Fishing Wire Ranger Boats ICAST
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2019

CONSERVATION
A Sea Shepherd ship, on a mission to Mexico to protect the endangered vaquita, was  attacked by poachers in the Gulf of California, suffering damage from projectiles and Molotov cocktails.
ENFORCEMENT
Throughout the operation, officers made arrests in ten separate net fishing cases, including: the use of monofilament gill nets, the use of entangling nets, the use of more than two nets from a vessel, the use of oversized cast nets, and commercially fishing in closed areas.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has closed the adjudication phase of what has become the largest case in the 146-year history of the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

FISHERIES
Starting Jan. 1, the lake trout limit at the reservoir was increased to 12 lake trout a day, with one over 28 inches allowed.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists confirmed that ShareLunker 577, a 14.57 pound bass caught at Marine Creek Lake Jan. 26, is a full sibling to the 2017 Marine Creek Lake fish, both stocked from the same group of selectively bred largemouth bass 13 years ago.
ICE FISHING
Warm temperatures followed by extreme cold and then warming again have caused variable ice conditions and potential danger spots across the state.

INDUSTRY
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is pleased to announce that Rob Keith, most recently with The Wilderness Society, is the organization’s new Member Services Manager.
After three days of demonstrating the newest in muskie rods, from January 18 through January 20, a panel of muskie experts voted the new for 2019 Legend Tournament LMD90MLF Bantam Bait Musky Downsizer rod “Best New Muskie Rod” at the show.
INSTRUCTION
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, 1249 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL will have an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Sat, Feb 23, 2019.

INVASIVE SPECIES
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists report giant salvinia at Caddo Lake has been reduced to just over 1,500 acres, from more than 6,000 in 2017.
JOBS
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation seeks a passionate conservationist and team player to fill our Assistant Editor position in Missoula, Montana.
MARINE ELECTRONICS
Boston Whaler, the leading manufacturer of unsinkable family fishing boats and Mercury Marine, the world's leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines, are the first to demonstrate the Raymarine DockSense™ assisted docking system on an outboard-powered Boston Whaler vessel at Mercury’s Lake X testing facility.

NEW PRODUCTS
To accompany their comprehensive new line of kites, Tigress offers a new heavy-duty storage bag that makes it easy to transport fully assembled kites.
ORGANIZATIONS
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and 42 other organizations are urging Senate leadership to immediately vote on a bipartisan agreement to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and improve outdoor recreation opportunities.
RADIO
Paul Anderson with Fly Fishing Strategies Fly Shop in The Dalles, Oregon has suggestions on where to go fishing in the weeks ahead in North Central Oregon and South Central Washington.

STATES
The group that has the final say about hunting, fishing and how wildlife is managed in Utah has three openings it needs to fill.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has sponsored legislation proposing new limits on select license and permit fees.
State fishery managers expect nearly 100,000 upriver adult spring chinook to return to the Columbia River this year, and lots of other opportunities for anglers are around this month as well.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take public input on various topics – including hatchery reform, salmon management in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay, and several land transactions – during an upcoming meeting in Olympia.
The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting grant applications for local government agencies to purchase boating safety and law enforcement equipment.
Anglers will get the chance to load up on trout prior to repairs to the lake planned to begin March 15.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announce recreational and commercial crabbing is now open for the entire Oregon Coast, free of restrictions.
TOURNAMENTS
The 52 anglers converging on Knoxville March 15-19 will be gunning for the largest share of the $1 million prize fund, and they’ll be aiming to establish their angling legacy by winning the most important title in professional fishing.

By Steve Kline, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Virginia should do the right thing and let experts guide the future of bunker, says this national conservation group.

Hunting and fishing traditions have deep roots in Virginia—residents have a constitutional right to hunt, and more than 800,000 anglers a year turn out to fish the same waters that George Washington did. But Virginia is also the only state along the Eastern Seaboard that still allows the commercial reduction fishing of Atlantic menhaden, a critical forage fish.

The last holdout of an antiquated fishing industry, reduction fishing of menhaden—or bunker, as you’ll often hear them called on docks around the Chesapeake—involves the harvest of billions of tiny fish that are then reduced to meal and oil for use in a variety of applications, from food for farmed salmon to cosmetics.

There may be many uses for menhaden outside the water, but their real economic and ecological value comes from keeping them in the water.

Atlantic menhaden comprise the very foundation of a diverse ecosystem, which includes some of the most popular gamefish species in the world. From a fisheries management standpoint, it doesn’t get any simpler than this: Fewer menhaden in the water means fewer striped bass, bluefish, cobia, redfish, and weakfish. And that means the potential collapse of a recreational fishing economy worth far more than any reduction fishery.

However, as the sea fog recedes, it becomes clear why Virginia allows this practice to continue.

The commonwealth manages menhaden not through its science-based Virginia Marine Resources Commission, but rather through its state legislature. It begs the question, if the commission is good enough to manage all the other marine fish stocks in the state, both recreational and commercial, why isn’t it being permitted to do its job when it comes to menhaden?

It’s clear to us that Virginia should not allow this reduction fishery to continue while risking the future of the state’s recreational fishing economy. State legislatures are no place to manage species, and if the Marine Resources Commission is good enough to manage striped bass, they ought to be managing what stripers eat, too.

Science should always guide fisheries management decisions to the greatest extent possible. It’s not realistic to take the politics out of the equation completely, but the state of Virginia needs to stop letting politics be the only guiding force in the management of menhaden.

Read more conservation features at www.trcp.org

FISHING CALENDAR
February 2-10
Great American Outdoor Show

The annual Great American Outdoor Show will be held at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA.

February 9-10
Battle of the Bay

Tampa Bay to support military veterans’ organizations, $25 entry; www.mywarriorsplace.org/fishing-tournament.

March 22-24
Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic

State Fairgrounds in Columbia, S.C.; www.psc@dnr.sc.gov

 
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