Fishing Wire Ranger Boats
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2019

CONSERVATION
A team working on behalf of the Alabama Trustee Implementation Group and their project partners met along the shore of Little Lagoon with the goal of restoring part of its eroding shoreline through plantings.
This project aims to share environmental information associated with corals and fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico with stakeholders across the Gulf that engage in business, recreation, and research.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently noted in their September Hypoxia Report that the 2019 dead zone in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay was the third largest observed since monitoring began in 1985.

FUNDRAISERS
Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE:BC), has announced that proceeds from sales of a special, Bahamas?themed T?shirt have resulted in a donation of more than $15,000 to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.
GRANTS
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Coastal Management Program today announced more than $1 million in grants for local coastal education, recreation, water quality protection and habitat restoration projects along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
HIGH SCHOOL FISHING
FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) has announced the schedule, rules and entry dates for the 2020 FLW High School Fishing season. New for 2020, the winning team (two anglers) at the National Championship will both advance to the 2020 FLW Series Championship to compete as co-anglers and fish for the top prize of $30,000, in addition to each receiving a $5,000 scholarship to a school of their choice.

INDUSTRY
NMMA has issued a call for companies to enter new products for the 2020 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards. The deadline for entry is Jan. 10, 2020.
Gunpowder, Inc., a full-service marketing communications agency for many of the world’s top enthusiast brands, announces the addition of Josh Ward as its Associate Director of Public Relations, effective December 2.
LEGISLATION
The Association applauds Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-UT) for their leadership in bringing H.R. 3742 up for a full committee markup and looks forward to working with members of the committee to advance this important legislation that has 157 bipartisan cosponsors toward final passage in the House.

The bipartisan legislation, which has nearly 160 cosponsors, would fund proactive conservation efforts to prevent species from becoming endangered and would provide additional funding for fish and wildlife species that are already listed.
PROMOTIONS
By promising Caymas boat owners’payouts of up to $10,000 per tournament victory, Caymas Cash is now the most lucrative tournament rewards program in the entire bass boat industry.
RADIO
Tune in to this week’s Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Radio show as host Rob Keck is talking about waterfowl; ducks, geese, swans and more with the Chief Operating Officer of Ducks Unlimited, Nick Wiley, as well as nationally recognized goose caller, TV host, and owner of Zink Calls and Avian X Decoys, Fred Zink.
Keith Eshbaugh with Dutch Fork Custom Lures breaks down lake trout and walleye fishing on Lake Erie while Mack's Lure Pro-Staffer Mike Hall shares some great ice fishing tips applicable on any lake.
RECORD FISH
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates Bryant Rackers of Bonnots Mill for his impressive fishing after catching two more state-record fish. Rackers now holds state records for white perch and sauger, both of which caught on the Osage River in November, plus two other species.
STATES
You will learn about fishing tackle, how to cast, knot tying, safety, regulations and how to identify your catch. Instruction and materials are offered free, and DEEP provides loaner fishing tackle for those who need it.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recently received special recognition by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation with the presentation of the State Agency of the Year Award at the 16th Annual National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Sportsman-Legislator Summit in Greensboro, Georgia.
The Angler Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (Angler R3) grant program provides financial assistance to partners who conduct Angler R3 programs and activities in Wisconsin. Funding is provided through the Dingell-Johnson Sportfish Restoration Act, a federal aid program.
The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Cape Nature Center will close the theme of 2019, Year of Fish, with fishing skills programs and festive fish themed décor.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission announce the creation of the Maryland Sport Fisheries Achievement Award, a celebration of conservation, education, and sportsmanship.
Arizona Game and Fish Department will temporarily shut down the water system servicing some of the upper Oak Creek users Dec. 5-7 in order to conduct repairs to the Sterling Spring Fish Hatchery delivery system.
River conditions improved after recent storms, allowing fall chinook to migrate throughout the mainstems of the Sixes, Elk, Chetco, and Winchuck rivers after one of the driest Novembers on record in the South Coast.
A recent die-off of fall Chinook salmon in the Wilson River has prompted fishery managers to close the river to all salmon angling, effective Dec. 7 – 31. The closure is from the confluence with Blind Slough (in tidewater at river mile 0.5) upstream to Jordan Creek.
In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in Manatee County, medium concentrations in Charlotte County, background to medium concentrations in Lee County, and very low to medium concentrations in Collier County.
TELEVISION
Waypoint TV, provider of premium outdoor video content to a growing audience of streaming viewers, has announced new content and formats reaching millions of anglers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

From NOAA Fisheries

Is one of the largest fish in the Gulf of Maine showing signs of recovery? Cape Cod fishermen and researchers at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center want to know.

An adult Atlantic halibut is one of the largest fish in the Gulf of Maine. Photo: NOAA Fisheries

For nearly three centuries Atlantic halibut off New England and Atlantic Canada were taken for food and sometimes discarded as a nuisance. Their fate depended on the market and just how numerous they were. It proved to be a cyclical fishery. Several years of massive landings and discards were followed by many years of fallow seas before the fish would reappear in substantial numbers.  

As these cycles played out, the fish also got smaller. By the late 19th century, the 6- to 7-foot specimens routinely encountered in the early days became the stuff of legend. Today the stock is a remnant of its former numbers.

In U.S. waters, a fishery focused on halibut is a thing of the past, but small catches are allowed in  commercial and recreational fisheries from Maine to Connecticut. Canada has a commercial fishery for Atlantic halibut that fishes on the southern Grand Banks and Scotian Shelf. It extends to Canadian waters on the northern edge of Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine. 

In recent years, fishermen have seen more halibut. Researchers have started to look more closely at the life history, age, growth and reproduction of these fish. They’re looking for signs that rebuilding efforts are having an effect. 

A three-part study is underway now to better understand basic life history, stock structure, and where the fish go. The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is helping with the life history component, especially reproductive biology.

The study is focused on three questions: When and where do halibut spawn? Is there one overall population in the region, or are there several populations?  And when do they mature? These are key questions for stock assessment scientists.

Not Enough Samples for a Study

“We would catch maybe 6 to 12 halibut a year in our scientific surveys during the last decade,” said Rich McBride, head of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Population Biology Branch, who is part of the study. “That was not nearly enough for a study about the animal’s life history. We needed more samples than what we were catching.”

It took two years and special permission from the New England Fishery Management Council, but researchers now have enough samples from U.S. fish to learn more. The council agreed to let study participants take up to six halibut per trip, exceeding the current trip limit of one.

The study needed 450 to 500 more samples from about 250 fish. Alliance members hit that target this year. They have provided about half the samples available for the study. 

Fishermen Fill the Sample Gap

Collaboration between fishermen and scientists included a discussion about collecting biological data from halibut and how to record the information for the study. They also practiced tagging a fresh halibut. Credit: Chris McGuire

The Cape Cod Fishermen’s Alliance in Chatham, Massachusetts worked with researchers to provide training. They taught fishermen how to collect biological data from halibut needed for the study. 

Fishermen learned how to gather the most important samples for a basic biology study: heart, spleen, gonad (reproductive organ), earbones (for aging), and a fin clip. They also got familiar with the data sheet they would use to record fishing location, the time, and the length and weight of the fish. Researchers could then match that information back to the sample. 

A fisherman practices sampling a halibut at the training session. Credit:  Chris McGuire

“When fishermen caught halibut in the course of a fishing trip, they would collect the samples,” explained George Maynard, research and policy coordinator for the Alliance. “Back on shore, I would collect the samples from the fishermen and bring them back to the lab for preservation and archiving. The tissue samples were all preserved and shipped to our collaborators in Canada for genetic analysis.”

Looking “Under the Hood” of a Halibut Egg

Maynard prepared gonad samples and brought them to McBride for processing. McBride, Maynard, and Emilee Tholke, another fisheries biologist, are studying cross-sections. They want to get an idea of each halibut’s maturity status.

An egg from a halibut sampled during this study.  The egg is beginning to form a yolk (orange dots). Eggs in earlier stages of development (blue shapes) can be seen at left. Credit: George Maynard

“To get at those answers, we’re looking at developing eggs ‘under the hood,’ at the cellular level,” said McBride. “Having some sense of their current life history would be helpful as we move forward.”

“The next steps will be to combine these data with the length/weight and time of capture data from the fishermen, and aging data from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries,” said Maynard. “That will allow us to build a clearer picture of the size and age at which halibut reach maturity, and what time of year they spawn.”

The three-part study is funded by a Saltonstall-Kennedy grant developed by Chris McGuire at The Nature Conservancy. The other two parts include a stock structure study using genetic samples led by the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology is leading a satellite-tagging effort to understand halibut habitat use and distribution.

For more information, please contact Shelley Dawicki.     

FISHING CALENDAR
December 5-8
Power and Sailboat Show

January 3-5
Fly Fishing Show

Denver Mart, 451 E. 58 th Ave., Denver, Colo.; www.flyfishingshow.com.

January 8-12
Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show

January 17-19
Fly Fishing Show

Royal Plaza Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Rd., Marlborough, Mass.; www.flyfishingshow.com .

Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo

"Teaching Fishing Show"-- at the Conference and Event Center, Niagara Falls, N.Y.; www.niagarafishingexpo.com.

January 22-25
Buccaneer Cup sailfish tournament

Palm Beach, Fla; www.buccaneercup.com.

January 24-26
Fly Fishing Show

New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Ave., Edison, NJ; www.flyfishingshow.com

January 31 - February 1
Fly Fishing Show

Infinite Energy Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA; www.flyfishingshow.com

February 1-9
Great American Outdoors Show

Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, PA; https://www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org
 

February 15-16
Fly Fishing Show

Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196 th St. S.W., Lynnwood, Wash.; www.flyfishingshow.com

February 21-23
Fly Fishing Show

Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton, Calif.; www.flyfishingshow.com

February 22
Texas Team Trail

Lake Sam Rayburn, www.texasteamtrail.com

 
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