Monday, October 20, 2014

 
CLINICS
Join Jeff Dement,Tagging Director, for a day of surf fishing and instruction on the beach. He'll cover the basics of casting, knot tying, lure/bait selection, and "reading" a beach Nov. 22 beginning at 8 a.m.

COAST GUARD
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle received a distress call on VHF-FM channel 16 around 7:31 a.m. from the owner of the 67-foot recreational vessel Lady A reporting that they were abandoning ship into their life raft.

CONSERVATION
CCA Florida rarely favors limiting access but the science available and the critical status of the Indian River Lagoon demand action on not dredging and enlarging this ramp area, the group says.

ENVIRONMENT
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has awarded Charlotte County Utilities more than $2 million for a stormwater system improvement project to benefit both the Charlotte Harbor and Peace River Estuaries.

EVENTS
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens will host the annual Halloween at the Hatchery the evening of Thursday, October 30 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

FISHERIES
This Fishers Forum is presented by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and will focus on two fish that are very popular with consumers in Hawai'i: yellowfin tuna ('ahi) and striped marlin (a'u or nairagi).
Renowned fishing media outlet, World Fishing Network, ranks Lake Champlain one of the seven best smallmouth bass lakes in North America.

HONORS & AWARDS
Winners are named in 11 categories, and dates for the 2015 conference were released.

INDUSTRY
Held October 15-17, in San Antonio, Texas, there were several important announcements made during the meeting, including sale of the ASA/Fred Hall Shows to Duncan McIntosh Company.
You are cordially invited to join us at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which will be held in Orlando, Fla., at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, on Nov. 17th, at 4 p.m. EST.
G. Loomis, a division of Shimano American Corporation, recently selected Swanson Russell to develop a new brand platform that better reflects their position as the global leader in the premium fishing rod market.

INVASIVE SPECIES
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wardens will check vehicles and boats in San Bernardino County to prevent the introduction and spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and quagga and zebra mussels. The checkpoint will be conducted at Yermo Border Station on Monday, Oct. 20 and Tuesday, Oct. 21.

JOBS
The Media Specialist is responsible for supporting Director of Marketing in the management, tracking, and performance of Out of Home Media planning and buying efforts, as well as day-to-day management of print media planning and buying activities for Bass Pro Shops and related entities.
Specific areas of responsibility include executive support to the Board of Directors; ongoing operations and objectives; leadership of staff; support of positive member relations; community connecting/liaison activities; and active participation and leadership in local, regional, state, and federal level matters important to membership.

SHOWS
The 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show®, which takes place at seven locations from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3, offers many convenient transportation and parking arrangements designed to make attending the show convenient from all directions and easy to navigate.

STATES
State fishery managers have approved a week-long razor clam dig beginning Oct. 22 on evening tides at various beaches.
A public hearing will be held on October 30 to discuss rules regarding the application process for the new nonresident student licenses for hunting and fishing in New Hampshire.
Lincoln County's Cedar Creek Lake received 12,000 rainbow trout in a stocking performed last week by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is stocking 47 western Washington lakes with 340,000 catchable-size trout this fall.

TELEVISION
Chad Hoover takes his hunt for big bass to the trophy filled, Bill Dance signature lakes at Long Branch Lakes in beautiful Spencer, Tennessee-renowned for delivering 10 pounders and personal bests.

TOURNAMENTS
Registration for the most exciting season of Weekend Bass Series will begin for priority members on October 20, 2014 at 8am. The series offers a boater/co-angler exciting competition and the top anglers from each division will advance to the no-entry fee Ray Scott Championship.
Last week B.A.S.S. announced a further limitation on umbrella rigs: They will no longer be permitted in the Bassmaster Opens or any other B.A.S.S. event that leads directly to a Bassmaster Classic qualification. Some anglers are happy about this change, others not so much.
The Alabama Bass Trail is proud to announce two lakes have been added to the state's popular fishing trail for 2015: The North Division welcomes Weiss Lake while the South Division welcomes Lake Martin.
The University of Alabama team of Keith Kirkley of Northport, Alabama, and Frankie Appaluccio of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, won the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference Invitational tournament on Lake Chickamauga Sunday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 30 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the club $4,000 and qualified the team for the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

WOMEN IN THE OUTDOORS
The next workshop on outdoors skills for women is set for Nov. 7-9 at Georgia's Charles Elliot Wildlife Center near Mansfield, Georgia.

The BP Windfall--Funds for Gulf Restoration

By Frank Sargeant, Editor

In one of the more bizarre turns of events in environmental history, the calamitous BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may turn out to have been historically a good thing for many portions of the shores of this American sea.

While the enormous outpouring of oil, variously estimated at up to 4.7 million barrels (about 200 million gallons over 87 days), was the greatest manmade environmental disaster in history, killing fish, marine mammals, bottom fauna and sea birds in untold numbers as well as fouling hundreds of miles of shoreline and virtually wiping out an entire tourist season in many communities surrounding the Gulf, it now appears that the enormous fines and lawsuit penalties levied against British Petroleum and associates may wind up giving a historic infusion of cash for environmental projects that stood no chance of being funded or even planned without the giant cash cow suddenly available.

Those of us who have spent time around the Gulf oil rigs fishing know that they are not the demonic towers of environmental destruction that some folks seem to think they are: In fact, there are more fish per square foot around these towers than anywhere else in the Gulf, with both reef species like snapper and grouper and pelagics like kingfish and yellowfin tuna swarming around many. On the other hand, the BP disaster shows the potential for great harm that's inherent in pulling industrial quantities of petroleum out of the sea floor anywhere in the world, and hopefully has taught the entire civilized world a lesson in the need for careful control of this harvest. And the huge fines resulting have hopefully taught a lesson to the companies extracting the oil, as well.

On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the RESTORE Act into law, establishing a trust fund within the Treasury Department, with 80 percent of the civil penalties to be paid by parties responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. To date, civil penalties and interest deposited into the trust fund exceed $653 million.

That could be a drop in the bucket. The Justice Department has found "gross negligence" against BP, which means penalties under the Clean Water Act will swell to $4,300 per barrel, making the determination of how many barrels were released critical in settling what the ultimate civil fine will total. The fine reportedly could have been as low as $1,100 a barrel had BP not cut so many corners in regards to the safety of its workers and the health of the Gulf. If BP's estimate for barrels spilled is accurate, the fine will be about $10 billion for its gross negligence. That total could be in excess of $18 billion if the Justice Department is right. Either way, it's an enormous amount of money.

A total of 35 percent of the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund is divided equally among the five states for ecological and economic restoration. The states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas each receive a share for projects and programs they select. In Florida, the state's allocation goes to 23 coastal counties for projects they choose. A second Interim Final Rule finalizes an additional allocation for 20 parishes in Louisiana.

Treasury will also provide grants for centers of excellence research programs using 2.5 percent of the trust fund, divided equally among the five Gulf Coast States.

On Sept. 15, Treasury posted the funding opportunity announcement for these grants as well. The centers of excellence will focus on science, technology, and monitoring. In addition to these grant programs, the Interim Final Rule published in August describes requirements for RESTORE Act programs administered by other federal agencies. Treasury is just one of several federal entities working to implement the RESTORE Act.

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, a federal council composed of the five Gulf Coast States and six federal agencies, will use 30 percent of the trust fund for projects selected by the council, and administer grants to the states pursuant to council-approved state expenditure plans using an additional 30 percent.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will use the remaining 2.5 percent of the trust fund for a program focused on advancements in monitoring, observation, and technology. For more information on the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, visit http://www.restorethegulf.gov/.

In short, it's by far the greatest infusion of money into an environmental restoration project in U.S. or world history, an unimaginable windfall that if spent wisely should bring tremendous benefits to the Gulf estuarine and beach areas for decades to come--and some very nice added benefits to the anglers who chase the millions of fish that will be produced in these restored areas.

To be sure, the Gulf is likely to face issues in coming decades if sea level rise continues as many scientists predict--while wetlands, mangroves and marshes like wet feet, too much water can kill out these nursery areas, which are absolutely essential to preserving the chain of life that ultimately results in everything from gamefish to porpoises and whales.

The public has an opportunity for input on projects that need funding from this money. This Wednesday, Oct. 22, a public webinar will run from 6 to 8 p.m. EST.

Advance registration is required. Go here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/338981370

To be sure, the road to full recovery of the Gulf from the BP incident is still somewhere in the future, but the restoration projects already underway and those planned for the future may well bring the resource to a level that is even better than before the disaster, for the fish and marine life, for anglers and boaters, and for the general public which enjoys this uniquely American resource.

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: New Jersey inshore saltwater fishing tournament. Eight species, over 50 weigh stations, $100,000 in cash & prizes for the largest catches. Proceeds to the Fisheries Conservation Trust. $FREE entry using The Fishing Wire Code: 3720; www.BeachNBoat.com or 609.423.4002.

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

Oct. 21 - Oct. 25: Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. $2.5 million-plus in cash prizes. www.bisbees.com

Oct. 23: Saltwater fly fishing seminar at Minnows & Monsters Tackle, 3625 S. Manhattan Ave. in Tampa, FL, begins 7 p.m., free food and drink; 813.835.1512.

Oct. 24 - Oct. 25: IFA Redfish Championship at Houma, La.; www.ifatours.com

Oct. 24 - Oct. 25: Saltwater Sisters Lady Angler Tournament hosted by Stuart Sailfish Club in Stuart, FL as a fund raiser for local breast cancer patients, awards ceremony at Pirate's Cove Resort in Stuart; www.SaltwaterSisters.com.

Oct. 30 - Nov. 2: IGFA School of Sportfishing seminar series at the 55th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, FREE with paid attendance, hosted by International Game Fish Association, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Florida. www.igfa.org

Nov. 1: Great Lakes Council IFFF, 15th Annual FLY TYING EXPO. 70 Demonstration tyers, programs, vendors, auction, raffle. Kids free. http://www.fffglc.org.

Nov. 5 - Nov. 8: Western Outdoor News Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot, Cabo's largest tournament with more than $600,000 in cash & prizes; www.loscabostunajackpot.com.

Nov. 7 - Nov. 8: International Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Symposium, IGFA headquarters, Dania Beach, Fla., public welcome; bob@bonefishtarpontrust.org.

Nov. 8 - Nov. 9: Mud Hole Custom Tackle's Rod Building 101 Class, San Francisco, Calif., advanced registration at http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building-101/Classes or call (866) 790-7637 ext. 112.

Dec. 6 - Dec. 7: Mud Hole Custom Tackle's Rod Building 101 Class, Orlando, Fla., http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building-101/Classes or call (866) 790-7637 ext. 112.





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