Monthly Archives: April 2012

Fish From Hell

Dubbed the ‘fish from hell’, the Snakehead is a mean looking creature that can survive on land and is devastating to other fish.   

Native to Asia and Africa, it has now been found in seven states across the country forcing one of them, Maryland, to take action by putting a bounty on its head.

Fishermen are being offered a $200 gift card and other prizes as a reward for killing the ‘fishzilla’.

 Fishzilla: The Snakehead is a mean looking creature that can survive on land and is devastating to other fish

‘We do not want Snakeheads in our waters. This initiative is a way to remind anglers that it is important to catch and remove this invasive species of fish,’ said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Inland Fisheries Director Don Cosden.

The fish can survive up to four days on land, can migrate up to a quarter mile between bodies of water by wriggling on their fins and can grow to more than 2 feet long.

The state is offering the Bass Pro Shops voucher in the hope of controlling the population of the fish, which is believed to have made its way to the country through Asian seafood merchants.

‘We don’t expect that anglers will eradicate the Snakehead population. We do believe this promotion and inspiration of anglers can help control the Snakehead population.

‘The information we gain from the Angler’s Log reports are also helpful in assessing the abundance, spread and impact of these feisty fish,’ Joe Love, the state’s Department of Natural Resources Tidal Bass program manager told Fox News. 

The creatures’ insatiable appetites can destroy the eco-systems of ponds, lakes and streams and the native populations.

‘These fish clobber any type of moving bait you throw. When they smash into your lure, be prepared for a fight — especially if they are around some sort of cover,’ fisherman Rodney Hose told Outdoor Life blogger Gayne Young .

To win the bounty anglers must kill the fish in Maryland and then post a picture of themselves with the dead snakehead on the DNR’s Angler’s Log webpage

Winners will be picked in a draw on November 30, 2012. Last year, 69 anglers entered the contest, killing 82 of the creatures, reports Fox.

The first Snakehead found in Maryland, was an 18-inch fish caught in 2002 in Crofton Pond, 20 miles north of Washington, D.C.

Over the years, the population has grown and they’ve been caught in dozens of bodies of water, reports Fox.

Watch a video on how to hunt the ‘fish from hell’:

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Maneuvering Safely Around a Dredge

The permits are in place and it appears that the Delaware River is going to be dredged to allow for larger ships to transit up and down the river bringing additional, much needed, revenues to the area. I thought this would be a good opportunity to remind boaters of how to maneuver around a dredge.

The dredge itself may be broadcasting safe passage instructions or you could always contact the dredge directly via VHF radio for instructions. However, if no verbal contact is made here is what to look for according to the Rules of the Road.

A vessel involved in dredging or underwater construction that has an obstruction on one side (such as pipe lines, suction lines or cutter arm) will warn approaching vessels away from that side by displaying two black balls during the day, one over the other.  At night, the vessel will show two all around red lights in a vertical line.

One the opposite side, if there is no obstruction, the dredge would carry two diamond shapes during the day, one over the other.  (“Diamonds are a boaters best friend”) At night, two all around green lights in a vertical line as an indication that this is the safe side to pass.

In addition, on the mast, the dredge would display the “restricted in the ability to manuever” indicators. That would be a black ball over which a diamond shape is displayed over which another black ball is displayed. At night this would be represented by 3 all around lights in a vertical line. The light configuration would be red over white over red.

See if you can spot the day shapes that are being displayed on the dredge below. With the exception of the “restricted in the ability to manuever” day shapes, with all the rigging it is difficult to see the 2 diamonds and the 2 balls.

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Five Inflatable Life Jacket Myths: Do You Know the Truth?

Source: BoatUS

Inflatable Life Jackets- which automatically or manually inflate with the tug of a pull cord have been around over 25 years, but there are still quite a few misperceptions about how these life saving devices work. The BoatUS Foundation set out to debunk some of the myths:

1. Inflatable life jackets are zero maintenance – Let’s face it, pretty much nothing on a boat is zero maintenance. Before you head out for the day, simply check to ensure the CO2 cylinder is screwed firmly in and you can see the green indicator tab. Once a year, take it out and blow it up with your mouth, wait overnight, inspect for wear and check for leaks. Repacking is a task made simple – a few folds and a tuck – as instructions are found printed inside the cover flap. Most life jackets that automatically inflate when you hit the water also have small dissolvable components that periodically need replacement, but it’s a simple process. A rearming “kit” comes with everything you need.

2. One size fits all – While most inflatables are sized as “universal adult,” all have adjustable cinch straps that will provide a good fit for nearly every size of grown-up on the boat. Inshore-type jackets tend to be less bulky and are more compact than those jackets designed for offshore use. There are no inflatables for kids under 16, but the BoatUS Foundation is working with other national boating safety groups and the US Coast Guard to increase support for inflatable jackets that are more suitable for kids.

3. Not a lot of choices – Actually, there are. Once you get past a range of colorful designs, there are two basic styles of inflatable life jackets: over-the shoulder suspender-style and waist-fitting belt pack. All US Coast Guard-approved inflatable life jackets have a mark showing its type and how it should be used. A big advantage is that inflatables can provide nearly twice the buoyancy of similarly-rated foam life jackets, and are also are better in terms of righting a person in the water, when compared to some other traditional types.

4. Inflatable life jackets are too expensive – Inflatable life jackets start at under $100. That is a real expense for some, but consider that a cheap life jacket that no one will want to wear is as useless as a hook without the worm. Belt pack types tend to be less expensive than suspender style, while automatically-inflatable types or those with extras like an integral sailing harness increase the price.

5. Inflatable life jackets are uncomfortable -Inflatable life jackets are compact, don’t trap body heat, give full body movement, and can be as unobtrusive as small bait pouch attached to your belt. Look for one that has a neoprene chafe guard around the neck and one that can be adjusted to prevent it from shifting from side to side.

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NOAA Offers to Pay Sport Anglers NOT to Fish

Would you give up your annual state fishing license if the government offered you $500? How about $250? How about $15?

That’s what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service is trying to find out in an unusual survey being administered this year in Massachusetts. Working with the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries and the statistical research and analysis firm Quantech Inc., NOAA Fisheries Service sent surveys to 1,900 Massachusetts sport anglers who hold recreational saltwater fishing permits, asking them for information on the value they place on sportfishing.

A total of 500 anglers who get the survey are being asked if they would give up their sportfishing licenses in exchange for a real cash offer — with an actual check in the mail that ranges from $15 to $500, depending on the angler being surveyed. If the angler opts to cash the check, he or she must surrender the saltwater fishing permit.

According to NOAA Fisheries Service, the goal of this unusual offer is to better gauge the “true value” of a sportfishing license. In a statement about the plan, NOAA said most economic studies of saltwater recreational fishing estimate the number of jobs and the amount of sales and income supported by the spending of sport anglers, but they have not included the value anglers themselves place on being able to go saltwater fishing.

“Being able to improve evaluation methods by comparing responses to real offers with responses to hypothetical offers will be a great benefit, and that’s what this study is intended to give us,” said Scott Steinback, an NOAA economist who designed the study. “Studies like this have been done to value other kinds of intangible benefits like recovering endangered species or valuing open space, but I think this is the first time it has been used to value the pleasure and satisfaction derived from recreational fishing,” he said.

The federally funded survey will cost $145,000 — and $75,000 of that will go to pay anglers who opt not to go fishing. However, Steinback said, the focus of the study is about measuring the value of recreational fishing in Massachusetts, and it is not an attempt to raise fishing permit fees or restrict sportfishing activities.

“I understand if there are some questions and concerns because this kind of survey has not been done before, but it is not about taking anything away,” Steinback said. “Rather, I see it as a way to provide a monetary estimate of angler satisfaction.”

Early response to the plan from anglers has reportedly been mixed. The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries had to send out an email advisory to anglers statewide to assure them that the survey and the cash offers being made were legitimate, and that the survey was not a scam.

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