals we always ended up with several new members. i expect more grants to be applied for as more people have heard of our projects this year. rich

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Tim, what is being done regarding nutrient abatement? Studies & measurements - any possibility of volunteer involvement as in stream monitoring? Willow planting will only be reqired on the middle fox for a couple of years when the prime habitat with public access will have been done. In this urban habitat we need to pay attention to this underlying problem or this springs Dupage fish kill will become a frequent event. John

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Tim, what is being done regarding nutrient abatement? Studies & measurements - any possibility of volunteer involvement as in stream monitoring? Willow planting will only be reqired on the middle fox for a couple of years when the prime habitat with public access will have been done. In this urban habitat we need to pay attention to this underlying problem or this springs Dupage fish kill will become a frequent event. John

 

Sounds like you're ready to apply for a grant John ;) I'll help monitor as long as there is fishing involved :unsure:

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Tim, what is being done regarding nutrient abatement?

 

The IEPA is currently in the process of giving the state a "pass" for nutrient abatement. Unless we can get levels down to 0.075 or below (and in many places that's going to be very, very difficult), nutrient abatement is going to be a herculean process in Illinois. There's an unimaginable amount of work left to be done in that arena. In the meantime, documenting the problems associated with dissolved oxygen and algae will be useful.

 

Studies & measurements - any possibility of volunteer involvement as in stream monitoring?

 

Yes. We have a proposal out that's still in the running last I knew. We're geared up and ready to begin this one once we have some solid news.

 

Willow planting will only be reqired on the middle fox for a couple of years when the prime habitat with public access will have been done. In this urban habitat we need to pay attention to this underlying problem or this springs Dupage fish kill will become a frequent event. John

 

The old plantings have probably matured to the point that we can transplant water willow from existing beds on the Fox. I agree keeping a careful eye on the Dupage would be wise.

 

 

I'll help monitor as long as there is fishing involved

 

That's exactly the idea, Don.

 

Like Steve, I think helping the gauging program and adding the temperature monitoring deserve top consideration for projects outside ISA. We would get a triple bang for the $. First, continuous monitoring is one way to insure that alarms sound when conditions deteriorate. Second, since some of this data is available via the web, as a fisherman, I have a chance to preview conditions on the river before I leave home. Third, in the ongoing discussion on global warming, we need all the hard data we can get. The USGS data would provide some of that.

 

I think Mike G captures the stream gauge potential here nicely.

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The Exec board has talked a lot about the mission statement lately.

 

"Dedicated to Helping Improve Illinois Smallmouth Fishing Through Conservation and Education."

 

Over the years we've been approached by charities or members who have a cause.

 

I am not making any judgment in regard to what a worthy cause is or which may be worthier than the next.

 

I am going to strongly state that if you stray from the mission statement above and if we decide to entertain donations that go outside the boundaries of the above mission statement, you will open a door that will be impossible to close, is a no win situation and it is absolutely an area we have no business getting into.

 

Whether it’s a food pantry, a bike for the cure, a homeless shelter donation, or any of the hundreds and hundreds of worthwhile charities we could donate to, they have nothing to do with our mission statement.

 

I have two friends involved in animal shelters in two different towns. Every year they send information requesting donations to help their shelters. I understand that the money they raise goes to their cause which is the animals and it's NOT funneled to a cancer walk, food pantry or another charity. Their cause is the animals. Our cause is smallmouth conservation. We ARE the not for profit charity. I would assume the food pantry doesn’t give the money someone donates to another charity do they? Their cause is what they raise for. Our cause is what we raise for.

 

The fundraising letter that went out asked for donations to help smallmouth conservation in our state. Using funds for anther cause is disingenuous at best and at worst almost fraudulent. I would be angry if I was donating to a not for profit animal shelter that turns around and gives that money to another cause.

 

If a member wants money to go to another charity, they certainly can support that charity on their own, not through a totally different organization.

 

I am emphatically against straying from our mission statement.

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Jim is right.

We are a fishing organization, club...whatever you want to call it....that happens to take conservation very, very seriously.

That is what we are about, because we "get it".

We understand that our sport and our natural environment are not going to take care of themselves. They need help.

We are fortunate in that we have members that are willing to go that extra mile to provide for the future.

It is one thing to practice what we preach.

Empowering others to make significant strides towards the same goals as ours is what puts the ISA in a very special class.

 

We understand we can't do it all by ourselves, and accept this fact.

It is also important to remember that enjoying the fruits of our labor should always take the majority of our time or the work quickly turns to burn-out and we're back at square one.

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If you are proposing a program(s) for Vets and/or kids and it has a fishing component....I'm in. This would fit the Mission Statement.

 

If you are proposing a donation of ISA monies to food pantries, I would be opposed as it does not fit the Mission Statement. A noble cause yes but not with monies raised under the ISA banner of Conservation.

 

Joseph

 

Joseph,

 

Then we are both in. ISA activities should have a fishing component.

 

In my initial statement I was basically "fishing" or "stirring the pot" for responses because I did not want to limit my comments to the first two points I recommended at the expense other possible activities. Indeed, ISA cannot do everything much less stock food pantries. So it should stick with what it does best and with what it can do best for people and the environment. That would be fishing related activities.

 

Still, I am in a slight bind in regards to the food issue because, especially at this time of the year, I see hunting organizations showcase the programs that share their bag with the needy. Though west coast fishermen and even Great Lakes fishermen can likewise share their catch of salmon, I personally do not care to deliver legal Smallmouth fillets to the local pantry. I would rather C&R. That is my problem, I suppose. Perhaps I will pledge X$ to the local pantry for each inch of Smallmouth Bass (C&R) that the Smallmouth gods send me. Now all of this is outside the ISA mission statement and beyond the banner of conservation. I will pursue this thought on my own.

 

On the other hand my first two points cover my feelings on 2008 conservation activity. The third should be taken as an invitation to discussion of other options.

 

 

 

 

 

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I also agree with your first two.

 

How many times have we all gone to those gauges for information to help us?

 

Sometimes before making a long trip out.

 

Jim,

 

The Meatloaf hit said "Two out of three aint bad."

 

Let's shake on that.

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Tim I was going to PM this to you. Your inbox is full.

 

The old plantings have probably matured to the point that we can transplant water willow from existing beds on the Fox.

 

In the early days of the plantings people have tried this. It's not practical. It can be done in kiddie pools on a very small scale. Very small. Too much water, space and time involved.

 

 

 

 

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What are the logistics about funding the gauges? Is it a matching fund issue or something else?

 

The reason I ask is because I'm pretty sure there was a funding issue a few years ago... That was solved by groups lobbying congress for full funding. Does that ring a bell?

 

I would hate to pay for something that really should be funded at a national level. I know that USGS has faced a lot of budget cuts, I'd rather see them funded than picking up the piecemeal funding of gauges.

 

Anyway, sounds interesting.

 

-jamie s

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Thanks, Jamie.

 

I'm trying to get the full story from the Urbana USGS office, Jamie. What I have so far is that funding for the St. Joseph gauge is threatened. That site has several different parameters loaded there including precipitation, turbidty, air temp as well as gauge height and discharge (water temp is gone now, but was there last year). The director in Champaign confirms that they're still looking for funding and he indicates that their funding for the northern gauges is secure.

 

Perhaps it would be possible to add water temperature probes to sites like the Kank, Apple, Mac, DuPage, Fox etc. If that data were of use to someone (anyone doing any ecological work on those rivers should benefit) it would be nice to have the side-benefit for the angling community. I'm still trying to find out if our grants are substantial enough to be helpful and why this particular gauge is in trouble (maybe because it has so many other parameters on it?). I was once told those gauges cost many thousands of dollars per year to operate, so I don't know how much is possible.

 

I don't want to appear to be lobbying for a particular project, but I do want to be sure this one at least elicits comments. It's a type of project we haven't considered before now so we're gathering comments and information at this point.

 

 

 

 

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I really like the water temp idea. I use the gauges constantly and have always wished for water temps. I can't imagine it would be too big of a deal to add temps, as the stations are already in place. On the other hand, if adding temps is no big deal, why don't all the stations have it? I guess we'll have to wait and see what you come up with, Tim.

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There is a problem with funding part of the cost of gauges. It is an annual repeated burden which I would argue against our grant program paying for. This type of cost has a limited benefit & would tie up funding in the future restricting the clubs ability to choose to have impact on changing conditions. Eqipment on a one time basis would be entirely different & deserves a look.

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There is a problem with funding part of the cost of gauges. It is an annual repeated burden which I would argue against our grant program paying for. This type of cost has a limited benefit & would tie up funding in the future restricting the clubs ability to choose to have impact on changing conditions. Eqipment on a one time basis would be entirely different & deserves a look.

 

Just to clarify, John, you're saying here that paying for gauges on an ongoing basis would be beyond our means, but a one-time deal to augement the current data (i.e. with temperature probes) would have long term benefits that you would support. Yes?

 

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