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Outdoor Notes : 100-Pound King Salmon? A Great (Lakes) Possibility

A salmon experiment under way at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee could result in Great Lakes king salmon reaching weights of 100 pounds and more, according to a biologist.

The study involves sterilization of large numbers of the Great Lakes’ king salmon.

“When chinook (king) salmon sexually mature they come back to shore to spawn,” said Fred P. Bionkowski of Wisconsin Milwaukee Center for Great Lakes Studies. “Treated (sterilized) fish will stay out and live an additional two or three years, growing to as much as 100 pounds. It’s entirely within the realm of possibility that 10 years from now some chinook in Lake Michigan could weigh up to 100 pounds.”

Over 130,000 sterilized salmon fry will be released into Lake Michigan this year.

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The Fish and Game Commission has postponed a final decision on whether or not to challenge a proposed federal ban on lead shot northern California next season.

Previously, the commission made a tentative decision to reject the federal orders at its April 25 meeting, but after seeing more details of the federal proposal, the commissioners voted not to finalize its decision until its June 27 meeting in Sacramento.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have said the secretary of the Interior will close duck and goose hunting seasons in large blocks of northeast California and four Sacramento Valley waterfowl refuges if the commission invokes what amounts to a state veto of the steel shot order.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, forced by court order to ban lead shot at Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge last year, has proposed greatly expanded areas of so-called non-toxic shot for the 1986-87 season. The service is being sued by the National Wildlife Federation, which is seeking a nationwide lead shot ban.

Many waterfowl biologists believe spent lead shot causes lead poisoning or plumbism in waterfowl. Officially, the California Department of Fish and Game contends there is little biological data to support a lead ban.

Briefly The Southern California Safari Club’s annual awards banquet is scheduled for June 20 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. . . . Ten clubs have entered Balboa Angling Club’s Master Angler Billfish Tournament, Sept. 12-13. . . . Western states wildlife agencies are making their annual appeal for wilderness visitors not to pick up fawns or other infant wildlife. Biologists say infant animals that appear to have been abandoned most often haven’t been. . . . Nevada deer hunting tag numbers have been raised, due to an estimated 17% jump in the state’s deer population.


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