Thursday, August 17, 2017

 
COAST GUARD
The Coast Guard responded to two recreational vessels that caught fire and sank in Hammond Marina in Hammond, Indiana following an explosion, Tuesday.
The Coast Guard recommends mariners carry additional visual distress signals, have their boats equipped with VHF radios and position indicating radio beacons when boating at all times, day or night."

COLLEGE FISHING
Jacob Foutz and Jake Lee, two Tennessee anglers, survived through opposite sides of the bracket to face each other in Wednesday's finale.

CONSERVATION
Scallopalooza is an annual fundraiser hosted by Sarasota Bay Watch for scallop restoration in Sarasota Bay.
Whitetails Unlimited has joined forces with Conservation Visions and committed $50,000 on a groundbreaking scientific 5-year study, which started in 2015, designed to quantify the annual wild protein harvest from hunting and fishing in the United States and Canada.
The Nature Conservancy and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced a joint project to open up a coastal waterway to migratory fish.

FISHERIES
Northern pike have spread another 40 miles farther downstream in Lake Roosevelt, even though a program managed by the Spokane and Colville tribes and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has removed thousands of the invasive fish from the lake.
Upswings in the number of lower Columbia River chum in 2015 and 2016, and a strategic focus on restoration, hold promise for the threatened species, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council learned at its most recent meeting.

GRANTS
Encouraged to apply are nonprofit, youth-focused, community-based organizations that teach sailing, powerboating, fishing, paddling or boatbuilding skills; foster aquatic sustainability and conservation practices; and encourage learning in the marine sciences.

INDUSTRY
In an effort to proactively educate drivers on courteous boating behavior, the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA) has debuted its Wake Responsibly campaign to help minimize conflicts on waterways between homeowners and towed water sports enthusiasts.
Yamaha Marine Group announced today the launch of an all-new YamahaOutboards.com website designed to provide consumers and dealers with an even better online experience from Yamaha.
Ranger® Boats continues to bolster its acclaimed Reata® fish-n-play line with the introduction of the multi-purpose 2050MS Reata.

INVASIVE SPECIES
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is watching Carter Lake after juvenile zebra mussels were recently found in a water sample collected by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) staff.
Following an organized search of 178 lakes in 20 counties by 200 trained volunteers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the invasive algae starry stonewort in Grand Lake in Stearns County.

NEW PRODUCTS
With Storm® 360GT Coastal baits tied on, anglers can truly fish everywhere and catch anything, now including saltwater species.

RETAIL
Huk Performance Fishing's new lines of innovative footwear are now available and ready to ship.

STATES
Beginning August 18, anglers can retain un-clipped chinook on the river as part of the salmon daily limit.
Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Don McIsaac, a recently retired director of a West Coast regional fishery management council, and reappointed Larry Carpenter to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking up to 5 volunteer applicants to serve terms of 2-3 years on the Citizen's Advisory Committee (CAC) for FWP that was established in 1996.
Boating and watercraft regulation changes aimed at increasing customer service and public safety on Arizona's waterways went into effect Saturday, Aug. 5.

TOURNAMENTS
Classic Bass (ClassicBass.com), a leader in providing bass tournament anglers informative current information, and presenter of the Champions Tour, has announced that Visit Grand Rapids will be the host sponsor for the inaugural Champions Tour Championship taking place on Lake Pokegama on Friday, September 1st.
Ranger Pro Justin Atkins won the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray, on August 13, earning the $300,000 first-place prize with a three-day total of 59 pounds, 4 ounces, which included a final-day bag of 22 pounds, 1 ounce – the heaviest of the tournament.

WORKSHOPS
The fee is only $59 for all the classes, hands-on practice, the Friday networking event, about $20 worth of gifts, eligiblity for $300 worth of door prizes and more.
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust's 6th International Science Symposium will take place November 10 – 11, 2017, at the Bonaventure Resort and Spa, in Weston, Florida.

YOUTH FISHING
Syler Prince conquered a tough bite and hard-fishing field of the nation's top youth anglers to win The Bass Federation's 2017 Junior World Championship August 11-12 on South Carolina's Lake Wateree.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Works to Preserve Bahamas Flats Fishery

The goal of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust in the Bahamas is to ensure that the flats fishery remains healthy. To achieve this goal, BTT has been working with guides, lodges, anglers, and many scientific and education collaborators to gather the information needed for effective conservation. This includes:
• Identifying bonefish home range habitats, spawning migration pathways, and spawning locations so these habitats can be protected; this has already contributed to the creation of national parks on Grand Bahama and Abaco to protect bonefish habitats.
• Educating guides and anglers about best practices for catch and release so that bonefish survive after being released.
• Educating Bahamians about the importance of the fishery to the economy and culture.
• Documenting the economic value of the flats fishery.
• Working with guides and lodges to ensure their concerns are addressed by resource managers.

The information BTT gathers in the Bahamas is not only used in outreach and education efforts, it is provided to Bahamas National Trust, The Nature Conservancy, other non-profits, and Bahamas government resource management agencies for inclusion in conservation.

Habitat Identification
Tag-recapture Program. Since 2009, BTT and collaborators have been tagging bonefish to identify habitat use and movements.
• So far, we have tagged 12,590 bonefish on Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, and Long Island.
• Recapture data shows bonefish have small home ranges, but will travel long distances to spawn.
Spawning Site Identification. Thus far, six major pre-spawning aggregation sites have been identified and confirmed on the islands of Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, and Grand Bahama.
• These sites were identified through a combination of Traditional Ecological Knowledge from fishing guides, tagging, observations, and acoustic tracking.
• Spawning sites are highly vulnerable to development and illegal fishing.

Juvenile Bonefish Habitat Identification. Through BTT's efforts with collaborators, juvenile bonefish habitats have been identified on Abaco, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, and Inagua. Research showed that juvenile bonefish use shallow protected bays as a nursery ground, and juveniles co-occur with mottled mojarra, as a defensive strategy called social mimicry.

______________________________________________

The Conservation Impact of Habitat Identification

Already, information from this work has contributed to the establishment of six new national parks on Grand Bahama and Abaco.
• These parks protect bonefish home ranges, spawning migration pathways, and pre-spawning sites from development.
• The next step is to help Bahamas National Trust design management plans for these parks.
• We are currently working with Bahamas National Trust, The Nature Conservancy and others to provide similar information on other islands to guide recommendations for additional national park protections.
• Without healthy habitats there can't be a healthy fishery, so habitat protection is Goal #1.
Education
We believe that the more people understand about the fishery, the more likely they will work to protect the it. Therefore, we put considerable effort into education and outreach. We work with lodges, guides and anglers on:
• Education about proper catch and release handling practices. It's essential for the future of the fishery that most bonefish survive after being released.
• Education about the importance of healthy habitats to the health of the fishery. Because they understood the importance of habitat protection, guides were lead advocates for new national parks on Grand Bahama and Abaco.
BTT also gives regular presentations and conducts field trips with primary schools, high schools, and citizen groups. Many Bahamians are not aware of the significance of their bonefish fishery. Once they learn about it, they become advocates for conservation. To instill these values at an early age, BTT is collaborating with the Bahamas National Trust to develop a flats ecosystem curriculum for schools, non-profits, and other community groups.

Economics and Culture
The economic and cultural value of the flats fishery provides leverage for conservation. An economics study completed in 2009, revealed that the Bahamas flats fishery has an annual economic impact of $141 million. Most importantly, the flats fishery is an essential source of income for the out islands.
• A second economic study is in the works now to update the value of the flats fishery.
• BTT also has funded a study to gather the Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Bahamian fishing guides, including historical and cultural perspectives on the fishery, and important information on bonefish habitats and spawning locations.

Understanding Connectivity
We know that adult bonefish have small home ranges, but what happens once they spawn? Are the larvae that hatch from the eggs carried by currents to other islands? Do some larvae from Cuba drift to the Bahamas? To address these questions, BTT is working with collaborators on numerous studies.
• A nearly-complete study used genetics to address these important questions.
• Fin clips were collected by anglers, guides and scientists from 9,014 bonefish in the Bahamas, and many thousands of bonefish throughout the Caribbean for analysis by collaborators. The results will tell us how much management should focus on local issues (like habitat protection) and regional issues (whether harvest of spawning bonefish in one location will impact the bonefish population in another).

Priorities and Next Steps
BTT's commitment to the conservation of the Bahamas' flats fishery has never been greater! Our priorities, programs and ongoing work underscore that commitment.
• BTT is conducting research to help guide future recommendations for habitat protection and national parks. To complete this work, we will continue to work with guides, tag and track bonefish to identify important habitats and spawning sites, and join with partners to get these habitats protected.
• BTT is developing a new catch and release education campaign specific to the Bahamas to ensure the fishery remains healthy. This work is informed by our collaborations with guides, anglers, and partner scientists. BTT will continue to develop and expand its education and outreach campaign, including support of the implementation of a new education curriculum funded by BTT through Bahamas National Trust.
• BTT will continue to work with Bahamas National Trust, The Nature Conservancy, other non-profits, Bahamas resource management agencies, and science partners to improve conservation of the flats fishery.
• BTT will continue to support fishing guides and lodges in their efforts to secure reasonable regulations for the flats fishery.

For more information:
Justin Lewis
Bahamas Initiative Program Manager
Justin@bonefishtarpontrust.org

Dr. Aaron Adams
Director of Science and Conservation
Aaron@bonefishtarpontrust.org
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust • 135 San Lorenzo Avenue Suite 860 • Coral Gables, FL 33146 • 786-618-9479

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.

Aug. 12 - Aug. 18: Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament, Manteo, NC. $1MM+ in cash prizes; pcbgt.com

Aug. 19: Florida Fly Fishing Council annual meeting, Plantation Resort in Crystal River

Aug. 23 - Aug. 27: Florida Outdoor Writers Association annual convention at Silver Springs in Ocala, Fla; www.fowa.org.

Aug. 25 - Aug. 27: Rick and Bubba Outdoor Expo, BJCC in Birmingham, AL; www.rickandbubbaoutdoorexpo.com. . .

Sept. 30 - Oct. 1: IFBBA Tournament at Lake of the Ozarks out of Runaway II Resort, entry $400 per team; www.ifbba.com.

Oct. 14 - Oct. 15: California B.A.S.S. Nation State Team Qualifier #4, Lake Nacimiento, Paso Robles, CA, www.calbn.com





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