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The Sea Tow Foundation – a nationwide nonprofit dedicated
to the education and promotion of safe boating practices – has announced the
launch of its newest social media campaign – a program it calls “Vest Friends.” 


The 2018-19 season promises to be a very intriguing one, and the chase for Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia is already in full swing. 

The Savannah College of Art & Design has named Jared Kutil as Head Coach of the men's and women's fishing programs, with the aim of fielding competitive teams for the Bassmaster, FLW and Cabela's college circuits.


Since 2017, 21,643 plants have been planted at Don Pedro, on Florida's southwest coast, including 8,300 by volunteers. 


Now is the time to apply for a Mini-Grant from the Tampa Bay Estuary program which will help local community groups – from schools and scouts to neighborhood associations – make a difference in Tampa Bay. 


Governor Rick Scott signed into law an investment of $6 million to begin construction on the S-333 expansion project by the end of the year, with the goal of releasing more water south into the Everglades rather than directly to the east and west coasts. 


Mayfly Outdoors plans to complete its new Montrose headquarters in late 2018 as part of the Colorado Outdoors Project along the Uncompahgre River. 

Jen Ripple, publisher of DUN Magazine, comments on magazine publishing and testing/fishing the St. Croix Imperial USA. 

Value-packed and feature-laden, the lineup of the 2019 RT Aluminum Series brings a fresh, new look along with additional features built specifically for bass and multi species anglers. 

NMMA will host a webinar on Wednesday, August 15 from 11:00am–12:00pm ET to walk through the ITC’s questions on aluminum sheet used in the industry and how to answer them accordingly.  

Lure Lock is excited to announce that it has added defending Forrest Wood Cup Champion Justin Atkins, three-time FLW Tour Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, two-time FLW Tour winner Jason Lambert, as well as upcoming starts Michael Neal and Braxton Setzer to their stable of professional bass anglers using the Lure Lock cases.

The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) will offer technical sessions at IBEX—the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference—that detail onboard connectivity, networking options, NMEA 2000® cabling and NMEA OneNet®, the new marine Ethernet standard. 

Realtree continues its legacy of supporting conservation of wildlife and habitat by renewing its sponsorship of National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF Day), set for Sept. 22, 2018. 

The Lionfish Challenge has less than a month to go (last day to submit is Labor Day, Sept. 3), but there is still plenty of time to earn prizes or find an FWC-tagged lionfish, worth up to $5,000. 

The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” truly applies to aquatic invasive species. 


Smackdown is Seaguar’s premium braided line, made with 8 ultra-thin strands woven into a perfectly round profile for quiet, exceptionally long, laser-precise casts. 


Nearly 70 percent of BHA members are age 45 or younger, and 33 percent identify as Independents, 23 percent as Republicans and 20 percent as Democrats. 


The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer an opportunity to learn the basics of kayaking from 6 – 8 p.m. on Aug. 16. The clinics will take place at Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area, 1520 E. Peabody Road, just north of Columbia. 


This week, Dan Small Outdoors Radio features charter captains Dan Welsch and Dan Jordan, fishing pro Duffy Kopf and Riton Optics industry liaison Ace Luciano.


Those lucky enough to draw a tag for Alabama’s 2018 season will soon head out into the rivers, bays and bayous in search of an American alligator. 

Campfires will be banned at all Fish, Wildlife and Parks fishing access sites and wildlife management areas in Yellowstone County starting Aug. 10, 2018, because of fire danger. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is seeking public input on a possible regulation change for crappie fishing at Smithville Lake in Clay County to both allow anglers to keep more crappie and to help improve the size of black crappie in the lake. 

During August 13-17, the campground at the East Rosebud Fishing Access Site near Forsyth will be closed for a hazardous tree removal project. However, access to the day use area and boat ramp will remain open to the public during the project. 


Trevor Taylor, of Panama City, Florida, and Steve Ward, of Panama City Beach, Florida, weighed a two-fish limit that totaled 18.03 pounds to win the second regular-season event for the Louisiana Division of the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Cabela’s on August 4 at Houma, Louisiana. 

Clayton Shilling, of Prairieville, Louisiana, measured a combined limit of 56.38 inches to win the second regular-season event for the 2018 Louisiana Division of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing on August 5 at Houma, La. 

The 30 anglers who have qualified for the Classic Bass Champions Tour Championship brought to you by Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards will be setting their sights on the Le Homme Dieu Chain located in Alexandria, MN, on Friday, August 31st. 


Thanks to native Arkansan Cody Kelley (right), who fishes the professional FLW Tour, along with the FLW Foundation and the AGFC's Family and Community Fishing Program stocking efforts, youths under 16 and any age Special Olympics participants are invited to Hot Springs Family Park pond for the United Fishing Derby starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. 

To the typical estuarine manager, Ed Sherwood has one of the best jobs in the world.  As the new director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, he presides over an agency that has accomplished the ambitious goal set in 1995 – restoring 38,000 acres of seagrasses to near 1950s level. Tampa Bay also is enviable as one of the few large urban estuaries in the US that now meets water quality standards set for nutrients after decades of non-attainment.

Ongoing monitoring and testing are key to Tampa Bay's recovery.

But with seagrasses rebounding and many baywide actions improving water quality so dramatically, Sherwood is looking to build on those successes by setting new goals focused on other important coastal habitats and fisheries once prolific in Tampa Bay. Restoring populations of the elusive scallop to harvestable levels and rebuilding oyster beds to continually filter bay water and increase recreational opportunities for these species is now a realistic goal considering the Bay’s current “healthy” state, he said.

“It’s not unreasonable,” he says of scallop harvesting. “Look at Pasco County where the recreational harvest of scallops is open this summer for the first time since the early 1990s.” Scallops are particularly challenging because they are short-lived, and young spat are often recruited from counties further north where scallop season stretches for months rather than Pasco’s nine-day trial later this summer.

“Having Pasco waters open this year actually will make it harder for Tampa Bay because there is the chance that most adults will be harvested before they have a chance to spawn and potentially contribute spat to Tampa Bay,” Sherwood said.

Oysters, on the other hand, are “conditionally approved” for recreational harvesting in several limited areas near the mouth of the bay, as long as it hasn’t rained. “Heavy rains for prolonged periods will cause the state to close the areas for harvest.”

Sherwood with his wife Michelle, at a recent Give-A-Day for the Bay event at Robinson Preserve.

While scallops may be a more attractive recreational opportunity, an adult oyster can filter 1.3 gallons of water per minute. Historically, they were found in many areas where water quality is still most challenging, including Old Tampa Bay where the potentially toxic dinoflagellate Pyrodinium has caused algal blooms most summers since 2008.

To better understand the benefits of oyster restoration in the Bay, the Tampa Bay Environmental Restoration Fund (a public-private partnership between TBEP and Restore America’s Estuaries) is working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to see if shellfish species, including oysters, can filter out Pyrodinium from the water column. Otherwise, this alga produces resting cysts that can remain dormant in sediment for many years sustaining summertime blooms in the future.

“Several historic NOAA and USFWS surveys noted public and private oyster leases in Old Tampa Bay and the Rocky Point area, and we’ll continue to target those areas for restoration efforts,” he said. “The challenge with oysters is that they must have sufficient rocky or shelly bottom to grow – they can’t settle  in sediments alone.”

The goals – which may not be accomplished for decades – are likely to be included in a new Habitat Master Plan scheduled for completion in late 2019. It follows the approval last year of 2017 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Tampa Bay that details work efforts until 2027.

“Holding the Line”

Tampa Bay’s initial turnaround was largely attributed to improvements and upgrades at wastewater treatment plants in the cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa. For example, the construction of the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1979 greatly improved treatment of a major sewage discharge into Tampa Bay. Since the 1990s, the TBEP’s goal has been “holding the line” on nitrogen discharges, even as the region’s population is anticipated to grow 1.8% in 2018 to over 3.1 million people.

“Tampa Bay is now one of the few urban waterbodies in the US where a regulatory designation for nutrient impairment has been removed because of steadfast actions of local stakeholders — collectively through the Tampa Bay Nitrogen Management Consortium,” Sherwood said. “This group has proven to be so effective that the entire Bay is now meeting stringent nutrient criteria adopted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency.”

However, as the region continues to grow, replacing natural areas and farms with houses and shopping centers, it’s going to be harder to hold the line. “We’ve already picked the low-hanging fruit in terms of targeted nutrient load reduction projects that government and private industries have implemented. Now it’s going to take a concerted effort by the Tampa Bay community living, working and playing in the watershed to choose a lifestyle that minimizes impacts to the Bay and  educate them on the value a clean bay means to the region.”

Nearly 20% of the jobs – and a significant portion of the region’s real estate tax base – rely on a healthy bay, according to a study completed by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council in 2014, he notes. “We’ll need people across the region working together to protect the bay. Programs like Be Floridian and Pooches for the Planet were very effective, so we’ll be introducing a new public outreach campaign to help reduce the potential for sanitary sewer overflows later this year.”

And as sea level rise reshapes the extensive coastal shorelines restored over the last 20 years, bay managers will need to look upslope and focus on working with private landowners as well as purchasing available lands. “Preserving and protecting coastal uplands has always been important but they’re more important than ever with sea level rise,” Sherwood said. “Many important coastal habitats, like mangroves and marshes, can move upland, if the rate of rise is slow enough, but not if they’re stopped by seawalls or urban development.”

TBEP also is encouraging its partners to look at innovative solutions to reduce stormwater run-off impacts and damages to estuarine wetlands. For instance, a new bridge project along the Courtney Campbell Causeway aims to improve tidal circulation and water quality to further benefit seagrass in northern Old Tampa Bay. 

Building Partnerships to Protect the Bay

A native of Peekskill, New York whose family moved to New Port Richey when he was ten, Sherwood loved the rivers and forests of the northeast and then jumped straight into chasing redfish along Pasco’s Gulf of Mexico coast. Knowing he wanted to spend a career protecting the waters he loved, he earned a bachelors in marine biology from the University of West Florida and then a masters in marine fisheries ecology from the University of Florida.

He started as a marine research associate with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and then joined the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County before joining TBEP in 2008 as the program scientist.

Now, as head of the program, the 41-year-old Sherwood faces yet another challenge: bridging the gap between the early citizens and resource managers who helped turn Tampa Bay from what CBS News called a “dead zone” in the 1970s to one of the world’s cleanest urban estuaries. “Younger people just don’t realize just how far we’ve come,” he said. “We need to foster those relationships to make sure they know about our accomplishments – and the potential to backslide – to make sure that the water quality in the bay is just as good 20 years from now as it is today.”

August 10-11
Jr. Angler Fishing Tournament out of Sailfish Marina

Stuart, FL;

August 10-12
MidSouth Hunting and Fishing Expo

Memphis Agricenter;

August 12-18
Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament

Manteo, N.C.;

August 14
Reel Animals Inshore Clinic

Gator Ford off I-4 east of Tampa. 7 p.m., features "Mr. Trout" Captain Richard Seward, free food and drink.

August 16
CCA-Florida Happy Hour

Coppertail Brewery, 2601 E. 2nd Avenue, Tampa, FL, 5 to 7 p.m., all anglers welcome;

September 3
Labor Day Observed, No Wires Published

September 14-15
Saltwater Sisters Ladies Tournament

Pirates Cove Resort and Marina in Stuart Fl.;

October 31 - November 4
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
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