Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bay Barometer, an annual assessment of the Chesapeake region's pollution reduction and habitat restoration efforts, found uneven progress toward meeting the 11 goals set in the Bay Watershed Agreement adopted in 2014.
The campaign asks boaters and anglers to say "I DO" too and invest in the future of the state's fishing industry by purchasing a Florida fishing license.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has released a major climate study titled, "A Vulnerability Assessment of Fish and Invertebrates to Climate Change on the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf."

In drought-stricken California, scientists track migrating Chinook salmon to make the most efficient use of scarce water resources.

Yamaha Marine Group announced today from the Miami International Boat Show® the release of "Fishing on Structure" – the fourth short video in the new "Fishing with Helm Master" series that portrays the many real-world fishing applications and maneuvering capabilities of Helm Master, Yamaha's fully integrated boat control system

Groupe Beneteau will host a Town Hall event during the 2016 Miami International Boat Show, releasing to the pubic plans that have been set in place to further build on the global success of the four RBH brands, Four Winns, Scarab, Wellcraft and Glastron.
Leading eyewear innovator Wiley X, Inc. is adding five new models to its product line-up for 2016, delivering bold styling, sharp, distraction-free vision and state-of-the-art eye protection
Based in Boulder, Colo., Catapult Creative Labs offers clients a full range of services, including custom content, ad creative, social strategy, video and TV production, lead generation, event activation, research, data services and more.
The site focuses on supporting the need for outdoor enthusiasts to seek, and enroll in contingency programs from one central website, rather than searching the web, and learning through various other methods, which are all time consuming.
In conjunction with local Ranger dealer Sundance Marine, this year's Ranger booth (booth number B205) will highlight a strong product mix of products including the official debut of the 2350 Bay Ranger.
Companies that wish to reach anglers, hunters, shooters, or recent firearms purchasers can now share the cost of a single survey while maintaining confidentiality and ownership of their own questions and results.
Josh Schwartz, formerly of the Sportsman Channel, has joined Sheldons' Inc. (Mepps and Mister Twister) as the new Communications Director.

Two green anacondas were found recently in Brevard County, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants your help in learning more about them.

Plano Synergy is seeking a Creative Director. The creative director will direct all visuals of the company under the supervision of the VP. They will work with their own internal team to deliver marketing collateral in various forms.

Numerous events are set for boating media, by invitation only, at the Miami International Boat Show and the Yachts Miami Beach Show Feb. 11-15.
Chris-Craft invites you to the unveiling of two new models at the Miami International Boat Show on Thursday February 11th, 2016 11:30am.

Guide Austin Moser shares an anglers trifecta waiting for you at Eastern Washington's Lake Roosevelt, Lance Merz has got the perfect early season kokanee lure for you during an extended "Mack's Minute" and Guide Bruce Hewitt breaks down the ins and outs of the trophy walleye fishery happening now on the mid-Columbia and lower Snake River!

The Great American Outdoor Show is announcing Bounce Back Sunday, a special promotion allowing all outdoor enthusiasts attending the world's largest consumer sports and outdoor show between February 6-13 to be readmitted free of charge on February 14, the show's final day by showing a previous day's ticket.

State shellfish managers have proposed two days of razor clam digging in February at Copalis beach in addition to an approved a month-long opening at Long Beach that starts today.
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists anticipate a great year for anglers in Southwest Mississippi.
Shannon Jenkins is the new Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Water Quality Section chief at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. Jenkins started his new job Jan. 13. He replaces former Section Chief Patti Fowler, who retired Jan. 1.
The sessions at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach will include discussion of management plans and fishery council candidates.
As part of it's first annual License to Win! promotion, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, awards five monthly prize winners among those who purchase a 2015-16 recreational saltwater fishing license.
A public hearing on proposed marine rule changes affecting recreational anglers targeting haddock and/or cod in New Hampshire waters will be held on Thursday, February 25, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

Chad Brown of Traverse City, Michigan, released 137.75 inches of barracuda to win the spin division of the 2016 Cuda Bowl Tournament that ended Feb. 6 in Key West.

Teachers, camp staff and non-formal educators will benefit from an upcoming workshop on teaching conservation and environmental education concepts.

Streambank Restoration on Private Land is Putting More Brookies in Your Favorite Fishing Hole

Today's feature comes to us from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

By Ariel Wiegard, TRCP
Why CRP works for trout and other freshwater fish

The national Conservation Reserve Program is 30! The CRP was signed into law by President Reagan as part of the Farm Bill on December 23, 1985, to help agricultural producers to voluntarily conserve soil, water, and wildlife. The TRCP and our partners are celebrating the 30th anniversary of CRP throughout 2016, by highlighting the successes of this popular bipartisan program—regarded by many as the greatest private lands conservation initiative in U.S. history. Here on our blog, we're devoting a series of posts to the critters that have seen tremendous habitat benefits: upland birds, wild turkeys, waterfowl, and freshwater fish. CRP works for wildlife, and it works for sportsmen.

On this blog, we've written a lot about the Conservation Reserve Program and how it benefits wildlife. Because the program incentivizes landowners to use their land for conservation instead of for crops, it makes sense that a lot of the program's results would visible on the landscape itself, where pheasants, turkeys, ducks, and the other wildlife benefit from upland and wetland cover. But CRP is also working beneath the surface, and improved water quality downstream is giving brookies and other fish a serious boost.

CRP enhances the watershed

In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, anglers are counting on a CRP initiative known as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), which targets high priority conservation projects on a local, rather than a national, level. Federal resources for CREP are often augmented by the state where the project takes place, meaning more funding is available for landowners to implement conservation.

The various Chesapeake Bay watershed states each have their own version of CREP, but they share a goal of helping to "Save the Bay," which has been degraded over time by runoff from agriculture, industry, and cities. All throughout the watershed, landowners are voluntarily enrolling thousands of acres along waterways large and small to help make the Bay fishable and swimmable.

When it comes to agricultural land, one of the most important things the CREP can do is keep cattle out of farm streams by paying farmers to build fences. When they wade around and into the water, cows eat the plants that shade banks and provide cover for critters and insects. Plus, cattle hooves quickly erode stream banks, allowing farm nutrients and sediment to flow into the water. Cows also defecate in the water, further affecting the biology of the stream.

Image courtesy Scott Robinson/Flickr.
The end result is terrible for native fish like brook trout. Lack of shade can dramatically raise the temperature of the water, which, aside from generally causing fish stress, lowers oxygen levels. Where trout spawn, heavy sediment and cow pies turn gravelly stream beds to muck, making it impossible for fish to lay their eggs. Brookies need consistently cold, clear water with a high level of dissolved oxygen to live, feed, and reproduce, but cow pasture streams tend to be hot, muddy, and suffocating.

That's why groups like Trout Unlimited have rallied around a special CREP effort in the headwaters of the Potomac River, which flows into Chesapeake Bay. The resources that TU can deliver to farmers through CREP are often greater than what other state or federal conservation programs can offer, which means the infrastructure these projects create, like fences and bridges, is often higher quality and has a long shelf life—often as long as a 10- to 15-year CREP contract. And because CREP offers a rental payment for each acre of land taken out of agricultural production, farmers can afford to commit more acres of streamside land to the program and place cow fences further back from the stream bank—at least 35 feet, but sometimes as much as 300 feet on both sides. Given this room to breathe, floodplains can replenish the natural ecosystem over time.

Aside from fencing for cattle, TU's dedication to this program has helped farmers to plant mature trees and native grasses along waterways, stabilizing the banks and providing the shade that is absolutely critical to regulating water temperature. Cooler streams are more fishable. And Chesapeake Bay farmers want that as much as anglers do.

Healthy Systems, Not Just Healthy Pools

Many farmers have inherited land from family, and they remember their grandfathers teaching them to fish on a particular bank—they want to be able to teach their grandchildren to do the same, and maybe reclaim a little bit of their own childhood in the process. To date, tens of thousands of acres of stream buffers have been applied throughout the watershed, and brookies are returning as a result. Of course, privately-owned stream banks, no matter how well restored, may not be accessible for most anglers in the region. But every step in conservation is incremental, and the impacts multiply both upstream and downstream.

Image courtesy USFWS.
Restored headwaters, even if they are private, serve as spawning grounds and nurseries for the entire river system. Work that has been done over the last twenty years has helped to restore large, healthy populations of native brook trout to the system, greatly reducing the need to stock the streams each spring. These native trout tend to grow larger, live longer, and travel farther than their stocked cousins. In fact, they have been tracked swimming from their West Virginia headwaters to popular public fishing areas like Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Potomac River flowing straight through Washington, D.C. Of course, each restored acre will ensure that those downstream waters will be cooler and cleaner, too, thanks to the fast-flowing, gravelly headwaters upstream.

Programs like CREP incentivize healthy systems, not just isolated healthy pools, and brook trout are an indicator of that health. If a headwater stream has brookies, the top-level native aquatic predator, its river banks will also have good habitat for a variety of wildlife and be full of fish food like frogs, mayflies, and crickets. There will be sufficient shade from mature trees, and the stream bed will be gravelly and have places for young fish to hide. The CRP, with its local habitat enhancement program, can't accomplish this alone, but it is certainly an important tool for helping farmers and landowners to do the right thing for fish and sportsmen.

Ariel Wiegard

Ariel Wiegard joined the TRCP in November 2014. As Director of the Center for Agricultural Lands, she works with TRCP's partners to enact policies that both balance the needs of production agriculture with the needs of fish and wildlife, and that sustain and enhance recreational access to wildlife habitat locked up in private lands. Outside of the office, you'll find Ariel and her husband hiking, upland hunting, foraging, and cooking what they find in field and forest. She is usually accompanied by her German Shorthaired Pointer, Argos.

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.

Jan. 1 - Mar. 31: LCI Champlain Basin Derby – winter session – more than $25,000 cash paid for top three fish in 15 difference species; www.lciderby.com.

Feb. 1 - Feb. 9: North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets at Benson Hotel, Portland, OR;

Feb. 9: Fishing Conversation with Captain Mike Anderson of REEL ANIMALS. TV/Radio and Eric Bachnick, CEO of MirrOLure, 7 p.m. at Gator Ford off I-4 east of Tampa, free food and drink.

Feb. 13: Skeeter Basschamps, East Regional Trail, Toledo Bend, www.basschamps.com

Feb. 20: Skeeter Basschamps, South Regional Trail, Lake Amistad, www.basschamps.com

Feb. 20: Texas Team Trail at Toledo Bend; www.texasteamtrail.com

Feb. 20 - Feb. 21: International Custom Rod Building Expo. M.C. Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, NC.

Feb. 26 - Feb. 27: Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship, Lake D'Arbonne, Farmerville, LA, www.crappiemasters.net

Feb. 27: Skeeter Basschamps, North Regional Trail, Lake Fork, www.basschamps.com

Feb. 27 - Feb. 28: Big Bass Tour tournament with hourly big bass winners at Harris Chain; 2016 Harris Chain of Lakes, Florida.

Mar. 2 - Mar. 6: Fred Hall Show, Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, Cal., www.fredhall.com

Mar. 4 - Mar. 5: 2016 Crappie Masters South Carolina State Championship, Lake
Greenwood, Greenwood, SC, www.crappiemasters.net

Mar. 5 - Mar. 6: IFA Redfish and Kayak Tours at Punta Gorda, Fla..; www.ifatours.com

Mar. 10 - Mar. 13: 2016 Edmonton Boat and Sportsmen's Show. Expo Center, Northlands, Edmonton, Alberta. infoab@sportshows.ca or (403) 245-9008 infoab@sportshows.ca

Mar. 12 - Mar. 13: Big Bass Tour tournament with hourly big bass winners at Lake Conroe; 2016 Lake Conroe, Texas

Mar. 17 - Mar. 20: Fred Hall Show, Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego, Cal., www.fredhall.com

Mar. 19: Texas Team Trail at Richland Chambers Reservoir; www.texasteamtrail.com

Mar. 19 - Mar. 20: IFA Redfish and Kayak Tours at Fernandina, Fla.; www.ifatours.com

Mar. 26: Big Bass Tour Tournament with hourly big bass winners at Clarks Hill; 2016 Clarks Hill Lake, Georgia

Mar. 30 - Apr. 3: Northwest Sportshow, Minneapolis Convention Center; http://www.northwestsportshow.com/

Apr. 2 - Apr. 3: Big Bass Tour at Table Rock, hourly payouts;

Apr. 2 - Apr. 3: IFA Redfish and Kayak Tours at Port Aransas, Texas; www.ifatours.com

Apr. 4 - Apr. 12: North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets at Anchorage Hilton, Anchorage, AK;


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