Monday, April 21, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an enhanced version of "How's My Waterway," an app and website to help people find information on the condition of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams across the United States from their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer.

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for the two remaining people in the water near South Bass Island in Lake Erie, Thursday, pending any new developments: two bodies were recovered and a boat was found five miles northeast of Locust Point, Ohio, Thursday morning.

A Princess Anne man was charged Thursday, April 17, with selling oysters without a license after an investigation by Maryland and Virginia natural resources police officers.
A Lanham man pleaded guilty Friday, April 18, in Annapolis District Court to charges he caught 228 undersized striped bass during a fishing trip last summer.

Oyster aquaculture in the Potomac River estuary could result in significant improvements to water quality, according to a new NOAA and U.S. Geological Survey study published in the journal Aquatic Geochemistry.
A new locally developed system for balancing the water needs of farms with the safety of protected steelhead is helping keep temperatures in north-central Oregon's Fifteenmile Creek cool enough for fish - and will do so even in the heat of the summer.

Columbia Park Pond will close to all fishing except those youths registered for the "Special Needs Fishing Events" on Friday, May 9, or the "Kids' Fishing Day" event on Saturday, May 10.
Shawn Roche, a kayak instructor for the Mountain Road Trading Post in Raymond, N.H., will demystify kayak fishing at a free outdoor adventure talk at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H.

Great opportunities for Walleye, Yellow Perch, Steelhead and White Bass reports the Ohio DNR.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council met in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, April 7 - 10, 2014, to discuss a number of fishery issues, including several related to the management of red snapper.
Florida and Louisiana have joined Texas in refusing to accept unneeded restrictions on Gulf of Mexico red snapper fisheries.

The Department of Natural Resources has approved the first projects under the new Aquatic Habitat Grant Program, with eight projects approved.

Flambeau Outdoors & trade; is pleased to announce Alliance Sports Group, LLC will be handling its sales representation for the Southeast portion of the United States.
Arctic Ice, manufacturer of high performance thermally regulating cooler panels is proud to partner with Bowie Outfitters to bring their innovative product offerings to outdoorsmen online and in the Baton Rouge, LA area.

The Berkley Experience trailer is poised to set up in Sioux Falls, S.D. at Scheels All Sports April 25 - 27.

Rivers Edge Resort proprietor Botch Leonhardt reports high water on the Wisconsin River is making boating difficult, but anglers are still getting some big walleyes from shore.

Two sections of the Snake River below Little Goose Dam and Clarkston will open to fishing for spring chinook salmon Thursday April 24.
The deadline to nominate inductees to the Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation's Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame is Friday, April 25.
Fishing opportunities for hatchery spring Chinooks on two sections of the Yakima are available in May and June
The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Coconino National Forest, has completed the first phase of a boating access improvement project, and vehicular access to the lake on Forest Road 751 is once again available.
Beginning the week of April 20, channel catfish stockings will begin at the "non-core" Community Fishing Program lakes, which for the first time will include Yuma's Fortuna Lake, Redondo Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond and Somerton's Council Avenue Pond.
As part of the town's proposal, new catch-and-kieep fishing opportunities are being proposed for Freestone and Crossroads parks, in addition to the newly added CFP ponds at McQueen and Discovery parks.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has recently installed a temporary control structure below Rat and Beaver lakes located in Cherry County, which will allow the lakes to be lowered 18 inches over several months in preparation for a complete lake rehabilitation project.

There are still a few spots open for the April 25-27 Becoming and Outdoors-Woman Workshop at Friendly Pines Camp in Prescott.

Found him! How Missouri DNR Mission Ready wardens helped find a missing teen

Published in Wardens in Action

By Joanne M. Haas/Bureau of Law Enforcement

Warden Supervisor Joe Jerich
The first thing Warden Supervisor Joe Jerich did when he found the shivering, wet missing 17-year-old canoeist in a remote area of Ozaukee County was think of what the teen's worried mother needed.

"I handed him my phone and told him to call his mom," Jerich said.

That was about 7:45 a.m. Thursday -- about eight hours after a DNR Mission Ready conservation warden team responded to midnight calls to help a multi-agency effort find the boy who flipped his canoe in the swift waters of the Milwaukee River.

The calls roused Jerich from his West Bend home, and Wardens Ryan Propson in Appleton and Sean Neverman in Sheboygan County. Within minutes, Propson, Jerich, Neverman and DNR Pilot Michael Callahan were on their separate ways to join other local law enforcement agencies and fire departments in their search to find the missing boy.

Warden Sean Neverman
They're called Mission Ready warden teams - trained to answer calls for help at any hour and to stay with the mission until completed. The DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement has several of these specially trained teams ready to handle emergencies. In this week's missing person case, the Tactical Flight Officer Team answered the call for assistance from the Grafton Fire Department in eastern Wisconsin.

Propson wasted no time in leaving his home and headed for Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, where the DNR has a plane equipped with a heat-imaging camera known as FLIR. Wardens and pilots have completed hours of training in how to use this camera from the skies to help find missing persons. He was joined by expert pilot Callahan, there to take command of the plane and get the duo in the air and to Ozaukee County -- fast!

Jerich and Neverman also were in high gear, traveling from their homes in their warden trucks to the search command post in Ozaukee County.

The Mission Ready warden team added the DNR airplane, a warden boat and two trucks to the multi-agency search team involving the Ozaukee County Sheriff, Port Washington Fire Department, Grafton Fire Department and Mequon Fire Department. The mission? Find the kid.

By the time the wardens were on site, five hours had passed since his mother last heard from her son. That was 8 p.m. Wednesday, just as his cell phone battery was dying and after he had flipped the canoe. And to add to the urgency, the temperatures were on their way down below freezing.

Warden Ryan Propson
"As soon as we got on site in Ozaukee County, we got more details about the GPS location of that last ping from the missing person's cell phone," Propson said. "That gave a start."

Propson put his hours of training to work and manned the FLIR as pilot Callahan maneuvered the search flight route through the night sky. Jerich joined Neverman, who brought his flat-bottom boat, on land patrols while keeping in constant contact with other search teams and the DNR air team.

Jerich and Neverman drove toward the Milwaukee River with the thought an on-water search was in order. "But, it was very, very swift water," Jerich said. "We had concerns swift water at night was not a safe situation."

So, instead of potentially causing yet another flipped boat emergency for even more emergency workers to handle, Jerich and Neverman stayed on land and separated. Neverman took off to search all the area's water access points in case the boy made it to shore elsewhere, and Jerich joined the ground search, staying in contact with the DNR air team above using the FLIR to detect any and all heat sources below. A human body is a heat source.

The wardens kept the land searches going until Propson and Callahan had to call it off around 3:45 a.m. Thursday.

"The camera was picking up images. But, you didn't know immediately why it was showing hot. It could be an outdoor stove or a deer," Propson said. "You had to differentiate what you were looking at. And that determined if we then directed the ground search teams to that spot."

Propson said the mother of the missing person also knew he had not crossed a specific local bridge, which gave the air and land teams another landmark to plot search patterns. Then, the weather interfered with the FLIR.

"It started to snow and I couldn't see any more," Propson said. "So we made the decision to return to Oshkosh and come back at 6:05 Thursday morning and look with just with our eyeballs."

Two hours later, Jerich was back on the scene to handle foot and land searches guided by directions from the DNR flight crew overhead, flying this morning in a different plane with a different strategy. Fly lower.

"The plane we had in the morning had more windows which made it easier for us to really look -- and to continue to look," Propson said. "We had to fly in very tight circles."

Callahan said within 10 minutes of starting the search, Propson spotted an aluminum canoe aground on the west bank of the river. The canoe was located in a difficult to access stretch of the river. But, it did look like it fit the description of the missing canoe.

Propson and Callahan then directed Jerich how to drive to get to the general area, and then helped guide him on foot to the canoe through what was a difficult terrain -- a flooded, mixed-forest area.

"The plane crew directed me as close as I could get with the four-wheel drive truck and said the canoe is so many hundred yards in on foot," Jerich said.

Warden Propson texted success.

Warden Ryan Propson texted success.
But Jerich never made it to the canoe.

"In short order, I came upon the boy who was in his green tent," Jerich said.

The teen had pitched his tent under a stand of very thick pine/juniper trees -- a fact that gave Propson an aha moment. ""That explained why we couldn't see it from the sky or with the camera," Propson said. "The FLIR does not pick up heat through dense things like tree canopies. The tent will trap the heat inside but hold it under the pine trees."

Propson was able to detect search personnel, animals and vehicles with the FLIR so the team knew the camera system had functioned properly.

Back on land, Jerich said he was face-to-face with one very cold kid.

"He had no dry clothes to change into after he had gone into the water," Jerich said. "He spent the night in this tent -- and it was cold."

How cold? The Weather Channel at shows the overnight low hit 23 degrees at 1:05 a.m. in Grafton and Cedarburg. And the missing teen did not have dry clothes to change into after going into the water.

Still, Jerich said teen appeared to be OK. So Jerich gave him the phone and gentle directive to call his mother -- now.

At that point, Jerich radioed his success to the air team of Propson and Callahan, who then directed the land emergency medical teams to the tent site to handle transporting the boy to a local medical facility for evaluation. Neverman, who was on his way to join the search, got the call to turn around because of the happy ending.

Jerich said while it is not a good idea to canoe in a river with such dangerous flooding conditions, the teen did make a good decision. "He stayed in his tent and waited for help."

Up in the skies, it was a feeling of a job well-done and kudos to DNR Pilot Callahan for maneuvering a successful low pattern for Propson to spot the canoe and to guide Jerich to the boy.

"That was awesome to find him and know he was safe," Propson said. "It was great."

Jerich says this was multi-agency teamwork and cooperation at its finest, filled with many ready to help and to serve the public at split-second notice. The only thing that made it even better was finding the young man safe and OK in his tent. He was mighty cold, but he was safe.

And he got to call his mom.

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Outdoors Calendar

» Got an event you'd like to see posted here? Send it to

Apr. 1 - Nov. 30: New Jersey inshore saltwater fishing tournament. Eight species, over 50 weigh stations, prizes for the largest catches. Proceeds to the Fisheries Conservation Trust. $20 entry; or 609.423.4002.

Apr. 12 - Mar. 31: 2nd Annual Lund Boats LCI Champlain Basin Derby,
50 weeks, 15 species, $25,000!

Apr. 20 - Apr. 21: 21st annual East Idaho Fly Tying and Fishing Expo, Shilo Inn, Idaho Falls, ID;

Apr. 24 - Apr. 28: Bassmaster Open, Red River, Shreveport, LA;

Apr. 25 - Apr. 26: National Walleye Tour at Detroit River - Trenton, Mich.;

Apr. 26: 11th Annual World Record Achievement Awards at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum , Dania Beach, FL;

Apr. 26 - Apr. 27: Mud Hole Custom Tackle's Rod Building 101 Class, Houston, Texas, or call (866) 790-7637 ext. 112.

Apr. 26 - Apr. 27: IFA Redfish and Kayak Tours at Titusville, Fla.;

Apr. 26 - Apr. 27: Muzzy Bowfishing Classic at Lake Guntersville, AL;

Apr. 27: Brian Kerchal Memorial Tournament and fund-raiser for Connecticut Youth at Candlewood Lake - Danbury Town Park ramp, Danbury, CT; 203-768-7212.

May 10 - May 11: Mud Hole Custom Tackle's Rod Building 101 Class, Boston, Mass., or call (866) 790-7637 ext. 112.

June 6 - June 7: Ed Alber Tarpon Rodeo on Tampa Bay, fund-raiser for Tampa Baywatch;

June 7 - June 8: Mud Hole Custom Tackle's Rod Building 101 Class, Orlando, Fla., or call (866) 790-7637 ext. 112.

June 14 - June 16: 33rd LCI Father's Day Derby presented by Yamaha.



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