Check back often for the latest news on conservation relevant to recreational fishing.
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Just when you thought that something good might come out of the embarrassing mess that is now Washington, DC, The Sportsman's Act of 2012, which everyone thought would pass with flying colors, was defeated in the Senate along a party line vote. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic. Check to see if your Senator voted for or against the bill - if against, let him or her have a piece of your mind. This bill was supported by such a wide range of hunting, fishing, and conservation organizations it's unfathomable why it didn't pass.
SAY WHAT?!?!? The proposed Trans-Canada gas pipeline won't even undergo an environmental review? Is there a method by which Canadian citizens can sue government leaders when this pipeline causes catastrophic damage with its first spill? The habitats of so many fish and other species will be threatened, this is about a legacy for future Canadians. Amazing.
Well, so much for slamming the Canadian government for gutting protections for fish and their habitats, thus making it easier to develop habitats that are critical to fisheries. The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, is unable to change environmental laws, so is in the midst of a massive purge of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. DEP is the agency responsible for enforcing regulations that protect fish and wildlife habitats. Somehow, the governor doesn't understand that the $8.5 billion economic impact of the recreational fishery is entirely dependent on these habitats being healthy. And this doesn't include hunting, much less tourism. Talk about killing the Golden Goose. Some DEP regional offices have just enough staff to turn the lights on and off to start and end the day. This follows his efforts to sell off the state parks to developers (fortunately, he got his head handed to him on that one). The damage this guy is doing will have long-lasting impacts to Florida's fisheries.
Given the Florida governor's actions, it's ironic that the Sportsman's Act of 2012, which seems to have sufficient support to pass through Congress, codifies the importance of habitat conservation. And as you read in a previous post, habitat conservation is a top priority for hunters and anglers.
The impacts of habitat loss and degradation are already evident, exemplified by Pacific Northwest Salmon (among so many other species). It's good to see groups getting together to try to stop this downward spiral.
Now this is interesting - improved water and habitat quality (due to restoration efforts) have Bureau of Land Management biologists concerned about invasions by non-native fish into trout habitat. So they're constructing a barrier to prevent the non-native fish from invading. Once a system is degraded, it's like the whack-a-mole game trying to fix it.
Where have we heard this before - hatcheries are a good restoration tool. Too bad the evidence (and there is a ton) doesn't back up such a statement.
Bluefin tuna populations remain in trouble, and if previous meetings are any indication, the group charged with bringing bluefins back from the brink won't have the guts to reduces catches to allow the population to rebound from intense overfishing.
Boeing begins efforts to restore salmon habitat on their property. Nice.
Sorry for the hiatus on posting, but the time away was well spent.
OK, this is really bad news. Things look good on the surface, but digging a little deeper revealed trouble for Pacific Northwest fishermen - the fish may well be toxic. This underscores that it's not just the physical quality of the habitats that matters, but the quality of the water that runs through these habitats.
Bad for waterfront property owners, good for the fish. Last year's flood of the Missouri River put some of the channelized river back to the old meander, and the fish are prospering. Gotta love it.
Oh Canada. Here comes the other foot. First, it was a change in laws to make it easier to develop fish habitats without environmental review. Now it's massive layofffs ans budget cuts to the Fish Habitat Protection Offices. Salmon runs that are already in trouble due to habitat problems are now really under the gun. Could this be the beginning of the end?
Another Endangered Species battle, this time over a freshwater sculpin. As is usual, the argument is that the Endangered Species designation would crimp economic development because of habitat protections. But the reason the sculpin is listed as endangered is because of long term declines in water quality (which, by the way, is a major long-term human health issue as well). The frustration with most of these arguments is that there is no context, no history, no look at the bigger picture. Sure, it's silly to cut off economic development over a little fish, but that's not really the issue. The issue is that the water quality is so bad that this fish is endangered, and that has been occurring for quite some time. It's like complaining about the effects of lung cancer after 30 years of smoking, as if the effects just arose out of the blue.
And the endangered fish species battle is occurring on another front as well, this time over water rights. Again, let's think of the long-term view. The battle over fresh water in the arid western states is going to ramp up quickly because of the use of water in the 'there is an infinite supply' type of mindset. The fight over endangered fish species is a sign of things to come. Rather than fighting the ESA habitat expansion, the water agencies filing suit should be looking at their mode of operation and make changes that make sense for the long term outlook.
Grassroots effort to protect seagrass.
Well, it's not actually passed into law yet, but at least the US Senate has acted in a bipartisan manner to put forward for a vote a bill that would help fish and wildlife and habitat conservation. We'll see how things go in November when they actually ake a vote, but at least they are moving in the right direction.
What's in a name? As of January 1, 2013, California Department of Fish and Game will change its name to California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Apparently, some fishing and hunting groups are a bit wary, and concerned that they will suffer due to a change in management philosphy. But most states no longer have "Fish and Game" departments, most have switched to "Fish and Wildlife" or "Natural Resources" or other names to reflect their broader responsibilities. These departments are no longer just about managing for things like deer harvest, but are also working to manage and conserve the habitats that are required for healthy fish and wildlife (including game) populations. And as habitats are continue to disappear, habitat conservation is becoming a much greater need.
And to underscore the growing realization that habitat needs more attention, habitat conservation tops the priority list for hunters and anglers. In fact, the majority of hunters and anglers rank habitat conservation over energy production, and think that global warming is a real phenomenon that needs to be addressed.
Formulating plans to protect and restore salmon and steelhead in the face of increasing human demands on water resources. A common theme that keeps repeating, and one that needs a solution. Maybe they have one that might work in Santa Cruz, California?
Wewll, this is bad news - as part of the draconian budget cuts that are on the horizon, it's been proposed that the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund is cut. There are a couple of problems here. First, this fund is the lion's share of monies used to help the world of sportfishing - from habitat restoration to constructio of boat ramps and other public access efforts. Second, we've already paid for this - the funds come from taxes we pay on fishing equipment, boats, boat gas, and more - so this amounts to stealing. We hope this isn't too ominous of a sign of things to come.
Maybe sitting down and working out a compromise will do more to help the Pacific Northwest salmon than litigation? We suppose that it's worth a shot.
Congratulations to The Billfish Foundation, the International Game Fish Association, and others for getting The Billfish Conservation Act passed. Good news for billfish.
The worse-than-useless US Congress is working hard to get rid of funding that would assist in fish and habitat conservation (not to mention US farmers). They still won't pass the Farm Bill.
There tends to be a good bit of nastiness directed toward the Endangered Species Act, much of it politically motivated or ill-informed. But the ESA is less about a particular species and more about a last resort to put the breaks on human activities that are causing major environmental damage. As anglers, we need to remember that the habitats upon which these endangered fish species depend is also likely important to gamefish we pursue with rod and reel - if not in this particular instance, then soon enough. It's foolish to think that the fish we fish for and their habitats are immune from the same processes that impact these species that are now classified as endangered.
On the one hand, it's nice to see that restoration of salmon habitat continues to occur. On the other hand, it's a bit sad that the restoration of just 1 mile of salmon stream habitat is newsworthy. Talk about many small steps on a long and steep hill! This is especially worrisome given the difficulty of keeping long-term restoration programs going.
Speaking of problems with fisheries, can the dependence of some fisheries on hatcheries really be cost effective compared to proper conservation and management? When more than 100,000 hatchery fish have to be destroyed because of disease, that must put a big hole in the budget. Wonder how much habitat could be conserved (a better long-term solution, in our estimation) with that same expenditure? Here is an example of the folly of hatcheries - one in Oregon that has been operating since 1952, and now has to figure out a way to keep hatchery fish from mixing with spawning wild fish, which introduces bad genes into the population.
Anglers get involved in mangrove restoration in south Florida.
Fines for fish habitat destruction are just part of the cost of doing business, it seems. We worry that this will become more common (and less often detected) now that Canada's habitat protection laws have been weakened, and many of the fisheries and other biologists (like the one who made the film that caught the violators red-handed) who might follow up on violations have been fired.
It's good to see the US Army Corps of Engineers involved in wetland restoration in Texas. As they state in their press release, wetlands provide essential habitat for fish and improve overall habitat health, and the loss of wetlands has caused problems with our coastal fisheries. Therefore, it's ironic that it's the Army Corps that is largely responsible for channeling and shoreline-hardening of the Mississippi River that has so greatly contributed to the loss of wetlands in Louisiana. In Louisiana, the Mississippi River currents are rapidly shot offshore, so the sediments contained in the water don't get deposited in the wetlands - the only way the wetlands can resist natural erosion. One step forward, two steps back.
The Nature Conservancy is getting in on the act to protect salmon and trout habitat in Idaho. Very nice.
Australia has decided to allow a large-scale trawl fishery for a species that many consider a forage fish. In general, harvesting of forage fish can lead to bad things for the larger fish that rely on them (as with menhaden in Chesapeake Bay). Something to keep an eye on.
You might think it strange that we are posting a story about the loss of vultures in India. But what we find interesting about this story is that the causes for the decline in vultures (which has had major impacts on the ecology of the region and on human health) are a combination of factors that aren't necessarily obvious - habitat loss (that's obvious) and a veterinary drug that kills vultures if they eat animals that have been treated with the drug. It made us think about some of the difficult-to-identify causes for some of the fish declines being studied around the world. Hmmm.
An interesting debate about river habitat restoration in Michigan - some anglers want to keep dams on the river. What a contrast to the 'get rid of the dams' movement that is gaining momentum throughout so muc of the USA. Have to wonder how much of this is because, relative to many other regions, this area has extremely modified habitats, a bunch of invasive species, and many of the fisheries are not native and rely on hatcheries.
Interesting that there is now a second edition of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, one that puts science at the top - to determine where to conduct restoration, and determine if it's actually working. This is great news. Let's hope they put their money into these types of efforts.
The news just keeps getting worse for Canada's fish and habitats. Decades of getting it right are going down the tubes. The question now is whether Canadians realize the depth of the hole that they're descending into before too much is lost. And Americans concerned about conservation can't afford to get too smug - there are numerous proposals in congress, one supported by a current VP candidate, to sell off significant portions of National Parks and other Federal Lands.
More funds for habitat conservation and restoration in California.
Not wanting to be left out, steelhead streams in the state of Washington get some habitat restoration love.
And the beginning of the first-ever juvenile tarpon habitat restoration project, this one in Florida.
Plus habitat restoration to help Chesapeake Bay. All this habitat restoration investment is great to hear.
Depending on where you live, your fishing opportunities may be due in large part thanks to 75 years of restoration.
The look of the future if we don't take care of our fisheries? What were once abundant fish are now the subject of restoration to keep the fish from going extinct in Bengal.
There's really no reason to kill a tarpon, but some people just don't get it.
The economic value of some recreational fisheries is high enough to warrant making some of these species either recreational only or catch and release only. This is the case for bonefish, which are worth far more as a catch and release species (for example, $141 million per year in the Bahamas) than they are as a commercial species. So it is perplexing that the state of Hawaii continues to resist making bonefish a recreational species. Worse yet, they are allowing people to target bonefish with gillnets. Yes, you read it right - gillnets. And for some reason that we've not yet been able to determine, conservation groups (The Nature Conservancy among them) that you'd think would be supportive of a ban on gillnets (not just to protect bonefish, but because of the indescriminant killers that gillnets are) are not backing the move to make bonefish a recreational species and ban gillnet harvest of bonefish. Do your part, sign the petition to protect bonefish in Hawaii.
More evidence that shows that habitat restoration is economically valuable, and this only addresses the immediate benefits - the jobs created by the restoration projects. Add to that the economic impact of the fisheries, tourism, clean water, etc that comes from the restored habitats, and we're talking big numbers. More important - the economic benefits of healthy habitats are long term, which translates to more economic stability.
The creation of an artificial river to provide salmon habitat. Engineering marvel? Will it last into the future? Hmmm.
Restore the habitat, and the fish will return. Yet another example, this time from a coral reef in the Caribbean.
Good news to hear that more Americans are participating in fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Let's just hope this convinces politicians that habitat protection is warranted. More people in less habitat is not a good combination. Don't see the problem? Remember that there are many politicians who think that National and State Parks should be sold for private development. That's less fishing, hunting, and outdoors habitat for all of us.
It's great to see that Florida has officially declared war on the invasive Lionfish. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.
NOAA appoints a new Director of Habitat Conservation. Let's hope that this new Director starts to put some money into research to determine if the restoration is actually working, and if so which restoration methods provide the best results. (No, this is not a joke. The vast majority of habitat restroration is never monitored to measure success, and most doesn't even have a stated objective (e.g., this 10 acres of new wetland will support 800 juvenile redfish). Restoration is a valid endeavor, but we need to know it works before dumping so much money into it.)
Right on cue - the weakening of protections and regulations for Canada's fish habitats is already reaping rewards for those intent on development of critically important habitats. The government recently laid off large numbers of scientists, and now doesn't seem to have the capability to adequately review the application for the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Surprised? No. Disappointed? Let us count the ways....
Amazing. Water quality is in such bad shape that communities are building floating islands in an attempt to clean the water enough to make it usable. The sad thing is, this isn't the only place this approach is being taken. Not long ago, there was a report of a similar project in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, MD. This is just great: pollute the system, rather than fix the problem, just build artificial islands in attempt to clean things up. The long-term outlook for these areas is bleak. If you doubt this pessimistic outlook, large fish kills due to poor water quality are becoming more and more common.
Good to see the word "investment" in an article about fish habitat restoration. As people are coming to realize, recreational fishing has a high economic impact.
So it's great to see that Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is funding the first ever study of the economic impact of the flats fishery of the Florida Keys. This should provide leverage for improved conservation and restoration.
Gill nets are just way too efficient at harvesting large numbers of fish, and they tend to have high levels of bycatch. That's one reason they've been banned in so many places. So it's good to see the Florida environmental enforcement folks aggressively enforcing gill net laws.
Oh, Canada. Leave the fish habitats alone.
Another large-scale fish kill in the midwest. Although these fish kills seem to be natural, caused by high temperatures and low oxygen, one has to wonder whether these types of fish kills occurred, say, 100 years ago. Doubtful.
There are many reasons to protect mangroves in the tropics, among them that they are important habitats for bonefish, tarpon, snook, and other gamefish. But there are other economically important reasons, too, which can be used to increase fish habitat protection.
It's always great to see funds made available for habitat restoration. In this case, half a million dollars in Australia. But even that seemingly large amount is just a drop in the bucket. For example, an upcoming habitat restoration project in Southwest Florida is going to cost nearly $400,000 just for the planning, permitting, and bulldozer work to restore 80 acres. It's a heckuva lot cheaper to not mess up the habitat in the first place! A case in point.
The first restoration project is always the hardest, but can open the floodgates to bigger things.
Learn about the laws that protect fisheries.
"The fishing activities of the NZ fishing industry in the Antarctic’s Ross Sea are responsible and sustainable says the industry organisation." Hmmm, where have we heard this before?
Conservation isn't easy, no matter where it happens. Even in the country probably most famous for its conservation ethic - Costa Rica.
The Canadian government continues to step in their own $h!t with their gutting of laws designed to protect fish habitats. Speaking of which, wonder whether things like fish habitat restoration will be the next thing to get the axe by the government? In any case, will the last person to leave the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans please turn out the lights? The great frustration here is that the idiots in the government will be dead and gone as future generations of Canadians wonder what hell happened to their fisheries and coastal environments.
Yet another environmental engineering idea gone wrong. From the "What the hell were they thinking" files - tunnels for water diversion. Don't worry, the fish will be fine. Really.
Salmon farms introduce disease into natural environments and native fish?!? Say it ain't so. After all, haven't there been assurances by the salmon farm industry? Hmmm, where have we heard that before?
Wow, it's been quite a while since the past posting. Too much travel, too much trying to squeeze in some fishing. The latest in fish conservation news:
Even when we know there is a problem, it can still be hard to fund the solution. The Salton Sea is dying, and still no funds. The legacy we are leaving those that will follow...
The Atlantic salmon of the Connecticut River may be lost. But given the reliance on hatcheries to support a remnant of what once was, is the population really viable anyway? One has to question whether it's worth putting >$2 million into a salmon hatchery effort when the causes of the salmon's decline are not really being addressed 9and in some ways not well understood). A finger in the dike can only delay, not fix the real problem.
So if under past fish habitat laws, Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans hasn't protected fish habitats that have suffered from egregious violations, what's going to happen with the new 'laws' passed by the current government? It's just so amazing that people repeat the same mistakes over and over again, and then lament what was lost, bu tonly far too late to bring back what once was.
Speaking of Canada - it seems that one of the reasons that Canada still has good fisheries, and still has some healthy habitat, is that once upon a time some smart people saw the writing on the wall, saw the ugly future if habitat conservation didn't come to the fore. They are to be thanked for leaving that legacy. Unfortunately, there are those in the current government that just don't get it.
Given the continued loss of fish habitats, it's nice to see that things can begin to recover, sometimes even faster than predicted. Dam removal works.
No habitat = no gamefifsh. Now there's a headline.
And even if habitat exists, it still might not be healthy. The increasing frequency of things like toxic algal blooms are the canaries in the coal mine screaming to be heard before they take their last collective breath.
If a fish species is being sustained by a hatchery (which an abundance of research shows creates and enhances substandard genetic strains), is the species really being 'saved'? This is especially pertinent in this case, since the claim is that a fish species is being kept off the endangered species list due to hatchery releases. Hey, see that guy on the corner? He's selling real Rolex watches for cheap!
More red snapper and grouper, and big ones too. Does this mean that the years of strict regulations that were designed to help restore these fisheries are working?
Great to see some in the fishing gear manufacturing industry supporting conservation and responsible fishing.
Oil spills impact fisheries and fishermen in China, too.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to continue the harvest closure on snook for the Gulf of Mexico coast to give them another year to recover from the extreme cold kill event that occurred in the winter of 2009-2010. Good news for the fish and future of the fishery.
Western Washington Indian Tribes' rights being threatened by loss of salmon habitat. It comes down to this - if there are no salmon left to fish for because there are not enough healthy habitats, the tribes' treaty with the US Government that gives them fishing rights is useless. And even if you are not a member of one of these tribes, but you like to fish for salmon, you should be concerned about the loss of habitats, too. Saving salmon habitat is good for everyone.
More on the Canadian government's assault on fish habitats and fisheries in general - this also means that people will be losing their jobs since few environmental assessments and habitat assessments will be done. That this is occurring in regions, like Nova Scotia, where the economic situation is already dire because of a similar governmental approach to fisheries (collapse of the cod fishery) is just adding salt to the wound. Here's a prediction - 30 years from now, Canada's fisheries will be in the toilet, and chances for recovery will be slim.
It's not like it's any better in the United States, where Congress is working to gut the Clean Water Act. The original Clean Water Act legislation was supported and signed by a Republican - Richard Nixon - and had wide support because of the horrific effects of pollution that were obvious to all: rivers that burned, fish kills on a weekly basis, widespread warnings about eating fish.... This assault on the Clean Water Act and many other pieces of legislation that protect fish, fisheries, and habitats is insane, especially since many in Congress are old enough to remember the burning rivers and masses of floating, dead fish. Do they think it won't happen again? Do they not value the health of their own grandchildren?
Your chance to make a difference - support the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act.
20 years of conservation of rare fish - now that's great stuff.
Scientists weigh in on the recent Canadian government's assault on fish and fish habitats.
The word for the day is 'restoration', plenty of examples, which is a good thing:
It looks like there may be an agreement in Washington on a habitat conservation plan for forest lands, which of course has big implications for rivers and streams.
Uh oh, more trouble for fish and habitat on the Columbia
There has been a lot of coverage of the removal of a major dam in Maine, this from a local TV station. And there are plans to get rid of the second major dam on the river soon. Good news for fish and anglers.
More about getting rid of those damn dams - already signs of new life after dam removal in the Elwha River.
Oh Canada. The recent efforts by the current government to weaken fish and habitat regulations is "the biggest setback to conservation law in Canada in half a century". Plus some scary personal experiences of what might be coming.
One of the challenges to conservation of our fisheries and habitats is that it's a never-ending task. It's easy to get wrapped up in a single cause (e.g., Pebble Mine), and then either ignore other issues or step aside once the cause of focus is done. We can't afford that. Anglers have to remain involved. Yes, it's a pain, but you have to be in it for the long haul if we're going to keep the fish swimming. The latest large-scale issue to raise its head is the threat to the Sacred Headwaters in British Columbia. Via Moldychum.com we learn that Shell Oil intends to pursue its plans for fracking in the headwaters of three of the last remaining truly wild salmon rivers. And before you think about this project being a good move to increse reliance on domestic (or at least nearby) energy, this stuff is slated to be shipped overseas to Asia.
No one who is honest can claim that they are surprised by the backslide in natural resource protection that has occurred under Florida's Governor Rick Scott. By numerous accounts, his eyes glaze over whenever a discussion turns to habitat, fisheries, or the "eco" part of ecotourism. Somehow, he doesn't seem to get, for example, that the >$8.5 billion annual impact of recreational fishing in the state depends ENTIRELY on abundant and healthy habitats. But now we learn about a new insider deal that has just gone to far. This latest incident has resulted in the suspension of a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employee for failing to permit what is obviously a BS 'wetland mitigation' scam. And, as this article reports, this same group has done this before - the last time it resulted in conscientious employees losing their jobs. The worst part of all of this - the honcho at DEP who suspended the employee is buddy-buddy with the scammers, and took their word over his own experienced employees'. This is lightyears beyond 'fox guarding the hen house'. The really sad part about it is that it will be Florida's future generations that really pay the price. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic. Oh, and did we tell you about the application to dredge seagrass beds and fill in mangrove islands in Tampa Bay to make a new development? Yes, that's for real. More on that later.
Short-sighted in Missouri. Guess it really is the show-me state - fish farmers are complaining about regulations that prohibit the sale of non-native crayfish species for use as bait.So instead of being responsible, they'd rather see the invasion of non-nataive species and the ecological problems that could cause? Once again, the argument of short-term financial gain/loss is used as an argument against conservation, when the long-term costs almost always far outweigh the short-term benefits. Sad.
So a guy is caught with more than 440 fish over the legal limint in Minnesota, and all he gets is a $2,000 fine?!? Seems like a slap on the wrist.
Positive moves in Costa Rica to take back control of their fisheries and make them sustainable.
Bad runs of some Alaskan salmon continue.
There is a moev afoot to make bonefish (O'io) a gamefish in Hawaii. This would make it illegal to use nets to harvest bonefish and prohibit commercial sale. But recreational anglers could still catch and keep bonefish using hook and line under regulations that already exist, which would help protect the cultural importance of bonefish to local anglers. Sign the petition to support this effort.You can read more about it here.
Collaboration, what a concept. But it looks like that is what is happening for river conservation, at least in some areas. Good stuff. Now just make sure they get the money and political support they need.
Uh oh. Looks like more trouble for Colorado's trout. This is in addition to the water wars that are under way (new and recent development is grabbing for water from trout rivers...should've thought of that before building high water needs developments in an arid environment! Is this the trend, the loss of wild and natural Colorado?
If you are an aquarium hobbyist, do the world's coral reefs a favor and make aquaria using your local waters as sources of your fish and plants. The aquarium trade is helping to devastate coral reefs, a silly use of a fragile resource.
The battle over Bristol Bay rolls on. At least the EPA seems to get it, their report emphasizes the benefits to prohibiting Pebble Mine and the damage the mine would cause. If you live in or near Seattle, you have a chance to comment in person at the upcoming hearing/meeting.
Although the Mediterranean season for bluefin tuna is shorter this year, it's amazing that the fishery is allowed at all. The population size of Atlantic bluefin tuna is barely a shadow of what it once was, so it's amazing that it hasn't been shut down entirely. Politics...not the first time politics contributes to the loss of a fishery.
In case you thought the battle for conservation of coastal fisheries and habitats was mostly being waged on US shores, think again. Here's a great example of the problems in India, and perhaps some political support for coastal conservation. If the loss of coastal habitats and overfishing continues, the arguments about allocation (recreational vs commercial, for example) are going to be pointless because there won't be an fish to allocate. Worse - the need for food and competition for scarce resources will result in violence. Perhaps one day we'll learn.
Federal funds + conservation corps: short term = jobs; long-term= fish and habitat conservation. Good stuff.
We were somewhat puzzled at the previous hint that the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council was considering making artificial reefs "Essential Fish Habitat". To be honest, we thought it was a joke. But now it seems the Council has done just that. Pathetic, and as far from responsible fisheries management as can be imagined. The definition of "essential fish habitat" is: "those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity." So now the Council has decided that artificial reefs (in many cases cheap offshore dumping of what would cost a fortune to deposit in a landfill) is "essential" to the population of Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Thank God the Council came along when they did and saved the red snapper. It's absolutely amazing that red snapper were able to survive hundreds of thousands of years before artificial reefs were created. The red snapper population was on the brink of extinction way back then because of the lack of habitat. Amazing! What's next? Think of the precendent that this sets. Are culverts now 'essential' habitats for juvenile tarpon because they connect mosquito impoundments on Florida's east coast? Are barges now 'essential fish habitats' for salmon because the barges transport salmon fry downstream past the turbines in the dams? Tall bulidings must be 'essential' for falcons, so we need to build more tall buildings. Does anyone actually think about this? If this is the future, we are screwed. For those who think that the Fisheries Management Council model doesn't work (and the number is growing by the day) here's more ammo for you.
It's not exactly about fish, but this new report highlights the economic value of conservation. This is good stuff. If you're involved in conservation in your locale, read this and use it.
Catch and release is an aspect of Responsible Fishing (at least when fish survive). Some anglers just don't get it. It's great to see that those who have sponsored irresponsible tournaments in the past have disassociated with those tournaments.
It seems that conservation applied to fisheries can actually work and bring fisheries back to sustainable levels.
The best medicine for invasive species is prevention, because treatment after the fact is expensive and usually doesn't work.
OK, so EPA seems to have hit the mark on Bristol Bay, but seems to have been hijacked when it comes to the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill - the effects of which will be with us for many, many years.
Minnesota provides grants to its citizens to help with habitat protection and restoration, and it seems to be successful.
It's not as good as getting rid of the dam (but this dam actually seems to be necessary), but a new fish ladder is allowing herring to migrate upriver in New Hampshire. More of this needs to happen. New England used to boast enormous populations of fish, but many are now severely reduced, especially those that migrated up rivers. Habitat loss has been a factor in many of these declines. But overfishing has been a big factor as well. For example, there were once so many menhaden in New England that there were menhaden processing factories in Maine. Just another reminder that even the fisheries that people might think are in good shape today are really just mere shadows of what they once were.
A reader let us know about a good fish conservation site that focuses on the offshore species like tunas and billfishes. Good information and ideas to do something about it.
The bad news just keeps coming from Canada, and people are worried about the future of the fisheries because of new pipelines that will likley be built across some of that habitat. This has now been acknowledged.
The threat to allow more roads to be constructed in what is now wilderness roadless lands is very bad news for fish and wildlife.
An interesting habitat restoration project near Miami, FL. Dedication like this is fantastic to see.
As many expected, the impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill continue in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Oil and tarballs continue to show up on beaches and in the marshes, and some fish populations are way down. This will continue for many, many years.
As if we needed a reminder that Patagonia Founder and head dude Yvon Chouinard is out in front of everyone when it comes to corporate responsibility, he's featured in a Wall Street Journal article. It seems that mega-corporations like Wal Mart and others are following his lead. Maybe there is hope.
The strategy to weaken habitat protections for fish seems to be evolving into a bit more nuanced approach. They choose to be ignorant that water runs downstream - from the 'drainage ditches' to water that harbors fish. And that's just the beginning. And now they're starting to admit it, which must mean they're feeling pretty comfortable about things.
Buying land to replace land lost to development seems to be en vogue these days, with Wal Mart into the act. Certainly better than losing more and more fish habitat. But not all wetland is created equal, and care must be taken to not give up better quality wetland for development in exchange for protection/restoration elsewhere. The concept of wetland mitigation (destroy wetland here, restore wetland there) is appealing (which is probably why it proved popular) but is mostly a fallacy. But buying land to protect fish seems to be the trend.
I guess you need to work within the system that's been established, but it's a damn sad day when water has to be purchased to ensure that fish survive. Unfortunately, this only seems to be scrastching the surface on the not-so-rosy future of Colorado's water wars.
Teh BP gulf of Mexico oil spill - the gift that keeps on giving. It will dissolve from the consciousness of most Americans, but the impacts will continue for a long time. Either we do something about it or suffer the long term consequences. At least some of the money is being used for habitat restoration. But what protects this habitat from another spill?
It looks like the country of Ghana is joining the list of countries that choose oil over natural resources, with well-established dire consequences. It's so sad that this occurs over and over again, as if in a vacuum, when examples are all around.
Invasive species are a major problem, causing ecological and economic damage. So why is it always a tale of woe after the fact, yet no agency is willing to prevent the invasions in the first place? Wait, isn't Florida the state that purposefully introduced non-native fish species to enhance recreational fishing opportunities?
According to the federal government, essential fish habitat is "those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity." We assume that designating essential fish habitat involves figuring out what habitats fish species have been depending upon for eons. Designating essential fish habitat then allows these fish species to continue to survive (and perhaps support fisheries). We also assume that resource management agencies are hard at work identifying and protecting essential fish habitat, but we are proven wrong on a daily basis. The coverage of wetlands in the northern Gulf of Mexico, for example, declines at an alarming rate on a daily basis, yet there is not a serious effort to address this. How is it, then, that the federal Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Council took the time to determine that artificial structures like oil platforms, and has put in the effort to publicly call for these structures to be designated essential fish habitats? What in the world did these species do to survive during the millions of years before these structures? Are we really to the point that we're willing to designate artificial structures as "essential fish habitat" while simultaneoulsy kissing natural habitats goodbye forever? A sad state of affairs.
Good news for Nassau grouper in the Caribbean, a rarity - better protection for spawning aggregations in the Cayman Islands.
Some drastic and bad news about Malaysia's marine fisheries - nothing left in a few decades. Unfortunately, this same scenario is playing out in many places throughout the world, and the implications are very bad. Without local sources of protein, these places will become even more unstable.
Although the merits of marine sanctuaries (aka marine protected areas) in the absence of additional regulations continue to be debated, in some locations a sanctuary is the last and fina hope. Jamaica is one of those places - essentially fished out for decades, anything that helps is good.
It's been a while since the last posting, so this will be a big one.
First, a photo from Tribal Bonefisher John, in Eleuthera
It's nice to see some effort for coordination a the federal level toward improving and protecting fish habitat, but it's all just talk until implementation and action. Memoranda of understanding have been signed plenty of times before with little to show in the end. Plus, the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, which this new coordination is supposed to facilititate, has some fundamental flaws in its own right. Among these flaws - though the program will provide funding for fish habitat restoration, they will not fund the monitoring to determine if the restoration actually works. This is akin to investing in a startup company and then never bothering to follow up to see if your investment made you money. Given the cost of restoration (high), it would be worth putting some money into determining if the cost is actually worth it or just good PR. This story may well be a case in point. Although the time consuming effort of people to repopulate this area with fish is described, there is no hint that anyone will follow up to see if the effort actually worked.
Great to see a multifaceted and multi-partner effort to restore fish habitat, sad to see that some folks still just don't get it.
Good to see interest in the work of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust from the movers and shakers of New York City.
Speaking of New York, good to see Trout Unlimited working with a local conservation group toward using conservation easements as a means to protect critical trout habitat.
It was once suggested that Army Corps of Engineers purposefully messed things up so they could hire themselves to fix it, a great approach to job security. This story may be yet another example.
If stocking is really essential to maintaining a fishery, bass may be the one that makes sense, and it looks like the state of Florida is taking the right approach.
This type of study on the economic value of recreational fisheries has to be done more regularly and in more places. Our guess is that most states and countries really don't have a very good idea of the economic importance of their recreational fisheries. If they did, fish habitats (which are the factory that creates the fisheries) would receive higher regard.
Amazing. More than 38,000 fish die in a river, and somehow there is no accountability. If 'corporations are people' then they need to be held accountable, not absolved.
A new study suggests that the structures associated with offshore wind farms may increase the local abundance of some species of fish. Given that oil rigs and other artificial structures do the same thing, this study's results are not surprising. It's good news to see that wind farms may have secondary positive effects (in addition to supplying renewable energy). But rather than rely on one study for all such windfarms, it will be important to conduct additional studies in other locations.
The saga brought about by the anti-conservation government in Canada continues. In the latest round, Vancouver opposes the new national rules because the new rules will damage the fish habitats that are so important to Vancouver's economy. Looks like the government is getting an earful from the scientific community as well.
More fish habitat purchased and set aside for conservation, good news for Columbia River salmon. If politicians are unable or unwilling to realize the importance of these habitats to the economically important fisheries and the human cultures that accompany them, and don't see the long term implications to human health from the loss of healthy ecosystems, it's going to come down to private groups to get it done. If you fish and aren't a member of a conservation group, join one.
On the one hand, responsible fish farms are going to be necessary to feed the growing world population. Commercial harvest of wild fish just can't keep up, at least not the way it is now practiced. But fish farms have to feed their fish, and to do so they are harvesting increasing amounts of small fish (anchovies, sardines, herring, menhaden) that wild fish rely on for food. In other words, it's death by a different means, but still death. A new scientific report takes on this problem. Bottom line - the fish farms are going to have to find another source of food for their fish. Whether you fish for striped bass, redfish, or tarpon, this harvest of forage fish impacts you.
There is a national movement to cut funding from all programs that have to do with conservation, even some pushing to sell off the national and state parks so they can be developed. This is very bad for fish and wildlife, fishing and hunting, anything that is not concrete and steel. This testimony is from the Defenders of Wildlife at a recent committee hearing in Washington, DC, and reflects what so many others involved in resource management are saying.
Here's your chance to weigh in to support the protection of Eel Grass as essential fish habitat. Tell them to not only protect the Eel Grass that remains, but to work to restore Eel Grass that has been losst. Healthy habitats = healthy fisheries, it can't be more straightforward than that.
Things are heating up in Canada over the government's plan to do away with much of the regulations protecting fish habitat and fisheries. Here, here. The fact that the government is trying to do this in secret makes it especially worrisome.
Increased fees in Yellowstone will help with habitat conservation and restoration. Excellent. If we're going to be the primary users of the habitats and fisheries, we need to be the primary supporters as well.
Thanks to TribalBlog reader Vince Staley for the following links about tar sand oil being spilled from a pipeline in Michigan, on the Kalamazoo River. If anyone was doubting the decision of the current administration to put the Keystone Pipeline on hold until more studies were conducted, the experiences from the Kalamazoo spill, which spilled the same tar sands oil that would be carried in the Keystone Pipeline, should remove that doubt. Oil spills are bad enough. Oil spills from pipelines that cross and parallel rivers are worse. Oils from tar sands are as bad as it gets. It seems that tar sands oil doesn't necessarily float, so can move downstream undetected. It's also good at getting entrained in the bottom sediments, which means it's there for a loooooong time and is difficult to clean up. It also turns out that tar sands oil is full of nasty toxins, like metals (mercury, nickel, and others), which means you won't be (or certainly shouldn't) eat any fish or shellfish from areas with tar sands oil contamination. In other words - have a spill, plan to do your fishing somewhere else for quite a while. Read more about it here, here, and here. And that doesn't event take into consideration the fact that, seemingly without fail, the companies at fault delay, distract, and otherwise try not to be accountable, thus making matters worse.
I bet you didn't know that there was a leak/spill from a deep water oil drilling operation off the coast of Brazil last you. And I bet you didn't know that there are plans to do a lot more deep water drilling there even though problems continue. One thing different about the Deepwater Horizon spill off the Louisiana coast and the spill off Brazil is that Brazil is considering criminal charges against Chevron Execs, and has issued an order prohibiting them from leaving the country. Wonder why this isn't getting much coverage in the US media?
Things are still not settled in the Yakima River Basin water management plan.
The future does not look bright for New York state's fish and habitat. First, governor Cuomo got rid of fishing licenses so now there's no way to gauge fising effort, harvest, etc - the information needed to regulate the fishery. Now it seems he's put language into his state budget that nearly got rid of federal money slated for fish and habitat management. I sense a pattern developing here - one that is short sighted and ill conceived.
Great to see the efforts toward Tongass forest protections making the news on a regular basis. Persistence is key in these issues.
This via moldychum
If you were wondering why some were pushing so hard to get the Keystone Pipeline (you know, the plan to run an oil pipeline down the gut of the USA, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, through sensitive habitats and more), now that information is starting to come out - wonder no more. It seems that costs of such a project would far outweigh the benefits. not surprising. And the type of oil from the Canadian tar sands would be especially bad when (not if) it leaked from the pipeline. Damn that information, you mean we might actually have to think about what we're doing? The study was done by folks from a very good university you might have heard about before - Cornell. Find out how you can help.
Uh oh, it looks like there is SERIOUS trouble in Canada - the irresponsible behavior of the current government is getting worse. That they're doing much of this behind the scenes tells you they know it's wrong. It seems that the current government is going all-in on gutting fish, fisheries, and habitat regulations. As is often the case, the excuse seems to be short term financial gain. One of the things that Canada has going for it is their natural resources like fishing and the habitats that create and support the fisheries. With short-sightedness and selfishness like this, things look dim in deed for Canadian fishermen of all types. Read the details here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Maybe the extensive press coverage and dishonest dealings of the politicians will energize Canadians to put a stop to the selling off of their future.
Outdoor and conservation are so urgently needed that we're ready to let the whole hatchery and stocking aspect slide on this one. In New Jersey, trout are being used as education tools for kids. This story via Midcurrent.
Commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, environmental folks - all working together for habitat protections in Alaska. Great to see these diverse groups getting together. These groups tend to speak different languages, but there are many instances in which they all want the same thing - healthy environments and a lot of fish. They just have to realize it and work together. More details here.
We used to think that the Great Lakes was at the top of ecologically corrupt water-based ecosystems in the US, but based on recent stories the Delta region of central California may worth a mention.Water rights, tunnels for water, endangered species, fish removals...What a mess.
Just in case you thought that we had adequate accountabily procedures in place for things like oil spills, think again. A restoration plan for fish, wildlife, and habitat was just agreed upon for an oil spill that occurred in November 2007. Yes, that's right - the spill occured in 2007, and a story posted March 1, 2012 just announced an agreement for a restoration plan.
As if we needed another example of the cost for screwing it up in the first place, this one from central California - the cost for restoration is always big, frequently bigger than the economic value of the activity that broke things in the first place. Ever feel like you're on a merry-go-round with no off button? More details here and here.
Talk about screwing it up - water alterations to support an unsustainable approach to agriculture, destroying fish (salmn, in this case) and their ecosystem at the same time. Doubel whammy. The increasing pursuit of short term gains with no sense of long term accountability is getting scary.
This via Moldychum.com
- stirring video testimony about the Northern Gateway Pipeline and the impacts it can have.
- A video of an expert's presentation on the tar sands and pipeline
- Perhaps a sign of better news to come for salmon in Oregon.
I couldn't believe this when I saw the quote, but it's true: "In the future, what you would like to do is deploy these robots in the environment and have them be able to steer fish away from pollution, away from a danger." Seriously?!?!?! This is what's coming to? Spend untold dollars to design robots to try to get fish to swim away from pollution, degraded habitats, and the like, rather than actually address the problems causing the pollution, habitat degradation, etc? Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership continues to lobby for federal money for conservation.
Funding for habitat conservation - it's not coming from the Feds, it's not coming from the States, so it has to come from somewhere. The Nature Conservancy is looking to different sources than normal for habitat funding. In this case, an oil company for Gulf of Mexico habitat restoration. (Yes, it's officially for bird habitat, but these marsh islands are critical fish habitat as well.)
A nice blog report at The Drake on a juvenile tarpon habitat restoration and monitoring project.
More problems from fish farms - cage culture of Atlantic salmon spreading disease. What's it going to take for the threats from these operations to be taken seriously by regulators? Open-water net pen culture operations are fraught with problems that need to be addressed.
It's great to see BASS getting involved in conservation. I know some of the scientists involved in this event, and it's the real deal.
More habitat for fish, especially the juveniles, is a good thing.
This is a tough one. On the one hand, artificial reefs are known to concentrate fish, making them easier targets for anglers, and thus may contribute to overfishing. On the other hand, there is little natural hard-bottom habitat in the northern Gulf of Mexico, habitat which supports species like red snapper. But one has to wonder that if "fisheries management" is down to the point of arguing whether artificial reefs are essential to the fisheries, that a very bad line was crossed long ago, and the situation is well down the slippery slope of 'badness'. What we know is that the natural habitats supported a lot of fish just fine for the longest time, so things must be in pretty bad shape these days.
This is absolutely excellent news: IGFA Updates Rules to Encourage All-Release Tournaments Now the ball is in the anglers' court - to practice responsible catch and release methods to ensure the released fish survive.
Those damn dams. This article shows that once something is created, it's hard to take it back to the way it was, even if the way it was is, ultimately, the best way.
Wow, things are all of a sudden looking not so great. Most of the newswire is calling for help, not reporting progress. Read on...
From the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (advocating for anglers and hunters in DC): Public ownership of and access to more than 70,000 acres of national forest land in southeast Alaska is being threatened by the proposed Sealaska legislation. These publicly accessible lands currently provide world-class opportunities for resident and nonresident sportsmen to pursue deer, black bear and wild salmon. They also support a $1 billion per year salmon fishing industry.
If the Sealaska bill is enacted, ownership of the land would be transferred to the Sealaska corporation. Access or use of these lands by the public for hunting and fishing would be uncertain, and industrial land management practices used by Sealaska could degrade habitat and harm fish and wildlife populations.
Stopping this legislation would serve the best interest of local residents, southeast Alaska's economy and sportsmen everywhere.
TAKE ACTION NOW: Ask your congressional delegation to oppose this legislation today
I'd like to say that the new Obama budget is a realistic view on what he can actually get given the tough economic times, but I can't. I think his budget is already a compromise position, which will be weakened in negotiations (if anything actually happens with a budget at all this year). This means that the final budget will be quite a blow. The USFWS will take a hit. More on the long-term consequences here. Don't they realize they're messing with the future of all that is outdoors in the US?
This brief story from Florida has so many bad news angles I'm not sure what teaser to use. So just read it.
Seriously?!?! The new mission statement for the Alaska DNR scraps "conserve" and replaces it with "Responsibly develop"? Seriously?!?! Were drugs involved? Wow. The Save Bristol Bay (anti-Pebble Mine) folks' challenge just got a bit bigger.
Marrying your second cousin is still legal in some states, but that doesn't make it right. Using hatchery fish to 'restore' wild salmon populations isn't right either.
More bad news for Florida's anglers. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's own web site states that "Florida Forever is Florida’s premier conservation and recreation lands acquisition program, a blueprint for conserving natural resources and renewing Florida’s commitment to conserve the state’s natural and cultural heritage." This is a pretty amazing statement given that Florida Forever received no funds for this year and has received only $15 million the last three years, more than a 98% cut of its normal funding level!
The Legislature is now building the state’s budget for next year, and there is no money in it for Florida Forever. If you live in Florida, fish in Florida, visit Florida to fish or hunt or hike or kayak...you will be impacted by this. This budget cut is on top of the Governor's call to sell of state lands, including parks and conservation lands, for pennies on the dollar. Help ensure that Florida continues to buy the critical environmental and outdoor recreation lands that provide our clean water and support the tourism-based economy.
February 15 is Florida Forever Day
Call or email your state senator and representative on February 15 and ask them to
fund Florida Forever for at least the $15 million requested by Governor Scott. Ask your
family and friends to call also; post it on Facebook. Show the Legislature that citizens believe
Florida Forever is essential to Florida’s future.
Find your Legislator: http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find.
Or contact the Governor directly.
If you've fished the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, you know that the fishing is good. And you know that it's good because the habitat is abundant. It looks like some folks who don't fish are trying to push through new regulations that will allow more oil drilling in what is at present untouched fish habitat.
Oops, some good news today
- another example of removing dams to help fish habitat.
- anglers contributing to conservation. I like it.
The Everglades Foundation is asking for your help in getting funding
restored for the Everglades. The Florida Senate recently proposed a
budget that ELIMINATES funding for critical Everglades Restoration
projects. This will negatively impact recreational fishing and fish
habitats in the Everglades, Florida Bay, the Florida Keys, and even the east and west coasts of Florida the receive effluent from Lake Okeechobee. Plus, the lack of restoration funds will impact the safety of the drinking water supply for South Florida. Everglades Foundation has set up a web site that makes it easy for you to help: www.fundtheeverglades.com And after you visit their web site, send a letter, email, or call Tallahassee and tell them to restore the funding.
Yes, even sharks should benefit from good handling for catch and release fishing, especially when they are caught and released in a place like Florida, where they are protected.
The salt marshes of the Mississippi River Delta may be the most endangered habitats in the United States. They are disappearing at an alarming rate due to erosion (a natural process), augmented by the channelization of the Mississippi River which was once the source of new sediment to build the marshes. And now they're subjected to the insults of oil spills and other threats. But there are ways you can help.
Good news for tarpon - hopeful for a juvenile habitat restoration project in Florida.
The debate over the connection between responsible fishing and sustainable fisheries continues, even in the old country.
I'm sure we'll be hearing more about how the designation of American sturgeon as an endangered species will impact numerous coastal activities. These 'unintended consequences' can largely be avoided if we can become more proactive in our resource and fisheries management. There's already talk along these lines.
Shipping vs fisheries: the Asian carp battles in the Great Lakes continue. Many of the Great Lakes are already a soup of invasive species, and unless the regulators get their act together, there's not going to be much left to fish for.
Anglers in Maine seem to be getting it - stop stocking, put effort into habitat restoration instead.
We were able to get permission to post the text from the Plenary Speech by Dr. Aaron Adams at the Florida Outdoor Writers Association Annual Meeting in 2011. The speach was a call to action for outdoor writers to do a better job of educating anglers, hunters, and others about the need for conservation. The speech was given at the Annual Meeting dinner on August 24, 2011.
As if we needed a reminder that habitat degradation has been a problem for a long time, a piece in the Buffalo News.
A call to action from Patagonia to add your voice to the call to remove obsolete dams on America's rivers as a restoration tool.
Letting natural processes help make habitat restoration possible - this time with beavers.
The effort to designate redfish, spotted seatrout, and striped bass gamefish in North Carolina continues.
just because their seem to be more redfish in northern Florida, one has to question the recent increase in allowable catch of 2 per person per day. If the history of fisheries management has taught us anything, it's that trying to maximize the harvest deosn't work, leaves no cushion for error, and typically has led to population declines. Plus, maximizing harvest (referred to in fisheries management as Maximum Sustainable Yield) is about quantity of harvest, not quality of the fishery.
Seriously? As if the assaults on fishing weren't bad enough already. Now there's a bill in the Florida Legislature (HB 1103/SB 1362) that will reduce access to and the fishability of Florida's fresh water rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams. Currently, the law is that private ownership stops at the high water mark, which means that an angler can reasonably fish. This new bill would extend private ownership to the low water mark, making many freshwater areas no-access for anglers. If you live in Florida and fish in freshwater, contact your representative.
A couple of articles about the National Marine Fisheries Service's new effort to gather better data on recreational fishing. An improvement is definitely needed, so it's good to see the effort. Time will tell if this will do the trick. Article 1. Article 1.
Puget Sound - the state working toward habitat conservation.
A presentation by Dr. Aaron Adams on Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Restoration will be held at Boca Grande, FL on February 2 at 2pm.
Speaking of Boca Grande, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is having a fundraising auction Friday, February 3. You should be there.
Belize did a great thing by passing legislation to make bonefish, tarpon, and permit catch and release only to protect the fisheries and the significant economy they support. But they are having serious problems with poaching and lack of enforcement. Read the article, and read the comment below the article to learn how you can help stop this.
Poorly planned development (wait, did I just say that?) is impinging on Colorado water more than it should. The water wars are ramping up, which sucks for fishing and everything else, for that matter.
Yet another perspective on why we need to support public lands and the funds that support them.
Another article on fracking. At least this one reports that someone is starting to get it. Prediction (and not a bold one) - within a couple decades the large scale, true negative impacts of fracking are going to be so clear, people are going to say "why did they let them do that?" as they fight to find enough safe drinking water.
Good news for Pacific Northwest Salmon - a conservation group purchased stream-side land to restore habitat for juvenile salmon. This type of activity is going to have to become more common if we are to save our fisheries. Too often, government agencies are either underfunded or given different marching orders, and the habitats (and thus the fish and fisheries) suffer. And to think there are politicians who are actively seeking to force the sale of all public lands to the private sector...a real recipe for disaster for fishing and hunting.
A nice editorial about why fishing and hunting licenses are a good thing.
Battles over water - quality and quality - for fisheries will become more frequent, more widespread. If not already affecting your fisheries, this issue soon will. Don't let it happen to you, and if it does - fight back.
The ironic thing about this story of funding for fish and wildlife habitat vs levee construction is that if they hadn't screwed things up in the first place, there would be no need for funding for habitat protection and restoration. Just like preventative medicine is more effective and cheaper than emergency room care, not screwing up the habitats in the first place makes economic sense. Yet over and over again the short-sighted just don't get it.
Help Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and get a chance to win cool gear and a top-end fishing trip.
Individuals can make a difference.
A familiar story: habitat vs water use.
Whether or not you agree with the bigger picture views in this story, it is worth noting that recreational fishing tourism has huge economic impact in poorer regions. For example, anglers traveling to the Bahamas to fish for bonefish generate $141 million annualy for the archipelago nation. Just conserve the habitats and have a sustainable economy.
Fly fishing + youth education + conservation = good stuff.
There has to be a better way of farming fish for human consumption. Current methods don't cut it.
One of these days we'll learn to try our damndest to keep invasive species out in the first place, before the damage is done. Carp strike again.
More activity from the National Fishing in Schools Program, this from a recent email blast:
The NAtional Fishing in Schools Program is excited to cooperate with Ryan Combs, Instructor of Biology at Neosho High School and Crowder College, to bring a 2 Day NFSP Teacher Training to southwestern Missouri, February 14th & 15th. If your school, organization or institution is interested in participating and/or supporting “Fishing in Schools”, or you simply want to learn more about the "Cast A Fly, Catch A Student" curriculum of NFSP, please join us. There is no obligation to commit to the program before, or after, your training.
This session is for the purpose of conducting NFSP Level 2 Teacher Trainer Certification, NFSP Level 1 Teacher Certification and NFSP Mentor Certification
To register, please visit our website, NFSP Training Registration. The cost is $50 per day. This training fee is credited back to your school/organization when a Curriculum Kit is purchases. If you have questions, please give me a call.
The National Fishing in Schools Program continues to expand. We’d like to provide this unique educational opportunity to students in your area. Please contact us with any questions you may have about the program and how to bring NFSP to your region/state/school district/school.
See one of the Program's videos
A fantastic program to get more kids involved in fly fishing, and teach them about responsible fishing, conservation, and more - Fly Fishing In Schools
Another land purchase to protect fish habitat. This one in Florida, as reported in the Fort Myers News-Press.
Which fish to eat? A new movie provides some clues.
Many saltwater recreational fisheries are in crisis or heading quickly in that direction. Even fisheries that look in good shape might have trouble brewing behind the scenes. It used to be that we could go fishing, have fun, go home, and not think about it until the next trip. That is no longer true. Recreational anglers must become involved in conservation to ensure a good outlook for the future of our fisheries. Recreational anglers are the primary users of coastal habitats, and also major beneficiaries. Consider your involvement an investment in the future of the fisheries.
Tribal Bonefish Gear: show your conservation cred