Fishing Wire Ranger Boats Careco TV
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2018

COAST GUARD
The Coast Guard 5th District is seeking public input on proposed changes to aids to navigation in Long Creek, Broad Bay and Lynnhaven Inlet due to significant shoaling and navigational safety concerns.   

Twenty-three people on a Lava Ocean Tours vessel were hurt shortly after 6 a.m. when what has been described as a “lava bomb” sent molten lava showering down on the metal roof of the vessel. 

COLLEGIATE FISHING

One hundred thirty-six of the top student/angler teams in the nation, representing 78 universities, will face a tough test on Oklahoma’s Tenkiller Lake for the 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops, July 19-21. 

CONSERVATION

Staff from the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes anticipate that fish and environmental health in the Upper Peninsula’s Menominee River will improve over time as the river recovers following a cleanup effort. 

A diverse group of North Carolina scientists and stakeholders have created a model that indicates optimal locations to restore oyster reefs. 

Construction is set to begin this month on a project to connect 14 miles of upstream habitat on Milligan Creek, a tributary of the Upper Black River in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. 

Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex, Building Conservation Trust, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and DLS Energy will begin construction on an expansion to the Brad Vincent Reef in Calcasieu Lake this week. 

EVENTS

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free fishing event 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24, at the Fountain Grove Conservation Area in Linn and Livingston counties. 

FISHERIES

The red snapper season for recreational anglers fishing from private vessels and for charter captains who do not have a federal reef fish permit is open through July 20, closing July 21. 

Licensed charter captains provide the boats and all the equipment, plus the knowledge needed for a fun half-day or day on the water. 

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division (MRD) announces the closure of Alabama state waters to the harvest of red snapper by private anglers and state-licensed commercial party boats at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 22, 2018.  

GEAR

Whether heading to the public fishing pier or secluded backcountry streams, Plano's new A-Series 2.0 Backpack carries all the fishing essentials and keeps the angler's hands free to fish while on the move. 

INDUSTRY

The new VMC® Neko™ Skirt — a first-of-its-kind terminal accessory design for the increasingly popular Neko Rig currently taking the bass fishing world by storm — was awarded “Best Terminal Tackle” honors by the American Sportfishing Association at ICAST 2018, the world’s largest sportfishing expo. 

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) toured Correct Craft’s manufacturing plant in Orlando and met with the company’s executives to discuss how the Trump Administration’s trade policies are directly affecting their business. 

Hi Mountain Seasonings has addressed the cult-like following of bacon enthusiasts with its introduction of two new Bacon Seasonings—Sticky Bun and Pineapple Sriracha—that will take your bacon experience to a whole new level.

On Friday, July 13, Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Governor Rick Scott joined ASA and Keep Florida Fishing® separately to address leaders of the sportfishing community during an industry-sponsored candidate forum on conservation issues for the Florida U.S. Senate race. 

INVASIVE SPECIES

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has allocated more than $4 million to support existing work by western states and tribes to combat the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels. Arizona has several quagga mussel-infested waterbodies and will benefit from the increased funding. 

LEGISLATION

S.3223 recommends that Congress authorize $1.3 billion annually from energy development on federal lands and waters to the existing Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program to conserve the full array of fish and wildlife. 

NEW PRODUCTS

Ranger Boats continues the legacy of leading the industry in design and innovation with the extension its popular L Series line of tournament bass boats to include the all-new Z518L Comanche and Z519L Comanche. 

Northland Fishing Tackle builds on last year’s wildly successful introduction of the Glo-Shot Spoon by expanding its popular Glo-Shot™ palette with the Glow-Shot™ Jig. 

PHOTOGRAPHY

All aspects of nature and enjoying the outdoors in Alabama are eligible in this annual contest, now in its 14th year.

STATES

Sturgeon spearers have until Aug. 1 to apply for a 2019 Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing license or purchase a preference point to be used in future drawings. 

The cause can be attributed to the fish being concentrated in a localized area of the lake, stress due to spawning and a brief period of poor water quality, says Nebraska GPC.

According to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP), entrepreneurs interested in operating Roy Lake Resort located within Roy Lake State Park in northeastern South Dakota can now begin submitting their proposals. 

SWEEPSTAKES

 Costa Sunglasses’ Wanna Tag Along Sweepstakes will award one lucky shark fan and a friend the chance to tag along on the trip of a lifetime to Nova Scotia, Canada with the OCEARCH crew aboard the M/V OCEARCH during a shark expedition.

TELEVISION

All new to MyOutdoorTV (MOTV), Xtreme Bass Angler provides viewers with a realistic insight to techniques, tips, strategies, lodges and locations for bass anglers to improve their skills. 

TOURNAMENTS

The crew of Shockwave will never be superstitious about Friday the 13th again. The Orange Beach team brought a 795.2-pound blue marlin to the scales Friday evening and it held on to win the 2018 Blue Marlin Grand Championship and earn the team a payout of $371,250 

From tourism to marine recreation and sport fishing, reefs play an important role in local economies. They’re also essential to the health of the ocean, providing habitat for a variety of marine life and increasing coastal resilience to storms. 

To support thriving coastlines and ocean ecosystems, U.S. Department of Interior employees and programs are working with local partners to build artificial reefs -- creating refuge for marine life.

Rigs to Reefs

A flat plain of clay, mud and sand, the natural bottom of the Gulf of Mexico offers very little natural hard bottom and reef habitat. But Interior’s Rigs to Reefs program is changing that by turning old offshore platforms into artificial reefs. 

Not long after new platforms are installed in the Gulf, marine life take up residence in and around the platform’s steel frame supports -- called jackets. As the platforms age, the populations of fish and other marine organisms that live near the structure increase. A single platform can provide habitat for thousands of fish.

These artificial reefs offer shelter to large numbers of fish. Photo by Robert Wohlers, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

When platforms are no longer economically viable, instead of removing the structure (and with it, much needed marine habitat), Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement works with energy companies and the states to make the platforms into permanent artificial reefs. Instead of paying to decommission a rig, the energy company pays to have the structure reefed and donates money to the state where the rig is to assist with the management of their artificial reef program.

Since the program was created in 1985, more than 500 platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have been converted into artificial reefs with 400 additional platforms eligible to be converted to reefs.

This program is a win for ocean life, outdoor enthusiasts and states. Artificial reefs provide shelter, food and other necessary elements for biodiversity and a productive ocean. This in turn creates a rich diversity of marine life, attracting divers and anglers. And states like the program because the increased tourism and commercial fishing benefits local economies. 

Divers can experience fascinating marine life on artificial reefs. Photo by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Creating Living Shorelines

Back in the 17th century, oysters were abundant in the estuaries of the Atlantic Coast, but over time, development, pollution and commerce led to their decline. Now these mollusks are flourishing once again at sites in Virginia, New Jersey and Maryland, thanks to Interior.

Employees build oyster castles at Gandy’s Beach. The oyster breakwall reduces incoming wave energy by up to 40 percent. Photo courtesy of Adrianna Zito-Livingston, The Nature Conservancy.

Working with public and private partners, Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is building artificial oyster reefs and creating living shorelines. In Virginia at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, over 13,500 oyster castles were installed. These cinderblock-like structures provide a spot for young oysters (called spat) to stick to and grow. Along New Jersey’s coast at Gandy’s  Beach, the Service, partners and volunteers have built more than 3,000 feet of living shorelines using oyster castles. They started in 2014 and are seeing amazing results creating a self-sustaining reef system. In Maryland, they’re placing reef balls -- concrete cone-line structures -- in a 287-acre stretch of the bay to promote oyster growth. 

Oyster castles at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. Photo by Kevin Holcomb, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Why is a thriving oyster colony important? Healthy oysters have profound implications for the environment, water quality and the local economy. One oyster can filter 50 gallons of water each day -- more oysters means cleaner water. Flourishing oyster populations are good for coastal fishing communities that depend on the species for food and to earn a living. They also provide food and habitat for other marine organisms. Not to mention, living coasts prevent erosion and act as wave breaks, making salt-marsh habitat and infrastructure more resilient in the face of future storms. 

These are a few of the ways Interior is leading on ocean conservation and building artificial reefs to ensure fish and marine life populations are healthy.  

FISHING CALENDAR
June 18 - August 21
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Meeting in Key Wes

includes reef fish review and other topics; www.gulfcouncil.org

July 21
Swamp Head Brewery Trash Tour

Tampa Bay out of E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin, FL, 8 a.m. to noon, pick up shoreline trash, win prizes and free food and beer. 

August 12-18
Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament

Manteo, N.C.; pcbgt.com

 
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