Tuesday, October 6, 2015

With all assets on scene, the Maine Marine Patrol was able to come along side the Legacy, which was running in high speed circles, and put an officer aboard to stop the vessel.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will host a public meeting on Oct. 8 to present the long-term restoration plan, or Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), for the Rainbow Springs system
NOAA Fisheries has awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to 16 projects under a Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.
Tampa Bay Watch is seeking volunteers to monitor and empty tubes around Tampa Bay twice a month to help protect seabirds and other marine life.

When Kayla Nevius caught an 8-pound, 2-ounce bass one morning before work, she was excited, but she didn't realize it would be a life-changing moment. The video she shot of her catch made her the grand-prize winner in the GoPro Best Catch Contest Powered by Bassmaster.

The Indiana DNR and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department will host a free family trout fishing derby at Shoaff Park from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17.
JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Hiller Park Recreation Area beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, October 17. The free event is hosted by the City of Biloxi and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).
–Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Turcotte Education Center beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, October 17. The free event is hosted by the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

The HIA funds projects to improve aquatic habitat, fishing access, water quality and the DNR's understanding of resources on the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon rivers.
Since inception of this innovative citizen-science, conservation rewards program in October 2012, nearly 3,000 trophy largemouth bass heavier than 8 pounds have been caught, documented and released in Florida.

Pro angler Hank Cherry offers these tips for successful bass fishing in muddy water.

This month, Simms is urging anglers to purchase its fishing gear not only in pursuit of great fall fishing, but also to help breast cancer patients.

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced that it received the honor of being the most recognized company in the marine electronics field by the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) at the prestigious 2015 NMEA Convention in Baltimore, Md.
Scout Boats, Inc. held its 2016 Model Year Dealer Meeting September 24 - 26, 2015, in Charleston, SC. The dealer meeting consisted of a two day dealer event, media boat testing, a successful customer sales expo, top dealer awards and the debut of the company's all new 231 XS Bay Boat.
Officials from Big Rock Sports, Canada announced today that the outdoor distributor has acquired KTL Canada, a fishing tackle distributor based in Mississauga, ON.

The Mako sharks competing in the Guy Harvey Great Shark Race have logged some 22,900 miles so far for research.

Wisconsin Sea Grant welcomed President Obama's announcement that the nation's newest NOAA national marine sanctuary is moving closer to a designation along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Manitowoc, Sheboygan or Ozaukee counties and in the waters in a location to be determined, having met preliminary national significance criteria and management considerations.
In a first for the state of Maryland, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared its intent to designate Mallows Bay in Charles County as a National Marine Sanctuary, and is seeking public input on how the site should best be used and managed.

Yamaha Marine Group announced the return of one of its most valuable incentive programs, "Why Wait? Buy Now." The new promotion gives customers a great way to add value to their Yamaha four-stroke outboard purchases this fall.

Captain Dave Pomerleau, AKA "the Mad Snooker" of the Tampa Bay area joins Captain Mike Anderson of "Reel Animals" TV and 970 WFLA Radio Tuesday, Oct. 13 at Gator Ford east of Tampa.

The Fisheries Division installed 2,100 habitat structures along 2 ½ miles of shoreline at Cave Run Lake and received a $10,000 grant to install more in the lake. The Fees in Lieu program restored six miles of streams over the past two years with plans to restore 70 more stream miles in the coming years.
The new location will be across from the Village of Yesteryear and between the Antique Farm Machinery building and the FAA Animal Barn at the Raleigh site. The exhibit will open from 3 to 9 p.m., on Oct. 15 and from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., Oct. 16-25.
According to witnesses they heard a noise and saw Moore floating in the water while his 16 foot aluminum vessel was circling around him.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in partnership with Jefferson Parish have scheduled a temporary closure of Bonnabel Boat Launch, a public access facility on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain, for ramp improvements.

Catfish fans were not disappointed at the weigh-in for the Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest (BCQ) event on Saturday October 3, 2015 in New Madrid, MO.

"Bugging" the Fish on Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound

Today's feature comes to us from David Rainer of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Mobile Bay and the Mississippi Sound are bugged, but the listening devices aren't snooping to hear the inshore anglers' big-fish tales or locate their favorite fishing holes.

The microphones, known as hydrophones, are strategically positioned around the Bay and Sound to listen for the fish themselves – a select group of fish.

In a study sanctioned by the Alabama Marine Resources Division (MRD), several inshore fish are being fitted with sonic devices that will be picked up by the hydrophones to get a better idea of where and how much they travel during the year.

Chris Blankenship, MRD Director, said the project is in collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, which has hydrophone stations on the west side of Mississippi Sound.

"This should give us a better picture of the movement of those inshore fish," Blankenship said. "It started as a tarpon project because that's Alabama's state saltwater fish, but we had very little information about the movement of tarpon in our area. Once the hydrophones were out, we had the opportunity to include other species, so we added red drum (redfish) and spotted seatrout (speckled trout) to learn about those fish movements at the same time.

"The interesting thing is that for any fish with an acoustic tag that we pick up, we share that information. Like sturgeon. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has tagged some sturgeon in some of the creeks and rivers in Florida. Occasionally, we'll pick up some of those fish in our array, and we'll share that with the people who are gathering data on those fish."

Dr. Sean Powers and the University of South Alabama Marine Sciences Department are conducting the study, which has been dubbed CAAMP, the Coastal Alabama Acoustic Monitoring Program. There is an array of 40 listening stations with hydrophones strategically placed around Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound.

"The hydrophones were placed around the bay to cover the entry and exit points of fish, and in this instance, we're talking about a red drum or speckled trout," Powers said. "We have all the rivers covered in the (Mobile/Tensaw) Delta. We have a string of them along the Causeway, at Fowl River and Dog River. We also have them in Mississippi Sound.

"Our colleagues in Mississippi and Florida are using same type hydrophones, and we share data. So although we only cover Alabama with our 40 hydrophones, we have partnerships that cover the Gulf from Louisiana to Tampa."

The hydrophones are designed to pick up acoustic signals with unique codes that identify individual fish. The acoustic tag sends a series of sound pulses in a few seconds. The hydrophone interprets that signal and identifies the fish. If it was a fish from Alabama, the identification of the fish gives researchers data on where the fish was tagged and where it was located when the signal was picked up at different times. If the hydrophone identifies an unknown code, the other states involved in the program are notified.

Each fish in the study is caught by researchers or other anglers and the small tag is attached.

"We do a little surgery on the fish," Powers said. "We insert a little tag. It's about half the size of a AAA battery. Sound travels really well in saltwater, so we don't need that big of an amplifier. A little tag can do a whole lot. It sends that pulse out every minute. The tags will last a year. When it swims within 500 meters of a hydrophone, the signal is picked up and will tell us the fish was alive in that location. With our array of hydrophones and collaboration with the other states, we get good information on movement of fish, the seasonal movement of fish."

The Mobile/Tensaw Delta and its role in the movement of inshore species is of particular interest to the researchers. Typically, the inshore species follow the migration of shrimp and other food sources into the rivers and creeks in the fall, depending somewhat on water salinity and flow.

"One thing we're really interested in is how the saltwater fish use that Delta – when, and potentially why, they use that Delta area," Powers said. "Although we have hydrophones all around the Bay, it's a little more weighted toward the Delta, Fowl River and Dog River."

The acoustic study is being done in stages, according to species. The first year is red drum. Powers said about 100 redfish have already been tagged.

"That was the fun part," he said. "We went out and tagged them all around the Bay, some in the Delta and some off Fairhope, some off Bon Secour and some off Dauphin Island.

"What we will get is very important information on movement, and we'll get important information on survivorship. We know how many fished we tagged. We have rewards so fishermen can call the information in to us if they catch one. That way we'll be able to tell how many survived."

That rate of survival, or escapement, plays a crucial role in the management of red drum, Powers said. Current management models are based on 30-percent escapement.

"What that means is 30 percent survive to go offshore and spawn," he said. "The fish we tagged are within the state slot limit of 16 to 26 inches. What we would like to see is verification that at least 30 percent of those survive."

The red drum study will be expanded next year with different parameters. Half the fish tagged will be wild fish, and half will be fished raised at the Marine Resources Division's Claude Peteet Mariculture Center in Gulf Shores.

"We're really interested to see if there is a difference in movement in wild red drum versus hatchery-raised red drum," Blankenship said.

Speckled trout will be added to the study in year three; however, several speckled trout that were part of the live weigh-in for the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo were tagged and released as well. Powers said the species for years four and five are undecided but could include flounder and/or sheepshead.

Before CAAMP came into existence, Powers said a tarpon study had been underway for a couple of years.

"We worked with fishermen on the tarpon, because you've got to be pretty good to catch a tarpon," he said. "We tagged about a dozen tarpon, and we've also got satellite tags on a couple of fish that will pop off and float. We also have one receiver off Gulf State Park Pier, so we expect to hear a few tarpon ticking off Gulf State Pier."

Powers said the information from the hydrophones is downloaded about every six months.

"Sometime next year we should have some good information," he said. "We know that we've already heard from some of the tarpon and some of the red drum. The good thing about the red drum tags is some of the freshwater folks have receivers out to listen for sturgeon, and they've already heard some of our redfish up in the rivers."

PHOTOS: (Crystal Hightower, tarpon by Andrea Kroetz) As part of the CAAMP array, hydrophones are stationed in Alabama coastal waters to pick up the signals from the tagged fish to study seasonal movements and escapement rates. A small acoustic device is inserted by Reid Nelson into the body cavity of the red drum in the study. Larger tags are attached near the dorsal fin on tarpon.

The Fishing Wire welcomes your comments and actively solicits letters and guest editorials from readers as well as fishery managers, scientists and industry experts in boating, fishing and related equipment. Please send your comments and suggestions to frank@thefishingwire.com.
Outdoors Calendar

» Got an event you'd like to see posted here? Send it to frank@thefishingwire.com.

Apr. 1 - Nov. 30: Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Fishing Tournament.  From Raritan Bay to Delaware Bay. 8 inshore species.  Entry $20.  www.BeachNBoat.com.

Oct. 9 - Oct. 11: Golden Nugget Beach N Boat Fishing Challenge & Barbecue Championship.  Over $28,000 in cash & prizes.  Entry $25.  https://beachnboat.com/events/golden-nugget.

Oct. 10 - Oct. 11: Oakley Big Bass Tour Event. Douglas Lake, Tennessee. www.oakleybigbass.com www.oakleybigbass.com

Oct. 16 - Oct. 17: Casting for a Cure All-Release Inshore Tournament on Tampa Bay, www.footfoundation.org.

Oct. 16 - Oct. 17: Casting for a Cure, Southeastern Tackle, Florida Avenue in Tampa, FL, $75 entry fee, funds to Mitochondrial Disease Awareness; www.footfoundation.org.

Oct. 17 - Oct. 18: Oakley Big Bass Tour Event. Lake Guntersville, Alabama. www.oakleybigbass.com www.oakleybigbass.com

Oct. 27 - Oct. 30: National Association of Sporting Goods Dealers Annual Convention, New Orleans; https://www.cteusa.com/nasgw5

Oct. 30 - Oct. 31: Crappie Masters 2016 Early Bird National Qualifier, Grenada
Lake, Grenada, MS, www.crappiemasters.net

Nov. 15 - Nov. 18: Marine Dealers Conference, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL; www.mraa.com.

Nov. 21: Orvis Fly Fishing School at CB's Saltwater Outfitters, Sarasota, FL, featuring Captain Rick Grasset, fee $150 includes text book and lunch; info@cbsoutfitters.com.


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