Tuesday, May 26, 2015

 
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ENVIRONMENT
The Coast Guard continues to respond to a report of a platform fire near Breton Island. The maximum potential release has been reduced from 4,000 barrels to 130 barrels by Saturday.

FISHERIES
The assessment will evaluate the health of the black sea bass population (north of Cape Hatteras) and inform the management of the species.

FUND RAISERS
Carp duo brothers Austin and Brendan Pass from Michigan are going to join outdoor TV Host Larysa Switlyk to represent Team USA in the World Carp Classic Junior Event.

GEAR
An affordable solution for controlling boat speed so you can stay on fish is Bass Pro Shops Extreme Drift Anchor.

INDUSTRY
Northland Fishing Tackle has tapped industry veteran Chip Leer to serve as product manager and lead the charge in continuing the company's 40-year tradition of creating fish-catching products.
AFW (American Fishing Wire) and Filkemp S.A. announced the worldwide re-launch and distribution of the original Triple Fish® brand of monofilament, fluorocarbon lines and leaders starting June 1st, 2015.

MARINE MAMMALS
The voluntary Whale SENSE program in the Northeast and Alaska delivers great whale watching experiences while keeping whales safe.

NEW PRODUCTS
Portable power is both convenient and necessary when in remote settings or in the great outdoors when traditional power outlets are not an option.

PADDLESPORTS
Despite recent reports of low snow totals and water concerns across the western United States, whitewater boaters will find stellar conditions on the Arkansas River this spring and summer.

PODCASTS
Bass Edge Radio, presented by MegaWare KeelGuard talks Major League Fishing and post spawn bass tactics with BASS Elite Angler Marty Robinson in the latest episode of their top-rated podcast.

PROMOTIONS
The Berkley Trailer is scheduled in Sioux Falls, S.D., at Scheels All Sports May 28-30. The trailer will be on hand to entertain and offer great deals to consumers.

RECORDS
John Overstreet of Fayette became the most recent record-breaking fisherman in Missouri when he shot a giant 54-pound bigmouth buffalo on Pomme de Terre Lake using a bow and arrow.

STATES
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has partnered with the Surry County Parks and Recreation Department and the Yadkin County Parks and Recreation Department to provide anglers with two new public fishing access areas on the Yadkin River.
In cooperation with Pearl River Valley Water Supply District and local bass anglers, some 80,000 largemouths were transported and released into vegetated backwater areas to improve survival rates.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced a proposal to change crappie regulations on Arkabutla, Enid, Sardis, and Grenada Lakes, also known as the Flood Control Reservoirs (FCRs), and Eagle Lake.
ASA and Southwick Associates say some $173 million in revenues might dry up as a result of lost sales and anglers leaving the sport due to much higher prices for tackle as a result of a ban on lead sinkers and lead-weighted lures.
Cutts are migrating out of the reservoir to spawn at this time, and the DWR will host a free cutthroat trout viewing event at their fish trap on the Strawberry River on May 30.

TOURNAMENTS
Mathew Clement caught a STAR redfish in Sarasota Bay, but didn't win a new GMC Sierra Pickup as a result because he had not entered the giant 105-day tournament.

WASHINGTON
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio recently reintroduced the " Florida Fisheries Improvement Act," a bill to improve fisheries management in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic regions.

WORKSHOPS
Space remains for a one-day fly-fishing workshop for women only at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center on June 13, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Women In The Outdoors (WITO) is a women-only program sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation. Expert instructors will teach outdoor skills related to hunting, camping, cooking, fishing and anything outdoors.

YOUTH EVENTS
Children who have completed grades K-3 participate in full-day week-long programs that include science explorations, Aquarium tours, arts and crafts, a live animal encounter, splash time at Explore A Shore and an offsite field trip.
In celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Turcotte Education Center beginning at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, June 6
Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Cypress Point Recreation area on the Lower Lake of Sardis beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, June 6.

NOAA Model Predicts Fish Population Response to Dams, Other Ecological Factors

Researchers have developed a model to assess how dams affect the viability of sea-run fish species that need to pass dams as they use both fresh and marine waters during their lifetimes. NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) have partnered on this project to test how varying passage efficiency at dams related to survival rates for these species.

Using a model of endangered Atlantic salmon in Maine's Penobscot River as a case study, NOAA researchers found that abundance, distribution and number of fish increased upstream when dams in the primary downstream segments of the river, also called "mainstem dams," were removed or fish passage survival was increased. The findings were recently published online in the ICES Journal of Marine Science.

Models like this one, which analyze population viability based on a variety of biological, environmental, and functional factors, can be used to predict ecological responses of fish populations. They can also provide a way to evaluate and prioritize management and restoration actions for fish that migrate between fresh and salt water.

"The Dam Impact Analysis Model enables us to see what happens when you change one factor, like marine or freshwater survival," said Julie Nieland, a researcher at NEFSC's laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. and lead author of the study. "For example, salmon abundance increased when marine or freshwater survival rates were increased. However, the increase was larger when marine survival increased than when freshwater survival increased. We are also able to change the survival rate and passage efficiency at individual or multiple dams to look at the effects on salmon abundance and distribution throughout the river system. Those changes tell us a lot about the factors influencing the population."

Dams and low marine survival rates are two of the biggest threats to many diadromous fishes, which spend part of their life in freshwater and part in the ocean. Dams can prevent or impede fish passage and degrade the habitats upstream by inundating formerly free-flowing rivers, reducing water quality, and altering fish communities. They can also kill and injure fish during migrations. Direct mortality occurs when fish pass through turbines, over fishways, or through fish bypasses. Indirect mortality comes from increased predation in altered habitats, health risks from injuries, and the added effects of stress and injury that come with passing one or more dams.

"The good news is that these effects can be reduced by installing or improving fish passage devices, modifying dam operations during peak migration periods, changing the structure of the dam to reduce injury and mortality, and by dam removal," Nieland said.

In the Penobscot River, the second largest river in New England, fish passage on the lower parts of the river has been helped by the removal of Great Works Dam in 2012 and Veazie Dam in 2013, and by building a natural river channel bypass around Howland Dam in 2015 as part of the Penobscot River Restoration Project. Access to habitat along the river and its tributaries has been improved for sea-run fish, including Atlantic salmon, American shad, river herring, striped bass, Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon. In addition, increased survival standards for Atlantic salmon at many remaining dams have been implemented as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing requirements.

In 2014, more than 800 American shad and 180,000 river herring were counted by scientists at the newly-installed fish lift at the Milford Dam, the first mainstem dam on the system. Prior to 2014, there were no known American shad above Milford and very few river herring. Diadromous fish that survive passage at the Milford fish lift will emerge into historic spawning, nursery and rearing grounds that have not been accessible since the early 1900s.

Passage at the remaining dams on the Penobscot River will be important to the recovery of diadromous fish populations. The model can be used to help estimate what passage rates are needed to avoid jeopardizing these populations.

NOAA Fisheries researchers used the model to look at the impacts of 15 FERC-licensed hydroelectric dams in the Penobscot River watershed. Their results showed the number and location of dams affected adult salmon abundance, distribution, and the proportion of wild fish using various parts of the watershed. Salmon numbers increased as the number of hydroelectric dams decreased. Mainstem river dams had more impact than dams on tributaries. Salmon abundance also decreased as indirect mortality from effects of having to navigate past dams and up fish ladders or other passages increased. FERC is required to consult with NOAA Fisheries Service to ensure that continued dam operation does not impede recovery of Atlantic salmon.

"The Dam Impact Analysis Model provides managers with a way to assess the levels of survival needed for Atlantic salmon at several large mainstem dams in the lower Penobscot River," said Jeff Murphy, an endangered species biologist at GARFO. "Going forward, it will be an extremely important tool for identifying survival standards for Atlantic salmon at other dams in the Penobscot River watershed as we work to recover the species in Maine."

"There is still a lot of work to do to improve access to more historic river habitat for diadromous fish," Nieland said. "Hundreds of dams and thousands of road-stream crossings, or culverts, remain as barriers to fish passage in the Penobscot watershed. The model can help us plan for restoration and management actions to increase survival and abundance of many of the sea-run fish species, including those that are endangered or threatened."

# # #

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and our other social media channels.

The Fishing Wire welcomes your comments and actively solicits letters and guest editorials from readers as well as fishery managers, scientists and industry experts in boating, fishing and related equipment. Please send your comments and suggestions to frank@thefishingwire.com.
Outdoors Calendar

» Got an event you'd like to see posted here? Send it to frank@thefishingwire.com.

Apr. 1 - Nov. 30: Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Fishing Tournament.  From Raritan Bay to Delaware Bay. 8 inshore species.  Entry $20.  www.BeachNBoat.com.

May 30 - May 31: Oakley Big Bass Tour Event. Grand Lake, Oklahoma. www.oakleybigbass.com www.oakleybigbass.com

May 30 - May 31: IFA Redfish and Kayak Tours at Lafitte, La.; www.ifatours.com

May 30 - May 31: Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament Series out of Niagara County ports Wilson and Olcott. Last year there was over $105,000 in cash and prizes; www.lakeontarioproam.net .

June 1 - June 7: Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, Biloxi, MS. Blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo weight categories. Billfish catch and release division. $1 Million-plus in prize money. www.mgcbc.com

June 6 - June 7: Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament Series out of Niagara County ports Wilson and Olcott. Last year there was over $105,000 in cash and prizes; www.lakeontarioproam.net.

June 12 - June 14: IFFF Great Lakes Council 2015 Fly Fishing School and Workshops. IFFF Fly Casting Certification.  Roscommon, Michigan; www.ffglc.com.

June 17 - June 21: Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, Sandestin, FL. Blue marlin, tuna, dolphin, wahoo weight categories. Billfish catch and release division. $1 Million-plus in prize money. www.fishecbc.com

June 18 - June 21: The Wildwoods Beach N Boat Fishing Challenge.  3 days of fishing around the Wildwoods. 8 inshore species, $1,000 each.  Free Entry for Beach N Boat members.  www.BeachNBoat.com/Wildwoods.

June 26 - June 28: Outdoor Writers of America Association (OWAA) Annual Conference. Knoxville, Tennessee. 406-728-7434, info@owaa.org; www.owaa.org





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