Monday, February 22, 2021

CPW releases educational video series on mountain lions

 Here's something for all of us to watch and learn from. Those of us with kids and grandkids could pass this on to them to learn about these animals and to do if we encounter one. You never know when you might come across one in the places we fish.


DENVER - Colorado Parks and Wildlife is promoting a new four-part educational video series on mountain lions.

CPW Director Dan Prenzlow said this video series was produced to tell the history of the mountain lion and living with lions in our growing state.

“Mountain lions are a fascinating yet elusive animal, but when they do pop on the radar they make for big headlines,” Prenzlow said. “Sightings of mountain lions are increasing and we’ve had a couple high-profile attacks in the last two years. Thanks to sound management practices implemented over the years, mountain lions are doing quite well in Colorado. The challenge going forward will be balancing decreasing habitats and our exploding human populations, since we share the same spaces. This video series is meant to lay that all out.”

Mat Alldredge, a wildlife researcher for CPW who is a leading expert on mountain lions, sparked the idea to create a video series to share information on lions with the public.

“We’re trying to present our mountain lion research in an informative manner that is accessible and interesting to the public and not in a dry, boring research paper,” Alldredge said.

The video series is available on YouTube.
Episode 1 - Mountain lion biology and historical perspective
Episode 2 - Mountain lion habitat and human expansion
Episode 3 - Hunting
Episode 4 - What to do if you encounter a mountain lion

Alldredge has been studying mountain lions for CPW since 2006. His study of mountain lions along the Front Range helped us assess mountain lion population demographics, movements, habitat use, prey selectivity and human interactions along the urban-exurban corridor. From his research, wildlife officials gained a better understanding of what mountain lions are doing in the urban-wildland interface.

Listen to the Colorado Outdoors podcast episode with Alldredge discussing mountain lions.

Another focus in the series is the protection and management of mountain lions.

In the early 1900s, humans persecuted lions because of a lack of understanding, fear and interaction with their livelihood. The take of mountain lions was not only unregulated, it was encouraged with bounties paid.

That changed in 1965 when the mountain lion was viewed as a valued member of Colorado’s wildlife community. The Colorado Wildlife Commission changed the status of mountain lions from predator to game mammal and started protecting and managing them. Hunting seasons were established to regulate harvest to ensure populations were sustainable, allowing the species to recover after decades of widespread persecution. 

CPW estimates there are between 3,800 to 4,400 independent/mature mountain lions, not including dependent young, in Colorado.

As human populations continue to expand into mountain lion habitats, human-lion interactions will continue to occur and make news headlines. With the increased use of new technology like home security cameras, people are able to see mountain lions far more often where in the past they would go undetected.

Of the 868 reports CPW received on mountain lions last year, about one in every nine of those reported seeing mountain lions on security or trail cameras around their homes. 

“Ten years ago those items didn't really exist in broad use, so that 100-plus sightings on security cameras are new and can't really be compared to a time when we didn't have Ring cameras everywhere,” said Mark Vieira, CPW’s Carnivore and Furbearer Program Manager. “Particularly around houses that aren't in urban settings and are in mountain lion country, we've always had lions, especially at night, using areas around these houses. Homeowners just didn't know it without cameras everywhere.”

Just over 17 percent of the mountain lion reports involved conflicts with livestock and 11 percent had deer as the source behind the call into CPW.

Images and videos used in the series were collected from across the state, from both residents and within the agency. David Neils of Wild Nature Media (wildnaturemedia.com) supplied many of the fascinating videos in episode one showing mountain lions in their wild state.

Ideas for future episodes in the mountain lion series include showcasing how wildlife officials come up with lion population estimates, predator-prey relationships and more general behavior attributes of mountain lions.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Nebraska: Investment in outdoor recreation continues at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala

 Investment in outdoor recreation continues at Lake McConaughy • Nebraskaland Magazine (outdoornebraska.gov) 

LINCOLN, Neb. – Visitors to Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala state recreation areas in 2021 will continue to see improvements to infrastructure, amenities, facilities and accessibility around the two popular reservoirs.



Projects the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has scheduled for construction in 2021 are:

• A large boating access project at Martin Bay and Cedar View has begun and will include improvements, such as new boat ramps and docks, accessible parking, a fish-cleaning station, restrooms and area lighting. The $3 million project utilizes the Commission’s Capital Maintenance Fund and various other state and federal funds. Construction has begun and will take place throughout 2021.

• The Martin Bay Entrance Project will include the reconstruction of the Martin Bay entrance to Shoreline Road, with expanded stacking lanes, two new entrance booths, area lighting and signage. The estimated $1-2 million project is funded by the State Recreation Road Fund and revenues from park user fees. Construction is expected to begin in the fall.

• Installation of an accessible vault latrine at the Spillway Bay Boat Ramp will cost approximately $20,000 and be funded by revenues from park user fees. Construction is expected in the fall.

• New directional and regulatory signs will be installed on Shoreline Road, Cedar View Road and Lake Ogallala Road to aid visitor navigation at the parks. The estimated cost is $20,000 and is funded by revenues from park user fees. Construction has begun and will continue throughout 2021.

• Gating systems are being installed at Sandy Beach and Arthur Bay entrances to better manage late night entry into the park areas and to collect required fees. The project is funded by revenues from park user fees and will take place into 2021.

• Design work will continue, under the State Recreation Road Fund, for improvements to the Martin Bay Area. It may include an expanded RV Dump and Fill Station, new parking areas at beach access points and overlay of existing roads not completed in the 2020 Shoreline Road Improvement Project.

These improvements are the latest in the continuation of Game and Parks’ Lake McConaughy/Lake Ogallala Master Plan, a 20-year outline of enhancements developed in concert with local stakeholders. Since its inception in 2016, more than $6 million has been invested in repairs and developments at the reservoir and recreation area, funded largely by the Commission’s Capital Maintenance Fund, park revenues, the Nebraska Department of Transportation Recreational Road Program and Keith County Visitors Committee tourism grants.

Game and Parks and local stakeholders will continue to make significant investments in infrastructure and services. By expanding recreational opportunities and providing safe, family-friendly outdoor experiences, the hope is to bring this area into the future for the next generation of park users.

Some of the improvements that have been made since 2016 at the recreation areas include:

• Overlay of most of Shoreline Road from Martin Bay to Sandy Beach.

• Constructed two wastewater treatment lagoons, one at Martin Bay and one at Lone Eagle Campground.

• Completed accessible campsites with seven at Cedar View Campground, five at Lone Eagle Campground and two at Little Thunder Campground.

• Installed new shower and restroom facilities at Martin Bay, Lake Ogallala East, Arthur Bay and Cedar View Campgrounds. Work at Cedar View and Arthur Bay locations will be completed this winter.

• Completed three new campgrounds with “basic” type campsites at Lake Ogallala West, Martin Bay and Sandy Beach, totaling nearly 170 sites, each with a picnic table and grill. Included are grass sites, gravel/rock pads, tent-only sites and group sites for multiple RVs or tents.

• Expanded the Lake McConaughy Visitor Center’s Nature Trail, bringing the distance to about one-quarter mile and installed a large pollinator plot at the same location for visitors to view while hiking.

• Lake Ogallala East, Little Thunder, Lone Eagle and Cedar View Campgrounds have been upgraded with new utilities, restrooms, tables, grills and more than 400 new trees. Financial assistance from the Keith County Visitor’s Committee made many of these projects possible.

• Contracted services, including refuse removal and portable restrooms, have been expanded.

• New gatehouses were installed at Cedar View and Lake Ogallala.

• Angler access improvements have been made in the northwest corner of Lake Ogallala, featuring an accessible peninsula and floating fishing bridge.

• New boat docks were installed on the west side of Lake Ogallala; the northern dock features an accessible kayak and canoe launch.

A park entry permit is required of each vehicle visiting Lake McConaughy or Lake Ogallala state recreation area. Find out more at OutdoorNebraska.org.




Nebraska Anglers should get familiar with redesigned 2021 Fishing Guide

 Anglers should get familiar with redesigned 2021 Fishing Guide • Nebraskaland Magazine (outdoornebraska.gov)

LINCOLN, Neb. – A newly designed 2021 Fishing Guide makes it easier for anglers to find regulations specific to a water body and for new anglers to identify their catch.

The recently released guide, published by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, is a summary of Nebraska’s regulations, orders and statutes pertaining to fishing. Regulation changes for 2021 can be found on page 7 of the guide.

Three main changes to the guide from the previous year include:

• new fish species length/bag/possession limit tables with color images;

• an enhanced Aquatic Invasive Species section, including information about zebra mussels, silver carp and bighead carp;

• a reorganized Public Fishing Areas section that lists waters in separate tables for lakes/reservoirs, coolwater streams, warmwater streams and the Missouri River;

The 2021 Fishing Guide may be found at outdoornebraska.gov/guides, at Game and Parks permitting offices, or wherever fishing permits are sold.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

DENVER MART CLOSING DOOMS 2021 FLY FISHING SHOW

 FEBRUARY 16, 2021

SOMERSET, Penn. – The sudden closure of the Denver Mart – home of the Denver Fly Fishing Show for 19 years – ended plans for the 2021 edition, scheduled for April 30-May 2, announced show president and CEO Ben Furimsky.

“The news came like a bolt out of the blue after all we’ve been through canceling, modifying and rescheduling our nationwide Fly Fishing Show events due to Covid-19 concerns.  It’s been a nightmare compounded by a train wreck for the show, the fly fishing industry and the communities we serve,” said Furimsky.

Notification of the closure from Denver Mart ownership said, in part, “… It is with a heavy heart that I write today regarding The Denver Mart’s pending closure.  The property since March, 2020 has been in default with its lender, is now being placed into a receivership proceeding and will be sold through this receivership process by the end of March 2021.  … With the timing of the court-ordered receiver sale, all events with start dates April 1, 2021 or later will be cancelled.”

“Cancelation of the Denver Fly Fishing Show impacts the area’s motels, restaurants and all other services, their employees and families,” lamented Furimsky.  He estimated the loss to the local economy to be “in excess of $1 million.”

Particularly impacted will be the 300 or more exhibitors who rely on sales and orders at the three day event as a large part of their annual revenue.

Upon hearing news of the facility closure, the Fly Fishing Show began an immediate search for a replacement venue.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

PACIFIC SALMON FUTURE GRIM, SAYS REPORT

 



In the Pacific Northwest, several species of salmon are in danger of extinction. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office has released a report on the state of salmon populations in the state’s watersheds—and the findings predict a grim future.

The report was commissioned by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, established by the state legislature in 1998 in response to the Salmon Recovery Planning Act. Its findings showed that 10 to 14 species of  in the northwest are “threatened or endangered,” and five species are “in crisis.”

The findings, though alarming, are in line with population trends over the last few decades. The once prolific salmon populations in Washington State have been declining for years, and populations are now estimated to be at about 5% of historic highs.

The five species of salmon and steelhead that the report found to be most at risk are Snake River spring/summer chinook, Puget Sound chinook, Lake Ozette sockeye, Upper Columbia River spring chinook, and Puget Sound steelhead—a sampling that covers a wide geographic area in the state.

Read the full story at PHYS.org


Sunday, February 14, 2021

February general meeting will be held Tuesday on Zoom

 

Here is the invitation to the next Fishing Club General Meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2 p.m.


Topic: LFC General Mtg
Time: Feb 16, 2021 02 p.m. Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 816 9427 5128
Passcode: 909527

Important reminder about 2021 club dues

 

 Between a pandemic and out-of-control wildfires, we didn't accomplish much as a club this year, so the board has decided to waive dues in 2021 for all returning members.

New members will pay the usual $25 for an individual membership, $30 for a couple.

If you've already sent your dues in, please don't inquire about it just now with Treasurer Barb Ding; we'll get it straightened out. 


Friday, February 12, 2021

Public input sought on plan to combat invasive mussels if found at Flaming Gorge

 https://wgfd.wyo.gov/News/Public-input-sought-on-plan-to-combat-invasive-mus 

CHEYENNE - Flaming Gorge boaters and recreationalists; the Wyoming Game and Fish Department needs your input. Game and Fish is finalizing a plan that will guide actions in the event that aquatic invasive species — like zebra and quagga mussels — are discovered at Flaming Gorge Reservoir. If mussels are ever discovered at the Gorge, there will be changes that impact boaters and other recreationalists in an effort to prevent their further spread throughout Wyoming and the nation. 

Game and Fish is asking anyone who boats, fishes or spends time enjoying the water at Flaming Gorge to take time to review the draft rapid response plan and provide input on the implementation through a short feedback form. Anyone can submit feedback until March 1.

The response plan will only go into effect if invasive mussels are detected.

“Wyoming has been working hard for over a decade to keep aquatic invasive species out of Wyoming. We have been successful with the public’s help stopping at checkstations and making sure to clean, drain, dry,”  said Alan Osterland, chief of fisheries.

However, Game and Fish is concerned that zebra and quagga mussels could make their way to Flaming Gorge. That’s why the department has developed a plan to act quickly if mussels are detected.

 “We want your help to finalize these rapid response plans and want you to be aware of the changes that could occur if mussels are found. Changes could be significant to boaters and others,” Osterland said.

If mussels are detected at Flaming Gorge, boaters could see some of the following changes immediately. 

  • Close reservoir to all shore launching and close Brinegar’s Ferry and Upper Marsh Creek boat ramps 
  • Limit boat launching and trailering to Firehole Canyon, Buckboard Crossing and Anvil Draw ramps.
  • Establish exit check stations at or near each of the three open boat ramps.
  • Require inspections for all exiting watercraft and, if necessary, decontamination.
  • Begin construction on strategically placed highway check stations.

A full list of impacts for all user groups, including a timeline of potential changes and monitoring schedule, can be found in the plan.

“Keeping our state free of AIS like zebra and quagga mussels is a top priority of Game and Fish. If detected in Wyoming’s waters, they could have catastrophic impacts to the water, the biodiversity of the area, recreation and even municipalities. A mussel infestation will also be very expensive to Wyoming and our residents,” Osterland said.

Game and Fish developed this draft plan in collaboration with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the Ashley National Forest and Bureau of Reclamation with input from stakeholders and businesses whose work is related to Flaming Gorge. 

Game and Fish plans to present the Flaming Gorge rapid response plan, along with the input from the public, to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission at their April meeting for approval. Over the next several months, the department will roll out draft plans for 22 additional high-priority waters in Wyoming for public input.

For more information on Game and Fish’s efforts to protect Wyoming from aquatic invasive species, visit the AIS webpage.

 

(Sara DiRienzo (307-777-4540))

- WGFD -

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Mercury Introduces V12 600hp Outboard

 For those of you that like to brag about your boat motor, saying mines bigger than yours is in an effort to boost your manhood try and make others feel, well, a bit lacking, it doesn't work. Your brain might get a little massage and endorphins might flow a little and make you feel good. If you're that kinda guy maybe you should buy a few of these and be at the top of the heap eh?  You might need a bigger boat to put them on but then again maybe not, just get one for the bragging rights and put it on that old boat of yours.

The entire article, with videos and pictures can be seen here. Mercury Introduces V12 600hp Outboard | Boating Magazine

New outboard said to redefine performance.

BoatingLab Director, Randy Vance, and myself, had the opportunity to run Mercury Marine’s new 600-hp, V12 Verado outboard aboard a test fleet of six different boats at the fabled Lake X test center. These ranged from a 40-foot bowrider to a 46-foot center console to a 50-foot cruiser. Based on that on-water experience, I believe this new Mercury engine will change the landscape of large outboard boats. With dual contra-rotating propellers, a steerable gearcase, a two-speed transmission, 7.6 liters of displacement and 12 cylinders arranged vertically, the V12-600 provides thrilling performance with smoother and quieter operation than any other large outboard engine we’ve run. From the helm, running both dockside and on open water, the V12-600 delivers a feeling of authority that is not matched by any other outboard we’ve tested.

Check out this short preview video we created, read the official press release below, and look for our complete review of the Mercury V12 Verado coming next week.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Rumors...

 Rumor has it that Norm Engelbrecht landed a monstrously obese rainbow Tuesday after I abandoned him on a cold, wind-blasted lake in Southern Wyoming. Then again, another rumor has it that Tom and Sheila Miller ate all the proof. 

Monday, February 8, 2021

High country around Chambers is still shut down

 Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the spring brings. But for now the forests and roads up around Chambers lake are still shut down in the aftermath of the fire. I think Joe Wright is open, and so are the Red Feather lakes. If anyone’s been up there nosing around, and has something to add, let us know. Here’s a link to the Forest Service closure link.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd868364.pdf

Friday, February 5, 2021

Uh, that wasn't one of you in the middle of Boyd, was it?

Ice conditions have gotten pretty treacherous on local ponds and lakes, fishing fans. 

St. Vrain State Park reports all its water to be treacherous, and there is open water all around here. Still, I saw a handful of anglers and a hut way out in the middle of Boyd Wednesday. I'm notoriously irresponsible, but even I won't give that a try right now. 

 Any thoughts on alternatives? It's cold and windy right now, but I'm thinking it's nearly time to get back to the Red Feather lakes or southern Wyoming. West had a good 7 or 8 inches last week, and was fishing well; and Hattie had a good foot of ice the other day between Norm and wet stuff. 

Anyone been to Bellaire, up near Dowdy? It's traditionally a nice little, fishable pond, but I think you have to hike back a half mile or so from where the road is closed for winter. The road in that far had been closed while they cleaned up fire damage, but I believe that work's been done.

Talk, people. send me a note at billjohnp.

TWO MORE FLY FISHING SHOWS CANCELED, DENVER STILL ON-TRACK

 

https://thefishingwire.com/two-more-fly-fishing-shows-canceled-denver-still-on-track/

SOMERSET, Penn. – Alameda County Fairgrounds – site of the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show – has been designated a COVID-19 vaccine distribution center, ending any hope for 2021 while restrictive government attendance mandates forced the cancellation of the Lancaster, Penn. show,  announced Ben Furimsky, president and CEO.

The Denver Fly Fishing show is still on track for April 30-May 2, confirmed Furimsky.

In addition to becoming a vaccine distribution center, emergency medical services will take over all of the Alameda County Fairgrounds’ primary buildings and the main paved parking lot with an end date of July 4, it was announced.

In Pennsylvania, regulations will only permit 463 attendees in the Lancaster Convention Center.  The Lancaster Fly Fishing Show attracts far more than that together with exhibitors, show staff and presenters, according to Furimsky.  “We had no choice but to cancel for 2021 and look toward 2022,” he said.

Dates and venues for future Fly Fishing Shows will be announced when final.

More than 60 anglers rescued after ice detaches from Wisconsin shoreline

 More than 60 anglers rescued after ice detaches from Wisconsin shoreline (msn.com) 

Dozens of anglers left trapped after three different ice floes became detached from the Wisconsin shoreline have been rescued.

© Provided by New York Daily News Coast Guard helicopters perform rescue recreation performance

According to a statement from the Coast Guard, a large chunk of ice broke free Thursday around 9 a.m. near the mouth of Sturgeon Bay, which opens into Green Bay. Before noon, first responders had rescued about 20 people near Sherwood Point, while reports indicated there another 25 people still needed assistance near Little Harbor, WPR reported.

A total of 66 ice fishermen were rescued, none of who were seriously injured.

The Door County Sheriff’s Office said that the anglers got stuck in Green Bay “due to pressure cracks that had opened between their location and the shoreline.” Authorities added that they were whisked to safety just before the area was slammed with a major snow storm.

The same day as the rescue mission, Green Bay had recorded more than 6 inches of snow while other regions more inland faced more than 9 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

“High winds associated with the approaching winter storm system quickly pushed the floe farther away from shore,” according to a press release from the Coast Guard.

“Ice continued to crack into smaller sections throughout the crews’ time on scene. The helicopter crews lowered rescue swimmers to the ice to help coordinate the rescue as local first responders and other Coast Guard ice rescue assets arrived.”

The Coast Guard and the Sheriff’s Office urged residents to exercise caution on the ice given that conditions are constantly changing along with the weather, wind and snow.

“When venturing onto the ice, no ice is ever 100% safe,” the Door County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement