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Columnist
Fishing industry feeling impact of oil spill
By Mike Jackson | Daily Herald Outdoors Writer
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Published: 5/19/2010 11:46 PM

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With oil beginning to come ashore along Louisiana's coast, it appears the Deepwater Horizon's impact is beginning to make itself felt along the fragile wetlands.

Today more than 19 percent of the Gulf of Mexico is closed to fishing as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) takes what it calls "a proactive stance" to make certain the nation's seafood is safe.

The latest action closes more than 45,700 square miles to fishing. NOAA officials say they are implementing seafood sampling inside and outside the closed areas, as well as at docks and markets.

Restaurants and seafood wholesalers in Louisiana and Florida filed a class-action lawsuit against BP in federal court this week. Attorneys say their clients are covered by the Oil Pollution Act and are asking the court to clear the way for claims against Deepwater Horizon owner British Petroleum.

Meanwhile, as the leak continues, BP officials say they are considering several methods of shutting down the well, including a "dynamic kill" by inserting fluids and drilling "mud" into the well bore.

Local fishing report: The entire Fox Chain system, including the lake, as well as the upper and lower river is under a No-Wake order. Recent heavy rainfall has caused this problem. Boaters and anglers can still use the waterway but without creating dangerous wave conditions.

In the meantime, local angling has greatly improved.

Fox Chain: If you can get into an area where there's some current, you may strike gold with walleyes. Good catches reported on live bait and spinner rigs on Petite lake as well as Lake Marie and Channel Lake. The muskie action on Lake Catherine has improved with some fish hiding ion inside weed edges.

Lake Michigan: With the better weather now upon us, perch activity should be even better. Good catches at Montrose and 95th street. Coho action out of Waukegan holding its own with some catches running as shallow as 20-feet down.

Lake Geneva-Lake Delavan: Guide Spence Petros (815-455-7770) reports excellent largemouth action on Delavan. The same report holds true for Geneva Lake.

• Mike Jackson can be reached via e-mail at angler88@att.net. His radio program airs 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC AM-1240.