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Post #748 by Rajesh Kumar on July 19th 2016, 4:08 PM (in topic “Big fish on the leaderboard at the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo”)


Big fish on the leaderboard at the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

Day two of the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo started with thunderstorms rolling in just after daybreak, sending dozens of boats scurrying back to the dock before the skies cleared.

When the fishermen started to filter back to the dock in the afternoon, the leaderboard began changing fast with dozens of huge fish, from grouper to tuna, and more fish released alive than ever before.

Rodeo organizers said there were 3,310 tickets sold this year, just shy of the Guinness record year in 2011. This year's version of the oldest and largest fishing tournament in the nation drew competitors from all over the world and even the nation.

For a time, a young man from Poland, Jakub Stachowiak, was number one on the leader board with a 20-pound red snapper. But his fish fell out of contention before the end of the day.

"It was great. That was definitely the biggest fish I've ever caught," said Stachowiak, who came to Alabama specifically to fish the rodeo with relatives who live in the area.   

The live weigh in component of the tournament proved popular, for sharks, redfish and trout, with hundreds of fish weighed and released.

Father and son Mark and Ric Collier came to the weigh station with video documentation of their shark catch for the live weigh in. It was stunning.   

"I'm going to say we caught over 70. Anywhere from five to ten pounds, and every one of them was a bull shark," said Ric Collier. As for location, all he'd say was "in the bay."

"We had a couple of them that actually went to 20," said Mark Collier. "They were all good and healthy. Some of them were pretty mean."

Marcus Drymon, a shark scientist with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab said their catch was a testament to the importance of Mobile Bay is as a nursery habitat, and the health of the bull shark population.  

Rodeo president Richard Rutland, a local fishing guide, said it was fantastic to see so many large trout released alive instead of cooling on the ice.

"The live weigh in is going awesome. Someone just brought in a very nice redfish, big and healthy. The scientists are implanting with a tag that will allow them to track the fish once it is released. That's going to yield a lot of data."

And a brief bit about the highlights of the leaderboard, including first place in each category:

Barracuda: Cecily O'brien – 35.93 pounds

Black Drum: Daryll L. Belt – 45.01 pounds

Blackfin tuna: Jack Volkman – 19.37 pounds

Blackfish: Huey Belaire – 23.60 pounds

Blue Runner: Adam Coleman – 5.51 pounds

Bluefish: Brian Rowe – 2.89 pounds

Bonito: Tommy Ripple – 12.35 pounds

Cobia: Andrew Hardin – 42.54 pounds

Crevalle: Michael McClantoc – 30.29 pounds

Dolphin: Jeremy Freeman – 16.65 pounds

Flounder: Brian Parks – 4.89 pounds

Gafftopsail: David Harrison – 7.52 pounds

Gray Snapper: Anthony Edwards – 7.61 pounds

King Mackerel: Melanie Byrd – 54.69 pounds

Ladyfish: Tammy McClantoc – 2.77 pounds

Pompano: Edgar Murphy – 2.15 pounds

Red drum: Robert Fasbender – 7.03 pounds

Red snapper: Walt Shannon – 25.24 pounds

Scamp: Victoria Strange – 9.90 pounds

Grouper: Chuck Baldridge – 29.97 pounds

Sheepshead: Robert Paul Davis – 8.29 pounds

Spanish mackerel: Joe Teague – 6.37 pounds

Speckled trout – Trenny Woodham – 7.10 pounds

Tarpon – Ernest Ladd IV – 125.00

Vermillion snapper: Kevin Watts – 3.79 pounds

White trout: Blake Harness – 0.96 pounds

Yellowfin tuna: Luke Thompson – 167.20 pounds

Live redfish: Sam Glass – 7.02 pounds

Live speckled trout: 7.10 pounds

Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Shark: Angelo Depaola – 244 points

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Post #748

Post #747 by Rajesh Kumar on July 19th 2016, 4:04 PM (in topic “Demigod David Beckham goes fishing in Iceland - there's got to be a catch”)


Demigod David Beckham goes fishing in Iceland - there's got to be a catch

Cool combination: Iceland and David Beckham

Iceland. Cool or not cool? After that brilliant showing at Euro 16 – so darned cool it’s hot. David Beckham. Hot or not? Hell, yeah; higher on the Scoville scale than a charcoal-seared Scotch bonnet. Fishing. Not so sure about this one. Cool? No, more like breezy and possibly freezy. Hot? Not unless you’re Hemingway landing a marlin. 

But what about Becks fishing in Iceland? Scorchio? No, just a reminder that even hunky, handsome, tattooed demigods eventually segue into middle age. Sigh. Now a 41-year-old father of four, Beckham qualifies as a young whippersnapper in the fishing fraternity, but judging from the way he’s rocking that scritchy woollen sweater and waders combo, he’s a natural. There he was in Iceland, staying on a private estate with his family. He could have taken them to admire the lava fields or gone whale-spotting. Instead, the geezer (yes, that was deliberate) was only off catching salmon. Admittedly, salmon are more glamorous than rudd, if less rock’n’roll than sailfish. All the same, it’s a sign of things to come; an existential cry for help. Back home, alpha wife Victoria has probably commandeered that classic middle-aged men’s retreat, the garden shed, for pattern-cutting or a walk-in wardrobe for Barley Sugar, the couple’s impossibly sweet daughter. Even a generation ago it was considered a man’s birthright to potter about in the cobwebs, smoking sly fags and listening to the match on a tinny transistor radio, in what was sacrosanct space. But these days the bottom of the garden has either been bought up by developers or is no longer quite far enough from family or mobile phone range.

And so, for those who find playing golf too chatty, there’s fishing. It’s both the biggest participatory sport in Britain and the least sociable, hence its appeal to a man d’un certain age. On the terraces, he is subsumed into a seething mass of fans. Watching cricket, he’s with his mates. To fathom why a man goes fishing, you have to understand it’s not fish he’s after. He thinks it is (or he wants you to think he thinks it is). Fishing is less about wrestling a monster carp into submission than silence, stillness, the absence of (don’t judge him) everybody he loves. 

For men in their middle years, in the grip of early-onset grumpiness, fishing is also an expression of and outlet for their last batsqueak of optimism. To the casual observer they might look morose, but deep down they genuinely believe that they will bag a pike if they just hunker down on the bank or in a boat for long enough. For wage slaves everywhere, there is something gloriously atavistic about fending for themselves, Britain’s idiosyncratic catch-and-release gentlemen’s agreement notwithstanding. Every time a chap rootles through his maggots or fixes a lure on his line, he is Man Taming Nature. Eating his sandwich? He’s channelling The Revenant. It might sound silly, but woe betide the woman who says so. As the adage goes: give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ll get rid of him every weekend.

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Post #747

Post #746 by Rajesh Kumar on July 15th 2016, 4:57 PM (in topic “Keeper fluke bite starting to heat up”)


Keeper fluke bite starting to heat up

Fly casting instructor Joe Mahler hosts free classes on fly tying and net casting for families at Bass Pro Shops in Fort Myers every Wednesday night.

Mike Skelly had a good day on the water hunting for flounder. He was able to nail this 6 pounder for the table. (Photo: RipTide Bait and Tackle, Brigantine NJ)

The main attraction in the backwaters still seems to be about fluke fishing, as shops up and down the coast report a better bite finally shaping up. But don’t forget about offshore opportunity as bluefin tuna moved in thick around the 20 fathom line off Cape May. No doubt, we are entering the midsummer stage now with various back bay activity and pelagic fishing heating up.

“Fluke fishing seems to be getting better here day by day in Absecon Bay,” said Dave Showell of the Absecon Bay Sportsman, Absecon. “Many of the fish are being caught in Absecon Channel, along the edges at the top of the tide. There were guys that had fish up to 9 pounds this week.” Showell also noted that anglers fishing for fluke are happening into some weakfish catches as the spiketooths are picking up the fluke baits, which means there are more than a few weakies hanging around.

Jim Dinicola with a 6 pound flounder on the scale. (Photo: RipTide Bait and Tackle, Brigantine NJ)

The Atlantic City reef has been giving up pretty solid catches of fluke as well as sea bass to spice up the cooler. “Anyone looking to find a striper can liveline eels around the bridges or other backwater structures,” said Showell. “Fish the top of the tide during the night time to find bass up to 15 or 18 pounds.”

Chris Mears and Ethan Bruzzese with a brown shark landed from the Brigantine surf. (Photo: RipTide Bait and Tackle, Brigantine NJ)

“It seems that fluke are pushing toward the inlet now,” said Ed Bronstein, Fin-Atics, Ocean City. “Spots like Anchorage Point, Rainbow Channel and the toll bridge are seeing more activity, and I hear the reef sites are picking up as well.” It’s bene an unusual year in the Ocean City back bays as flounder fishing has not really been too productive, but as the waters continually warm, a new bite may spark up.

The Atlantic City reef has been holding a good amount of keeper fluke as Captain Al Crudele had found some limits of flatties, and witnessed a few cobia and brown sharks on the reef as well. “The beach bite on kingfish has been red hot,” added Bronstein. “The mid 20 streets are holding a lot of fish, and it doesn’t matter about time or tide, just be sure to fish where the sandbars are to find kingfish.

There’s also a lot of cow nosed rays moving through the surf, so expect the reports of ‘shark sightings’ to amp up this week.” Bronstein also noted that triggerfish moved in around the Longport Pier as clam bits are scoring the beak-mouthed brawlers.

“Decent fluke fishing continues in the back bay, however the ocean reefs are also heating up with keeper fish,” declared Tammy Carbohn at the Avalon Hodge Podge, Avalon. Lynn Tierno from Somerdale, NJ weighed in a 3.77-pound fluke taken on live minnows at the TI Reef.

A few straggler stripers are also hanging around as customer Matt from Broomall, PA landed a 13.31-pound linesider while casting a bucktail tipped with Gulp at the TI Bridge.

Offshore tuna fishing is picking up as bluefin to 100 pounds have moved into the Massey’s Canyon area and mako sharks to 275 pounds have been hooked while chunking the Cigar area. One customer named Pete is reportedly catching some spinner sharks on the fly rod only 10 miles off the Avalon beachfront.

“Fluke fishing at Cape May Reef and Delaware Reef Site 11 is picking up nicely,” said Matt Slobodjian, Jim’s Bait and Tackle, Cape May. “There are a lot of short fish, but you can definitely put a good amount of keepers in the cooler out there.” The lower Delaware Bay is also starting to give up some quality fluke as Crow Shoal and the #16 buoy near the channel have been hot spots.

Offshore fishing really highlighted the fishing activity this week as bluefin tuna have stormed into Massey’s Canyon. “Some boats are still trolling but the best bite is chunking and jigging. There are some yellowfin mixed in but most are bluefin,” said Slobodjian. Gina Milner was fishing on her boat the "Heavy Cat" trolling just northeast of Massey's and hooked into a nice 62.2-pound wahoo.

Lure making is lifetime passion. BART BOATWRIGHT/Staff

Word also has it that the first bigeye tuna have moved into the Wilmington Canyon and that larger mahi are hanging around the lobster pots. Inshore trolling around Cape May reef with feathers and spoons will produce catches of false albacore and a few bonito and small mahi.

Off the surf front, kingfish are inundating the waters at Cape May Beach and Wildwood Crest, and the catch and release shark fishing is heating up off Cape May Point as browns and sand tigers up to 200 pounds are hitting bunker and mackerel baits.

Reach Nick Honachefsky at

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Post #746

Post #745 by Rajesh Kumar on July 15th 2016, 4:46 PM (in topic “Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo”)


Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo


The Alabama deep sea fishing rodeo has gone from the greatest show in sports fishing to the world's largest fishing tournament along the gulf coast. The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, a Project of the Mobile Jaycees, is the largest fishing tournament in the world. Founded in 1929, the fishing rodeo now attracts over 3,000 anglers and 75,000 spectators. It is located on Dauphin Island, Ala.

The 83rd Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo will be held July 15-17, 2016. The ADSFR is a 3-day Captain's Choice tournament and a Southern Kingfish Association sanctioned event. The total awards package is valued up to one million dollars in cash and prizes and anchored by a boat, motor, and trailer packages.

The 3-day event features 30 categories with prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in all categories. One Master Angler is also awarded along with cash prizes for King Mackerel, Speckled Trout and Big Game Jackpots.

The ADSFR has donated over $200,000 to the University Of South Alabama Department Of Marine Sciences and annually funds academic scholarships.

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Post #745

Post #744 by Rajesh Kumar on July 15th 2016, 4:44 PM (in topic “10 best summer fishing destinations in Southeast Idaho”)


10 best summer fishing destinations in Southeast Idaho

During the middle of the summer, the heat can sometimes squelch fishing fun in Southeast Idaho. But there are quite a few places that are fishing well right now despite the July heat.

Bear Lake: Known for its turquoise blue water, Bear Lake in the southeastern corner of the state has been one of the best fishing spots of the year so far. You will need a boat and a tackle box of silver spoons or Rapalas to get the job done. Troll between 35-55 feet for lake trout and cutthroats. Trout limit is two; only those cutthroat trout with a clipped adipose fin, as evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept. If it is possible to get tired of fishing, Bear Lake’s beaches are perfect for building sandcastles, wading, swimming, paddle boarding and so much more. Or, leave some time to explore the beautiful Bear Lake National Refuge. 

Montpelier Reservoir: Located approximately 8 miles up Montpelier Canyon on Highway 89, east of Montpelier, this reservoir is a higher elevation fishery. Enjoy the cooler temperatures as you fish for plentiful perch from shore or from your boat (electric motors only).

Oneida Narrows Reservoir: This reservoir may be known for its walleye, but go there now for the smallmouth bass fishing. It has been very good as of late. Bass limit is six, any size. The reservoir is about 18 miles northeast of Preston. Redpoint Campground (managed by Bureau of Land Management) is located below the dam.

Upper Kelly Park Pond: This is a wonderful fishery for kids. Operated by the city of Soda Springs, this pond is stocked well with rainbow trout and other fish all summer long. Only youth 13 and under are allowed to fish, and those 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult. There is a fairly easy 1/4-mile hike to the upper pond from the parking lot at Kelly Park. The lower pond at the park is not stocked with fish. Worms, lures and marshmallows are almost always a hit with the rainbows. For fly rods, try beadheads, leeches and wooly buggers; grasshoppers and other dry flies for when the trout are feeding at the surface.

Bannock Reservoir (Portneuf Wellness Complex): Fishing has been decent at the Bannock Reservoir despite the heat this summer. The reservoir is nearly 30 feet deep and provides cool refuge for trout. It is stocked every two weeks and is best fished in the early morning and evening hours.

Edson Fichter Pond: Success at Edson Fichter tends to drop during the middle of the summer due to warm water temps, therefore, Fish and Game does not stock Edson Fichter this time of year. The last time trout were put in this pond was the end of June. Anglers can still dunk a worm or wet a fly in this pond, but just note that the best success will be in early morning or evening, and it won’t really get good again until the end of the summer. Remember, the Edson Fichter Nature Area is closed for a few days starting July 18 to install an asphalt trail.

Streams: Some of the streams to consider in Southeast Idaho include Cub River, St. Charles Creek, Montpelier Creek and Eightmile Creek. All offer high probabilities of catching fish. Just be sure to carry bug spray — the mosquitoes apparently like spending time at these waters, too.

Want to know if your favorite fishery has been stocked recently? Fish stocking information can be found at If you just want to learn more about a fishery, check out the Idaho Fishing Planner at the bottom of Fish and Game’s home page at

Jennifer Jackson is the regional conservation educator for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Southeast Region.

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Post #744

Post #743 by Rajesh Kumar on July 15th 2016, 4:42 PM (in topic “Electronics take bass fishing to video game level”)


Electronics take bass fishing to video game level

I've never been a big fan of video games. In my mind, punching buttons and chasing dancing figures around on a computer or television screen all in the name of running up a meaningless score has always seemed like a total waste of time.

Then along came Lowrance StructureScan, a high definition sonar imaging system that can help you learn things about a lake that you never knew and ultimately find and catch fish away from the bank like never before. I installed the system on my boat about a 1 1/2 years ago and I've been playing “Chase the Dots” ever since.

Well, not quite that long.

Like most new users, I cut my electronics teeth with basic 2D/GPS units and was somewhat intimidated by the thought of learning something totally different. So much that I was reluctant to get serious about learning the game for quite a while, even with pair of new state-of-the-art monitors staring me in the face as I motored down the lake and navigated the shallows with the trolling motor.

For months I kept running the same ol' water and fishing the same shallow spots I'd been hitting for years. My pro fishing buddies and others already familiar with technology kept telling me what I was missing by not getting off the bank and broadening my horizons.

Todd Driscoll was among them. Driscoll was a Lowrance tech at the time who has since made the switch to a different marine electronics company called Garmin. “Once you get your mind wrapped around this stuff it will change your fishing forever,” Driscoll said. “It will ruin you.”

In looking back, my friend was right on target. I finally got serious about learning to unlock the potential of StructureScan last fall and it has totally changed the way I fish. I'm hesitant to call myself an offshore junkie, but I'm pretty darned close.

StructureScan: What Is It?

Introduced several years ago by Oklahoma-based Lowrance, StructureScan is a cutting edge technology exclusive to company's HDS electronic units. In addition to traditional 2D sonar, the technology enables users to simultaneously view in extremely high detail a lake's a lake's bottom from three different viewpoints using its SideScan (left and right) and DownScan functions. Both functions operate using a special transducer that mounts to the boat's transom area or the outboard engine jackplate. The boat must be moving at idle speed of about 2-8 m.p.h. in order for both applications to work properly.

There is a ton to know and always more learn about these functions. But make no mistake about it. Once you grasp how they work together and learn how to put them to use in combination with an accompanying mapping technology, your fishing is sure to improve.

This holds especially true when it comes to fishing away from bank, where unmolested schools of largemouth bass, white bass and crappie can often be found hanging out in relation to offshore channel ledges or underwater points, humps, ridges and brush piles.

Bass tournament pro Mark Rose of Memphis, Arkansas, is an offshore expert who has won more than $2 million during his career, a high percentage of it coming by targeting isolated sweet spots he has found using his electronics. A Garmin guy since last year, Rose began his career with Lowrance.

I interviewed Rose for a story in 2014 and he credited StructureScan with every tournament win and every check that he had cashed since the technology was introduced around 2008.

Scott Suggs of Alexander, Arkansas, is another pro angler well known for his offshore prowess. He says StructureScan technology has helped him become a better angler largely because it allows him to utilize his fishing time more efficiently.

“Back in the old days you had to do a lot fishing just to find fish, but that's not the case with StructureScan,” said Suggs. “In the flasher days you had to interpret what was there, but with StructureScan you can actually see what is there in real time. I compare it to sitting in a classroom with a book or watching slideshow. In my opinion you can learn a heck of a lot more from the slideshow. When it comes to getting an education in offshore fishing, StructureScan blows everything else out of the water. I have a tremendous amount of trust in it - so much that if I don't see fish I won't even stop and make a cast.”

Randy Haynes of Counce, Tennessee, is another offshore stud who makes his living of bass he finds using his electronics. Now sponsored by Raymarine, Haynes built his reputation using StructureScan. He once told me that the technology eliminates a lot guesswork formerly associated with offshore fishing.

“It shows you stuff that you previously couldn't see,” he said. “It's like your boat is a high security building with cameras pointing out both sides and straight down to prevent anything from getting in. It takes some practice using it to really grasp it, but once you get it figured out it will definitely change your fishing. It has really sped up the offshore learning curve for a lot guys.”

Getting A Grip on SideScan

As earlier mentioned, the SideScan feature allows you scan the lake's bottom on both sides of the boat, often out to 100 feet more.

Used correctly, it will produce real-time images of fish, stumps, submerged bridges, brush piles and other stuff that you otherwise might not see unless the boat passes directly above them.

If you see something on the screen that looks interesting, you can navigate the cursor directly on top of that object and mark it on the mapping screen for closer observation. Anglers sometimes call this “popping a waypoint.”

While it's a great tool for searching water quickly along river ledges, flats, points and other offshore structure, SideScan also can provide a bird's eye view beneath boat docks, piers or around bridge pilings.

Suggs has also found SideScan to be extremely useful for locating isolated colonies of bream beds during the summer months on offshore ridges, humps and points.

“I use it a lot for that,” he said. “My wife and I like to fish for bream, but bream beds also will attract a lot big bass. Going into a tournament with 20-25 bream bed colonies marked can be like money in the bank.”

Suggs likes to search for bream beds away from the bank, because those are the ones that are most likely unmolested and he can usually have them to himself. When searching for beds, he will run parallel with the structure until he sees what he is looking for.

“They look just like the divots on a golf ball,” he said. “It's amazing how well they stand out.”

Matt Williams is a freelance writer based in Nacogdoches. He can be reached by e-mail,

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Post #743

Post #742 by Rajesh Kumar on July 12th 2016, 3:52 PM (in topic “DNR concerned over drop in fishing and hunting”)


DNR concerned over drop in fishing and hunting


ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota is still known as an outdoor paradise, but state wildlife officials are concerned that fewer residents are fishing its lakes and rivers, and hunting its forests and fields. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is addressing the drop in license sales and participation by staging a two-day conference from Friday, Aug. 26, to Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center that will focus on recruiting and retaining hunters and anglers. 

“In the 1960s and decades before, hunting and fishing was simply a part of people’s heritage, and it was a relatively low cost social activity that provided food for the table,” said Jeff Ledermann, angler recruitment, retention and education supervisor. “But times have changed.”

The numbers back him up: In the 1960s and 1970s about 40 percent of Minnesotans age 16 and older purchased a fishing license. That began to decline in the 1980s and today, just 27 percent of Minnesota residents age 16 and older fish and 12 percent hunt.

“Because hunting and fishing provide important social, economic and conservation benefits, many are concerned about the declines in participation,” Ledermann said. “That’s why we’re bringing experts and organizations together around boosting hunter and angler numbers.”

The conference will include presentations from national experts, reflections from local organizations and breakout sessions to address common challenges are also scheduled. The DNR will provide a free toolkit with templates for new programs, strategies to enhance existing programs, evaluation tools, and checklists to help program planning and management.

Volunteers and staff of organizations or agencies and members of the public involved or interested in preserving Minnesota’s outdoor heritage are encouraged to attend. There are no fees for registration or meals.

Online registration is open at

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Post #742

Post #741 by Rajesh Kumar on July 12th 2016, 3:50 PM (in topic “Starter fly fishing classes available”)


Starter fly fishing classes available


Fly fishing is not only fun, it’s challenging and a lethal way to catch fish, so anglers who’d like to learn this favorite activity of Isaac Walton are invited to a beginning fly fishing clinic at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County. There will be 125 slots available for this popular program, with sessions held on Fridays from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7 with the exception of Sept. 23.

In addition to fly-fishing instruction by ODNR Division of Wildlife staff and volunteers, attendees will be able to test their new skills by fishing for rainbow trout in Cold Creek. Slots will be chosen by lottery, so to apply, applicants should submit a postcard listing their name, address, Customer ID number, and phone number to Division of Wildlife District Two, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, OH 45840 Attention: Beginning Fly Fishing Clinic. Applicants may bring one guest.

Two areas added to nature preserve system

The Ohio State Nature Preserve system is growing. The Division of Natural Areas and Preserves has added two additional parcels to the system, a beautiful xeric limestone prairie in Adams County and a sandstone slot canyon in Hocking County. The first, a 10-acre parcel, contains several dry, shallow soil, limestone prairies and cliffs with more than 200 species of plants on the parcel. The second, a 35-acre parcel will be managed as part of the Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve. It will support colorful spring flowers and 12 species of ferns.

Kayak fishing skills taught

Outdoor enthusiasts interested in the basic skills needed to kayak fish are encouraged to attend a free informational workshop provided by the ODNR from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 17. All equipment will be supplied and the workshop is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Register by calling Jordan Phillips at 614-902-4196. Dress appropriately and be prepared to get wet. Items to bring include a valid Ohio fishing license for participants over age 16 and a dry change of clothing.

Get a loaner lifejacket

If you need to borrow a kids life jacket for the day or weekend, chances are there is one near you at one of the over 12,500 life jacket loaner sites cross the country at The website list is the nation’s largest single source of life jacket loaner sites, which are located at marinas, boat clubs and firehouses, along with over 900 community loaner sites. Each year, the BoatUS Foundation lends out life jackets over 140,000 times, and saves a number of young lives.

Go on an ODNR planned hike

Summer is a good time to explore Ohio’s state parks and nature preserves, and the ODNR makes it easy with planned hikes at several places. Among those hikes is a Progressive Prairie Hike at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 23. For more information, call 937-537-6173. Another hike will be a Wetlands Walk at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve from 2 to 3:30 p.m. July 24. For information, call 440-257-0777.  A third hike will the Adams County Prairie Tour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 30 at Shawnee State Park. Call 740-858-6652 for details.

Congress asking for money for wildlife

Recently, Congressman Don Young and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell introduced H.R. 5650, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016. The legislation would help promote conservation efforts across the country and provide the states with important conservation dollars. The legislation calls for $1.3 billion annually in existing revenues from oil and gas realities to be dedicated to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program. It will protect wildlife, habitats and natural resources for generations to come.

Dick Martin is a retired biology teacher who has been writing outdoor columns for 30 years.  You can reach him at

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Post #741

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