Fishing Wire Ranger Boats
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020

CONSERVATION
Everglades National Park has developed a free, but mandatory, powerboater education course to orient and educate boaters to the unique features of the park's marine waters.
Dick Henry, founder of Henry's Tackle, Sea Striker and Star Rods, now all part of big Rock Sports, was honored February 15 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Coastal Conservation Association.
CONTESTS
Entering is easy; simply visit https://stcroixrods.com/pages/winlegendxtreme for complete rules and enter your email address.

EVENTS
The 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk marked the 13th time the iconic event has been held in Alabama and shattered previous attendance records for the state, B.A.S.S. officials announced today.
As a result of growing concerns over COVID-19, the Ohio Department of Health has issued an order restricting mass gatherings of 100 or more people, thus the Expo has been postponed.
The Outdoor Life/Field & Stream Wisconsin Expo planned for April 3-5 at at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI has been postponed pending coronavirus developments.

FISHERIES
The MAPLand Act would require the Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to consolidated and digitize recreation access information and make those resources available to the public.
Due to continuing concerns as related to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the March 30 - April 2 meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has been cancelled.
GEAR

Mustang Survival®, the Canadian brand known for innovative solutions for the most demanding marine environments, is excited to announce that it will supply equipment for extreme offshore activities of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, as it challenges for the 36th Americas Cup.

Designed to accommodate any of the Outdoor Edge™ 3.5-inch RazorSafe System knives, the new six-piece Skinning-Boning-Gutting combo blade set transforms any Outdoor Edge 3.5-inch RazorSafe knife into a complete field dressing and game processing solution; all with one knife that never needs sharpening.
INDUSTRY
Bass Pro officials unveiled their plan for a world class fishing resort at the Okee-Tantie recreation area at the March 12 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission.
Mercury Marine has implemented COVID-19 prevention measures after the company learned that an employee at its Fond du Lac, Wis., headquarters may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
INVASIVE SPECIES
The invasive carp were caught by two commercial fishing operators near La Crosse and Trempealeau, Wisconsin, during routine spring netting last weekend.
ORGANIZATIONS
The annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of American, set for June 27-29 at Jay Peak Resort in Vermont, will proceed as planned, pending further coronavirus announcements.
While we are suspending in-person activities and events through March 31, we encourage our programs to stay connected with their participants through phone calls and virtual tools such as Facebook Live and Skype.
Beginning Monday, March 16, BHA will be closing our Missoula headquarters office and asking our staff to work remotely.
RECORD FISH
John Miller of Lost City, W.Va., caught a 54.75-inch, 67.4-pound grass carp on Feb. 18 at Warden Lake, breaking the previous record for length (53.1-inch) recorded by Zach Adkins on Jan. 3, 2020.
STATES
Oregon Inlet boat ramp parking lot will be closed the week of March 23 while the pavement undergoes a preservation project.
This week Brenden Burnham caught a 35 pound, 3 ounce carp at Virginia Lake in Reno breaking the state record for the species.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is scaling down their meeting and activities schedule for next week in Cody.
These properties include state parks, lodges, historic sites, WMAs, PFAs, archery ranges, shooting ranges, education centers, golf courses, and battlefields.
Private pond owners across Nebraska should check for fish that may have succumbed to winterkill now that those ponds should be devoid of ice.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has canceled its upcoming public workshop at the Mammoth Spring School Complex on March 21 concerning the new trout management plan for the Spring River due to coronavirus concerns.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today that it will shift public meetings to online or phone-based formats, beginning March 16 and lasting through the first week of April, in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19/coronavirus.
The new rule limits the harvest of flathead catfish 30 inches or longer to one per day on inland waters, as part of the catfish daily limit.
ODFW is cancelling hunter education classes, field days, clinics, outdoor skills workshops, angler education trainings, Family Fishing events and other volunteer-led activities in accordance with COVID-19 guidance from the State of Oregon and the Governor’s office until at least April 13.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission has cancelled its public meeting scheduled for March 20 due to concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced a series of closures for several of its state-managed facilities.
Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are taking proactive steps to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland.
TOURNAMENTS
Competitions will continue, but public gatherings include all fan meet-n-greets associated with the Bass Pro Tour, and the attendance of fans and non-essential staff at all FLW tournaments, including weigh-ins, will be cancelled in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
Due to public health concerns surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), B.A.S.S. officials announced today they will postpone the Bassmaster Elite at Chickamauga Lake originally scheduled to be held on the Dayton, Tenn., fishery March 19-22.
YOUTH EVENTS
It’s almost time for the April 4 Lake Eaton Kids’ Fishing Derby at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Ocala Conservation Center and Youth Camp.
Students in West Virginia are learning about environmental stewardship by raising trout in their classroom and later releasing them into the wild.
YOUTH FISHING
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) in conjunction with FLW and The Bass Federation (TBF), announced today the cancellation of three High School Fishing Regional Tournaments scheduled for Saturday, March 14 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

No, this is not the Death Star, but some say it could be a very large problem for many of us considering its tiny size.

By Frank Sargeant, Editor

As this is written, the world is undergoing a level of mobilization unseen since World War II. Some of it may be over-reaction, but there’s no doubt that thus is a real, no-kidding worldwide crisis that’s going to affect us all for months to come.

The enemy this time is not a mad dictator, but rather an invisible microbe—but one that apparently has the potential to be deadly to many of us. The human race seems to have almost no resistance to contracting it. In the U.S. alone, health authorities are estimating that over half of us might get it. While doubters are noting that not nearly as many have died from coronavirus as from other strains of flu, we are only in the first weeks of a curve that’s rapidly going upward.

And while the vast majority will recover quickly, just as with other strains of flu, some will not. The World Health Organization currently estimates a death rate of around 3 percent, while some other agencies have put the number as low as 1 percent. That does not sound like much until you look at the likelihood that, in the U.S., some 160 million of us are allegedly likely to get it according to federal health officials. One percent of 160,000,000 is 1.6 million. Three percent is 4.8 million.

Among those over 60, the death rate has been around 10 percent, approaching 15 percent for those over 80. The average age of the U.S. Senate is 61.8, and of the House, 57.8. Donald Trump is 73, Nancy Pelosi 79. It’s safe to say we can expect Washington to go all in to stop this disease.

But at this point there seems to be no stopping it, only alleviating the impacts. There are many folks out there who have it and don’t know it according to the CDC—the symptoms can be very minor for many, but they are still contagious.

I’m not a doctor, and don’t play one on TV. But what the doctors—including my own son--are telling us is that the goal is to lower the rate of spread, which will mean that those who do get a serious infection will have a bed in the intensive care unit and a ventilator available if needed. A rapid spread, on the other hand, could make things difficult for all. Hospitals could be overwhelmed, as they apparently have been this week in Italy.

The fishing industry is doing the right thing. Over the past week I’ve had literally dozens of event cancellations come in to the Fishing Wire for posting, including some from nearly every state, and ranging in size from small regional game and fish meetings to massive boat shows that would normally generate millions of dollars for the industry. My friends in the guide business say business has fallen off a cliff.

While we’re all hoping this will subside in a couple of months and business will return to normal, if it does not, jobs at all levels will be affected, as well as the businesses that provide those jobs. Supply issues from China may also become huge if the current reduction in cases there proves short-lived—most tackle, lures and accessories used worldwide are made in China. To say nothing of our 401-K’s—don’t remind me.

In the meantime—one of the best things we can probably do is go fishing. Angling is a sport of low human density, lots of fresh air and plenty of sunshine, all of which give us the best shot at staying healthy. The same might be true for spring turkey hunting, hiking or camping. Getting outdoors also helps us reduce stress, something most of us can use right now.

Of course, for those at highest risk, the best advice is simply to stay home, period.

It’s going to be a rocky few months, any way we slice it. Many of the conveniences and daily routines all of us expect as Americans may temporarily go by the wayside. (Like toilet paper on the Walmart shelf . . . .!) But we’ll get through it. And we’ll come out the other side much better prepared to deal with the next of these bugs, highly likely somewhere on the horizon in this age of global travel and commerce, but hopefully many years in the future.

If you’re not already up to here with info on the virus, here’s a link to an article my M.D. son sent me, outlining the position of a lot of physicians at present: https://medium.com/@hjluks/covid-19-update-3-14-2020-a-message-from-concerned-physicians-33d00b88eefd 

FISHING CALENDAR
March 21
Texas Team Trail

Lake Toledo Bend, www.texasteamtrail.com

March 21-22
“Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!”

University offers a saltwater inshore seminar at Bass Pro Shops Fort Myers; www.ladiesletsgofishing.com.

March 26-29
74th Annual Fred Hall Show

Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar, CA; https://www.fredhall.com/san-diego

March 27-28
Fly Fishing Weekend at Primland, Virginia

Teaches the Art of Fly Fishing plus fishing on the Dan River; www.primland.com, 276-222-3835.

March 27-29
New England Saltwater Fishing Show

Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, R.I.; http://www.nesaltwatershow.com

Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic

State Fair Grounds, Columbia, S.C.

April 2-4
Chub Cay Invitational

Chub Cay Resort, Bahamas; chubcayfishingtournament.com

April 4
Western Walleye Expo

Adams County Regional Park, Brighton, Colorado; cowalleye@gmail.com, 970-699-5264.

April 18
Texas Team Trail

Lake Amistad,  www.texasteamtrail.com

May 9
Texas Team Trail

May 20-22
BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops

June 11-12
ACA Summer Slam
 
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