Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Fri. April 23, 10 -- Storms, blues and stripers

Friday, April 23, 2010: Those were some freaky-ass t-storms late yesterday. Not only weren’t they forecasted, but there was one cell id rove through that was hellbent to push around some trees – and my truck, as I drove the Pines. The other odd thing was the cloud formations mixed in the cells. It was eerie. I know it’s fully impossible but I swear that nasty Iceland volcano may be throwing some surges into the sky, above simple volcano dust and such. Speaking of that awesome eruption, it is not totally impossible it could knock our summer temps down a bit. I kid you not. All that dust doesn’t dissipate overnight. It takes many months of cycling and recycling through the north hemisphere atmosphere before essentially raining itself back to earth. I’ve read more than a coupe comments on doomsday websites that the Icelandic eruption is the first of many such earthly uprisings related to 2012. My thinking: 2012? Hell, that leaves us a load of time to do fun stuff. Cool.

Among fun stuff thing is obviously fishing, for many. Angling pressure is arising at a somewhat inordinate speed. I say inordinate yet know perfectly well that a savage winter often gets folks champing at the bit (the expression is NOT “chomping”). I’ve gotten quite a few first- and second-hand reports, mainly LBI. Blues are waking the angling spirit. I always like seeing people enjoying these insane fighter, though the appreciation wanes after a few bail sessions – and fishing folks have their skills and equipment re-tuned for the season. That’s when the bass-hunting gene kicks in.

And bassing has been fairly brisk. Finding the proper venue is everything, as is always the case in angling. The thing is, many folks are finding hookin’ where they’re lookin’. Here’s part of an email, most of which is top-secret, my way of saying the writer requested the finer details of the hooking remain nonpublic material. “… I’ve had five keeper bass in four days. That’s the best spring I’ve had (at my street end) ever. I haven’t had any luck with plugs the way others have. … I still think the best way to cook bass is simply baking it with salt and grinding fresh pepper right before eating.”

Today looks real decent for angling, despite winds, the reason being the way things will go sour real fast by late tomorrow. Hey, at least we’re getting much longer breaks in-between bouts of wicked weather.


Off the wires:

April 23, 2010 - The health benefits of fish are widely publicized, and you've certainly heard us tout the importance of getting your omega-3s. Eating oily fish like salmon or taking fish-oil supplements can lower blood triglycerides, raise HDL ('good') cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, protect you from heart disease and improve your mood.

Fish oil may also be beneficial in preventing cancer. Recent evidence suggests that one of the ways fish oils keep us healthy is by protecting the parts of our chromosomes known as telomeres.

Telomeres are caps of genetic material on the ends of our chromosomes. They are a marker of cell youth: the longer the telomere, the healthier the cell. Every time one of our cells divides, a small portion of that telomere is lost. Eventually, telomere shrinkage leads to cell aging and death.

Shortened telomere length seems to be an emerging marker for heart disease risk as well as cancer risk and progression; it may also predict premature death from many kinds of cancer, including those of the prostate, breast and colon.

Is there anything you can do to protect your telomeres? You guessed it: Fish oil may help. A study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the impact of fish oil on telomere length in about 600 adults with stable heart disease. At the beginning of the study, researchers measured the length of the participants' telomeres along with their blood levels of EPA and DHA (the two main fish oils). After five years, those people with the lowest levels of EPA and DHA had the fastest rate of telomere loss; those with the highest levels had much more stable telomeres.

Can telomeres be built back up once they have declined? The answer may be yes. An enzyme known as telomerase is responsible, and it may protect your cells from aging or dying. A pilot study of 30 men with prostate cancer by a group led by Dr. Dean Ornish, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in
Sausalito, Calif., showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes over just three months led to increased telomerase activity in the cells of those men. The lifestyle changes included eating a low-fat diet, getting regular exercise, nurturing healthy relationships and reducing stress.

Ornish was one of the first researchers to show that comprehensive lifestyle changes can reverse heart disease, and his research focus now suggests that lifestyle can have an impact on risk and survival from cancer as well.

Many chronic diseases are preventable if we take good care of ourselves, so here's our mantra: Eat well, get your omega-3s, stay fit, manage your stress, hang out with people you love and do things that bring you joy. If you'd like more information about the impact of nutrition and lifestyle on the prevention and treatment of heart disease and cancer, check out 'The Spectrum' by Ornish (Ballantine Books, $17, 416 pages) or 'The Cancer Survivor's Guide' by Dr. Neal Barnard and Jennifer K. Reilly (Book Publishing Co., $19.95, 248 pages).

(c) 2010, The
Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.).
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


[Deutsche Presse-Agentur] - April 23, 2010 - Tokyo, A Japanese minister in charge of fisheries complained of a cut in the quota of minke whales allowed to be taken by Japan's whaling fleet under an International Whaling Commission proposal.

Commission Chairman Cristian Maquieira proposed Thursday to allow whalers such as
Japan to take 400 minke whales from the waters of the Southern Hemisphere in the next five years and 200 in the five years after that.

Japan's current, self-imposed target is more than 900 in its annual Antarctic hunt.

The overall catch limits are far from the Japanese request, Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Hirotaka Akamatsu said Friday. The cut is 'too drastic,' he said.

Akamatsu said
Japan planned to seek changes to the proposal before the commission's meeting in late June in Morocco.

The proposal sets an annual initial catch limit of 10 fin whales, which is to decrease to five. It would also allow
Japan to hunt up to 120 minke whales a year in Japanese coastal waters for 10 years in place of the country's current 'research whaling.'

Japan uses a loophole in an international agreement to continue whaling under the premise of doing it for scientific research. Its critics, however, have accused it of conducting its annual hunt for commercial purposes.

The 1986 worldwide ban on whaling would remain in effect under the commission's proposal, which would affect only the three whaling nations that set their own quotas for whaling:
Japan, Norway and Iceland.

The commission's quotas would be lower than their own quotas, and by the commission's estimates, would save 4,000 to 18,000 whales over the next decade.

Akamatsu said he was pleased that the proposal included coastal whaling and he wanted to see some agreement reached at June's meeting.

In addition to the coastal minke catches, the proposal also limits
Japan's annual catches at 40 minke whales and 50 sei whales in the north-eastern Pacific.

Anti-whaling nations have objected to the proposal as effectively being approval for a banned activity.

Copyright 2010 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH


Fish that look like rocks - or scarves, or a jeweled brooch, or anything but fish - are among the fascinating underwater creatures that inhabit 'Oceans.'

This stunningly beautiful documentary is the second in a series from the new Disneynature label, which gave us 'Earth' exactly one year ago on Earth Day. Whereas that film followed wildlife across the globe, 'Oceans' takes a plunge deep into its waters, with jaw-dropping results.

Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud provide a truly immersive experience, without the three-dimensional IMAX effects of the similar, and similarly awe-inspiring, 'Under the Sea 3D' from 2009. Having spent seven years working on 'Oceans,' including four years gathering footage, they have created countless how'd-they-get-that? shots. It took them 28 weeks of waiting, for example, to acquire their up-close-and-personal moments with a blue whale, a creature a half-block long and weighing 120 tons.

That is among the nuggets of information narrator Pierce Brosnan provides in his soothing Irish tones. At times, the script veers toward the cutesy, but that probably is to make 'Oceans' as palatable as possible for the young viewers for whom much of the film is intended.

It is not just the images themselves that are striking, but also the way in which they are pieced together. Perrin and Cluzaud, who also directed the Oscar-nominated documentary 'Winged Migration,' have crafted a nonfiction film that is shot and edited like a feature. They make us feel an emotional connection as we watch the intimacy of a female walrus delicately caring for her pup, or the heartbreaking sight of baby sea turtles scurrying across the sand for their tiny lives just moments after being hatched. (This would be a good time to urge you to bring tissues.)

Meanwhile, along the shore, sea otters frolic in
Monterey Bay and penguins in the Arctic emerge from the frigid water, only to shake themselves off and waddle away. The adorable factor is high.

Still other moments are striking for their enormity: scads of spider crabs crawling over each other in undulating waves across the ocean floor, or sea birds dive-bombing the surface in symphonic fashion as they hunt for fish, with scores of dolphins leaping and twisting among them. The sweeping score from French composer Bruno Coulais, who also worked on 'Winged Migration,' heightens these scenes.

It is highly unlikely that people would ever have the opportunity to witness such spectacles in person; Perrin and Cluzaud scoured all five oceans to bring them to you. And Brosnan, as narrator, reminds us that all this majesty is in danger: Like 'Earth' and 'Under the Sea 3D,' 'Oceans' includes a message about the importance of protecting from pollution and climate change our underwater expanses and the beings that call them home.

These are familiar but, unfortunately, still necessary words to hear.

'Oceans,' a Disneynature release, is rated G. Running time: 84 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.


[Knight Ridder Washington Bureau] - April 23, 2010 -
WASHINGTON, With the oceans absorbing more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide an hour, a National Research Council study released Thursday found that the level of acid in the oceans is increasing at an unprecedented rate and threatening to change marine ecosystems.

The council said the oceans were 30 percent more acidic than they were before the Industrial Revolution started roughly 200 years ago, and the oceans absorb one-third of today's carbon dioxide emissions.

Unless emissions are reined in, ocean acidity could increase by 200 percent by the end of the century and even more in the next century, said James Barry, a senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in
California and one of the study's authors.

'Acidification is changing the chemistry of the oceans at a scale and magnitude greater than thought to occur on Earth for many millions of years and is expected to cause changes in the growth and survival of a wide variety of marine organisms, potentially leading to massive shifts in ocean ecosystems,' Barry told the Senate Commerce Committee's Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard Subcommittee on Thursday.

Also testifying was actress Sigourney Weaver, who made passing references to her roles in 'Alien' and 'Avatar' while urging Congress to pass global climate change legislation.

The hearing came on the 40th observance of Earth Day, an anniversary noted by the subcommittee's chairwoman, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

'We know that this is changing the very chemistry of our oceans,' Cantwell said. 'And while the full implications of these changes aren't clear, the initial signs are frightening.'

The effects of growing ocean acid levels might be more pronounced off the coast of the
Pacific Northwest. Cold water absorbs more carbon dioxide than warm water does. A phenomenon known as 'upwelling' off the coast of Washington state and Oregon also brings deep ocean water - which already is more acidic - to the surface, where it's saturated with even more carbon dioxide. According to one study, upwelling of acidified water off the West Coast had reached levels that hadn't been anticipated until 2050.

Shellfish growers and commercial fishermen from the
Gulf of Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico are worried.

'This is a devastating ghost lurking in the shadows that would change our whole lives,' said Donald Waters, a commercial fisherman who fishes for red snapper and king mackerel out of
Pensacola, Fla.

The National Research Council report, requested by Congress, said carbon dioxide emissions were increasing so rapidly that natural processes in the sea that maintained pH levels couldn't keep up. PH is a scale used to measure acid or alkaline levels, with 7 being neutral. The average pH of ocean surface waters has moved from 8.2 to 8.1 and while that not might seem a lot, scientists are concerned.

'Like climate change, ocean acidification is a growing global problem that will intensify with continued carbon dioxide emissions and has the potential to change marine ecosystems and affect benefits to society,' the report said.

The report called for an expanded system to monitor ocean conditions and for increased research into ocean chemistry and the impact that changes would have. Scientists think that increased acidity could affect the entire marine food chain, from microscopic forms of phytoplankton to fish and whales.

The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether it can use the Clean Water Act to control greenhouse gas emissions because of ocean acidification.

Not everyone is convinced that rising acid levels would be devastating.

John Everett, a former scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who's now a consultant on ocean issues, told the subcommittee that the oceans will remain alkaline even as they absorb more carbon dioxide.

Everett said that rainwater, which absorbs carbon dioxide as it's falling, is 100 times more acidic than ocean water is. He also assured beachgoers that their feet won't dissolve when they enter the water.

'It doesn't look like it is a problem,'
Everett said. 'I don't see damage.'

Barry said
Everett was engaging in a game of semantics, adding that if the oceans are becoming less alkaline they are becoming more acidic.

'All the predictions I have seen, even the more conservative, say we will see significant changes,' Barry said.

(c) 2010, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
Distributed by Mclatchy-Tribune News Service.

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