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Post #566 by Rajesh Kumar on May 13th 2016, 3:23 PM (in topic “DNR Teaches Fishing To New Generation”)
DNR Teaches Fishing To New Generation
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota DNR is passing on the love of fishing to a new generation.
With the fishing opener taking place this weekend, the DNR jumped at the chance to get a new group of young kids ready for the big day.
As part of its “Fishing in the Neighborhood” program, 70 third graders got to try angling for the first time Thursday on Wolfe Lake in St. Louis Park.
The program teaches kids about fish biology and habitat needs.
Organizers said it’s important to show kids there are opportunities to get out and fish, even if you live in the city.
“We’re really just getting them out and showing them where to go, and letting them know that there are opportunities. And that’s kind of what this lake is. ‘Hey, I want to fish but I don’t have a spot to fish.’ Well, here it is. That’s probably Number 1, making them aware of the resource, getting them outside to enjoy it, and letting them know it’s a heck of a lot of fun,” Mario Travaline, a fisheries specialist with the DNR, said.
For anyone else that wants to go fish for walleye or northern pike, the fishing opener is Saturday.
Post #565 by Rajesh Kumar on May 12th 2016, 2:33 PM (in topic “Kids Free Fishing Day delights children and adults”)
Kids Free Fishing Day delights children and adults
More than 400 young anglers got hooked on trout fishing at Kids Free Fishing Day at Bennett Spring last Saturday. Kids ages 5 to 15 participated in the event where lots of rainbow trout were caught during the day, including a few lunkers.
Hatchery manager Ben Havens said, “Everything went well, even the weather. We couldn’t have picked a better day for this event. We had a lot of kids that were 15, so this was their last year for them to participate, and they wanted to take advantage of it. By 9:15 we had more than 400 kids registered, and there will be more coming along all day.
"We had kids from Kansas City, St. Louis, Oklahoma, Illinois and Arkansas, as well as many Missouri communities. There were a lot of new faces this year. A section of Zone 2 and 3 at the park was reserved for the young anglers. It has been a fun day for the kids, parents and grandparents.”
Steve Gagliano, attending the event with family, said, ”It was really very good. The kids had a ball; I saw lots of fish caught; they had a perfect day for the event. This is a very nice program for the kids. I hope it will continue for a long time.”
One of the grandfathers, Ron Lock, was kept busy helping his grandkids net their catch. He said, “The family comes down for a fishing trip where the kids catch the fish, we clean them up and have a big fish fry in the campground. I want to thank the Missouri Conservation Department for their support for the young fishermen coming up. This has been a great day all around.”
At Kids Free Fishing Day, children ages 15 and under have the opportunity to catch fish and learn about trout fishing at Bennett Spring State Park.
Volunteers were on hand to help the kids. Parents were encouraged to help, but adults were asked to let the children fish by themselves as much as possible. Only one pole could be used between the helper and child. Adults are not allowed to fish in the kids' designated fishing zones.
Lunch was provided and educational events also took place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Don Taylor and wife Ruth were visiting relatives in Lebanon last weekend. They drove over to nearby Bennett Spring to watch the youngsters fish. Taylor said, “I wish we had a stream like this near Tulsa so I could take my grandkids trout fishing. Everyone we saw looked like they were having a great time. It looked like the adults were enjoying it as much or more than the youngsters.”
The next Kids Free Fishing event will be held May 14 at Roaring River State Park. For more information on the Roaring River event, call the Roaring River Hatchery at 417-847-2430.
Post #564 by Rajesh Kumar on May 12th 2016, 2:31 PM (in topic “Halibut fishing so good at Westport that state fisheries will close it down much sooner than expected”)
Halibut fishing so good at Westport that state fisheries will close it down much sooner than expected
The coastal halibut fishery at Westport on Tuesday was so good that state Fish and Wildlife has decided to shut the season down sooner than expected.
“They did really well in Westport, but the bad news is they have now caught all of the offshore quota,” said Heather Reed, a state Fish and Wildlife fish resource manager. “(At Westport) they didn’t get too far into the near-shore halibut fishery quota, and we will be able to keep it open and will a weekly check to see how it progresses.”
The Westport offshore halibut catch quota was 40,739 pounds, and the near-shore fishery quota is 2,000 pounds.
The bad weather and windy conditions along the northern coast during last Saturday’s opener at Neah Bay and La Push slowed down halibut fishing success, but looks better for Thursday’s (May 12) opener as well as Saturday (May 14) too.
“The weather forecast this weekend is looking really good at Neah Bay and La Push,” Reed said. “Last Saturday they caught 292 halibut, and it looks like the remaining quota will get them through this week. We will tally the catch next week to see if there is any left after that.”
The North Coast halibut catch quota is 108,030 pounds.
On the southern coast off Ilwaco, halibut fishing is allowed each week from Thursdays to Sundays only.
“We did have some halibut caught (636 pounds) on the May 1 opener, and they have 9,118 pounds remaining in the quota,” Reed said.
The halibut fishery in Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca was also hampered by gusty winds and extreme low tides this past Saturday, but look for improved action when it reopens Thursday through Saturday.
“It was a tough fishing show (during this past Saturday’s opener), and at places like the John Wayne Marina (in Sequim) we saw almost twice as many boats turn out than we normally have,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife checker in the Strait.
While success may have been down in general a good check was seen at Olson’s Resort in Sekiu where 64 boats with 191 anglers on Saturday kept 89 halibut, including one that weighed 109 pounds.
“I heard of some that weighed 60 pounds in the Port Angeles area, and one there was a 109 pound halibut landed at Sekiu,” Bennett said.
The final inner-waterway halibut opener is May 26-29.
Post #563 by Rajesh Kumar on May 12th 2016, 2:28 PM (in topic “Texas Fishing: Matagorda Bay alligator gar is a real monster”)
Texas Fishing: Matagorda Bay alligator gar is a real monster
A fish and wildlife technician with Texas Parks & Wildlife's Coastal Fisheries hauled in a monster alligator gar in Matagorda Bay, about 90 miles south of Houston.
The leviathan was released back into the bay (enjoy some nightmares, Matagorda Bay wade fishers!) so no word on the official weight and length, but by the fish's massive size and toothy grin, you can tell where the alligator gar gets its name.
According to Coastal Fisheries, fully grown alligator gar can reach up to 8 feet in length and weigh more than 300 pounds – or about the equivalent of a slightly taller Shaquille O'Neal, but with a mangled bear trap for a mouth.
Post #562 by Rajesh Kumar on May 12th 2016, 2:25 PM (in topic “Larry Case: In the fishing world, the worm has turned (again)”)
Larry Case: In the fishing world, the worm has turned (again)
Consider the lowly earthworm.
Time was in some fishing circles, using worms for bait would get you disdainful looks and maybe even a sneer. The hunting, fishing and outdoors world can be just as trendy and fickle as anything in fashion or politics, though, and thankfully for many of us worm-dunkers, spearing a fat nightcrawler on a hook seems to be more in vogue these days.
This whole worm defamation thing started many years ago with fly fishermen. They tend to form the obsessive part of the fishing world. (No offense.) This isn't really their fault — it stems from all of the stress fly fishermen are exposed to learning and enduring their sport.
You see them spend a lot of time worrying about the tiniest details. They are often seen crawling around in creeks and trout streams, picking up rocks and debris as they seek various insect life. What they are doing is trying to determine what insect activity is going on in the stream to see what the fish might be eating. Fly fishermen call this "matching the hatch," and while this helps them catch fish, it can tend toward infatuation.
Add to this the endless hours many fly fishermen spend just learning to cast a dry fly. The lure — a fly on the end of a line — has no weight, so the fisherman must learn to cast the line to get the offering into the water. Accomplishing this calls for all sorts of gyrations with the fly rod, and after a windy day on a brush-choked trout stream, novice fly fishermen are often seen in rural towns looking for the liquor store.
Misery loves company, and the end result is sometimes a depressed, haggard individual with strong opinions on how you should fish. It's OK if you fish, he just wants you to fish like he does and suffer some of the same trials and tribulations.
Fly fishermen don't use worms for bait, and they don't want you to use them either.
The worms, of course, have no real opinion on all of this — that we know of — because they're, well, worms.
Earthworms are divided into more than 6,000 species worldwide, with at least 180 of these in the United States and Canada. They're considered beneficial in gardens and most areas because they loosen and aerate the soil. Earthworms breathe through their skin, have no eyes and possess both male and female reproductive organs. Some people find this an awkward fact about earthworms, but I bet it leads to some lively talks around the worms' Thanksgiving table.
Having spent a good portion of my wayward youth in pursuit of worms and other live bait, I have no problem stating I am an expert in such matters. Drawing from this vast body of knowledge, let's look at a couple of the popular types of bait worms.
Red wigglers are small, dark red worms sometimes known as spring worms because they're more readily available that time of year.
Often found under leaves and other debris in moist areas, these worms can be deadly for trout (cover your eyes, fly fishermen) but also are good for pan fish like bluegill and sunfish. I usually toss them in a can when I find them, intending to use them eventually. About two months later, I find the dry, mummy-like remains of these worms and wish I had taken them fishing. (Just FYI, they cannot be reconstituted by adding water.)
Nightcrawlers are the kings of the worm world when it comes to fishing bait, which may be a distinction they do not particularly enjoy. They're nocturnal (obviously), so you can hunt them after dark, which I often did when I needed bait for the next day, much to the chagrin of some people in my old neighborhood.
Lady of the house at 2 in the morning: "Fred, there's someone in our yard running around with a flashlight, call the police!"
Man of the house, groaning: "It's just that Case kid again, Ethel. He'll leave when he gets a can full of nightcrawlers."
Nightcrawlers are good bait for about any freshwater fish you can think of, including bluegill, bass, trout, catfish and walleyes. Experienced fishermen know the presentation of the nightcrawler is often important for some finicky eaters like the trout family. (Again, avert your eyes, fly fishermen.)
The trick here is to simply run the hook through the crawler only once or twice so the bait may make a natural appearance drifting in the current.
When fishing for other species — say catfish or carp — the fisherman may thread the worm on the hook several times and will sometimes use multiple worms. (This is known as a "gob" of worms in fishing terms.)
The big idea here, as in all pursuits in the outdoors, is to make it fun. There are worse ways to spend a day than digging a can of red wigglers and going to a good bluegill pond, catfishing with a bucket of nightcrawlers or just stream fishing with worms, not really knowing what you might catch. If you can take a kid with you, all the better.
I know you think I was too hard on the fly fishermen out there. I don't mean to be. To tell the truth, I once thought of myself as something of a fly enthusiast, and I still would like to pursue that world when I have time.
Fly fishermen are good people and mean well. There ain't nothing wrong with them that a good bucket of worms and a cane pole couldn't fix.
"The Trail Less Traveled" is written by Larry Case, who lives in Fayette County, W.Va., has been a devoted outdoorsman all of his life and is a contributing columnist for The Times Free Press. You can write to him at email@example.com.
Post #561 by Rajesh Kumar on May 12th 2016, 2:16 PM (in topic “Secret Spot: Bluegill Lake Is New Family Fishing Destination”)
Secret Spot: Bluegill Lake Is New Family Fishing Destination
TWIN FALLS • In a lovely, little-known spot, a new urban fishery offers bass and bluegill to anglers willing to hike or bike a mile of trail. But they don’t even have to drive out of town to get there.
Never heard of such a pond? You’re not alone.
This is Bluegill Lake, a 3-acre pond in the city’s Auger Falls Heritage Park, a nonmotorized expanse inside the Snake River Canyon at the city’s north end.
Accessible by mountain bike trails, Bluegill Lake holds agricultural wastewater from canals that spill over the canyon rim. Bunches of yellow wild irises bloom at the water’s edge. Beyond the lush vegetation of the banks, the canyon walls provide a dramatic backdrop. Make the walk to the lake, and you’re likely to meet great blue herons, red-winged blackbirds, Canada geese and a selection of ducks.
And under the surface swim the bluegill and largemouth bass populations that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game stocked here in 2013. The two species — a classic pairing — thrive in the warmer water of irrigation returns, the broken shoreline, the shallow water, the aquatic vegetation.
“They’re phenomenal table fare,” said Scott Stanton, Fish and Game’s regional fisheries biologist.
What’s missing? Families with fishing poles.
“I have not seen anybody fishing down here yet,” Stanton said.
Neither has Twin Falls Parks and Recreation Director Wendy Davis.
Fish and Game wants to spread the word about Bluegill Lake, where fishing is open year-round, the state’s general rules apply and the whole bank is good habitat for fishing.
But Stanton also wants anglers to know about this pond because harvest is the best management tool he has to push up the size structure within the fish populations.
Largemouth bass and bluegill prey on each other’s young. If either species is too numerous, too few of the other species survive and the dominant fish population becomes overcrowded and stunted.
• • •
To know whether Bluegill Lake’s fishery is successfully established, Stanton needs to see the relative numbers of bass and bluegill, and the sizes within those populations.
A strange contraption is his tool for sampling that underwater world: a drift boat carrying a generator, a power converter and a pair of big metal “spiders” on poles.
It sounds like an electrical circuit because it is — a circuit designed for nonlethal electrofishing. The two spiders, submerged and dangling their metal tentacles underwater, are the anodes. The metal boat is the cathode. The setup sends current through the water, temporarily stunning the nearby fish.
On May 5, Stanton rowed the boat along Bluegill Lake’s shoreline, closing the electrical circuit with a foot pedal. He adjusted the system to deliver a charge that would — in water of this particular conductivity — efficiently collect a big sample while minimizing the time the fish would be impaired.
If Stanton’s job was science that morning, Anna Medina’s was plain hard work.
The fisheries technician stood in the bow with a long-handled net, working rapidly to scoop up stunned fish as they floated up.
“Stay on it!” Stanton yelled over the generator’s racket.
Medina quickly flipped each fish into the boat’s live well — a plastic garbage can equipped with an oxygen tank and half filled with lake water. Amazingly deft, she maneuvered to avoid whacking the handle of her net into the onlooker who shared the bow.
“I’ve seen people get flattened,” Stanton said later. “Myself included.”
Anyone on this boat wears rubber gloves and rubber boots, and the converter at Stanton’s elbow has a big red button — the “dead-man switch” — for shutting down everything in an emergency.
• • •
On the bank, Stanton and Medina set up a simple field lab on their truck tailgate: a measuring board and a scale.
Medina scooped some of the fish from the live well into a bucket, and Stanton worked through them quickly, announcing lengths and weights in millimeters and grams as Medina took notes.
One stunned bluegill burped up a young-of-the-year bluegill, and Stanton showed off the tiny fish in his palm.
“It suggests, yes, we are getting some recruitment,” he said. “They are spawning.”
Stanton laid one bluegill and one bass on the measuring board and took a photo with his phone.
“See how they’re the same size?” he said. “That’s a pretty good indication that we have too many fish.”
Nobody, it suggests, has enough food to grow big.
In the first half of the May 5 sampling, numbers of bass and bluegill were about even.
“But what we’re not seeing is different sizes, which is a little concerning,” Stanton said.
That tailgate analysis was preliminary, however. The team still had a second 10-minute electrofishing session to complete that day. It’s possible that by early May larger fish hadn’t yet moved into the shallower water — where the team was sampling — to spawn. And, by some researchers’ estimates, electrofishing samples only about 15 percent of the population.
“But with any type of science it gives us an idea,” Stanton said. “We can develop trends.”
All the fish went back in the lake except two bullhead catfish; apparently, they found their way into the lake with the canal water. These two would never wake up.
Stanton that day was watching for a more nefarious intruder, one that has wrecked fisheries elsewhere in southern Idaho.
“I didn’t see any carp, thankfully.”
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