Fishing in waters of Apostle Islands and Pictured Rocks national lakeshores is going to be a bit more difficult this year, as emergency restrictions are being implemented in an effort to prevent the spread of a deadly fish virus.
The National Park Service and the Grand Portage Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa have agreed to work together on efforts to protect park and tribal fishery resources in Lake Superior from a deadly fish disease known as viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS.
Loons, mergansers, cormorants and other waterfowl are dying by the thousands in the Great Lakes due to an invasion of non-native species that are threatening to turn the lakes' ecosystem upside down. At Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore even piping plovers, a threatened species, are dying.
A trio of conservation groups is asking the National Park Service to reinstate bans against personal watercraft in Gulf Islands and Cape Lookout national seashores as well as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If the agency balks, the groups say they'll take it to court over the matter.
There are parks across the national park system that have decidedly watery settings: Voyagers National Park, Isle Royale National Park, Channel Islands National Park, Acadia National Park, Biscayne National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park, just to name some of the most obvious. And then there are the national lakeshores.
President Bush isn't going to like this. The House of Representatives has adopted an Interior Appropriations Bill that contains more money than he proposed for the agency. But would the president veto funding that would help clean up sewage in the Great Lakes and work to stop the spread of invasive, non-native species in the lakes?
As times grow increasingly tougher, financially, for the National Park Service, individual parks can find a bit of a lifeline in non-profit friends groups. The latest non-profit to surface is the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation.