Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

      Sunday, December 26, 2010: If you’re watching the weather from elsewhere in the state, you might think LBI has received something like 6 to 8 inches. That’s correct, providing you just measured…




Sunday, December 26, 2010: If you’re watching the weather from elsewhere in the state, you might think LBI has received something like 6 to 8 inches. That’s
correct, providing you just measured what fell before dark. Now, it’s gone
insane out there. The wind is whipping but nothing out of the winter ordinary.
What is out of frickin’ control is the inch count. I can’t even venture an
up-to-date measurement since all the doors to my house are fully socked shut. I
have an coupe inch view point and the drifts are many feet high. It’ easily up
to memorable storm levels and if the skies don’t cease to snow pretty soon,
we’ll be talking the Blizzard of December 2010.

It astounds me that the storm arrived just as I get vacation days off. Even though I had part of last week off, work carried on longer than expected. Then came the last-minute Christmas last-minute rush-around. I
literally targeted midday today for
beginning my vacationish stuff. That’s when the snow really kicked in.

For me, being stuck in the house is absolutely equal to those in-house incarceration sentences they give calmer criminals. I’m already so bloody bored I resorted to cleaning my computer – inside. The dust was so
thick I made a snowball-sized wad out of it.

Here’s hoping I get some questions to answer in here.


I’ll get out there early tomorrow – nice things are expected to clear fairly quickly come morning – and see the depth and degree of this storm.


Most of the folks who give me Christmas gifts – beyond donations to this website – aren’t major reader in here. Still, I have to give a thanks and big thumb’s up for the fine stuff I rec’d. I got Jay-type stuff,
including a series of vintage topographical maps of the Pinelands. What amazing
tips I extract from those exactly accurate maps. Yes, olden maps are seriously
accurate. In fact, those mapmakers knew cartographic arts better back in the
day than they do now. Each map segment back then was based on firsthand
observations and measurements. There’s no way satellite readings – now used –
can detect things like “ruins,” as are marked on old topo maps.

I also got the just-released tabletop book of Jackson Pollack, who I feel is the greatest American “modern,” abstract,” visionary artist. One thing getting me through the storm is studying the high-quality
images in this book. It’s sure motivating me to get back to me own less-than-normal
sub-primitive pointillism type of art.

The oddest thing I got is a huge – near as big as me – frog – as in stuffed animal. Bizarre works perfectly for me. It eats very little.


Interested in the 2011 Top 10 Environmental ‘Watch List’ -- to be issued by Vermont Law School Experts? Go to

http://watchlist.vermontlaw.edu. It’s embargoed information so it can’t yet be published in journals, newspapers and such. No, my website is not an “and such.” Truth be told, I often get you
folks storied and research studies that won’t go –public for weeks to come. And
I’m not a “Wiki” anything.


Off the wires:


By Mary Brophy Marcus - December 23, 2010 - The steep rate of death from stroke in a swath of Southern states often referred to as America's 'stroke belt' may be linked to a higher consumption of fried fish in
that region, new research suggests.


A study published in today's Neurology shows people living in the stroke belt - which comprises North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama,
Mississippi, Tennessee,
Arkansas and Louisiana
- eat more fried fish and less non-fried fish than people living in the rest of
the country, and African-Americans eat more fried fish than Caucasians.


'Differences in dietary fish consumption, specifically in cooking methods, may be contributing to higher rates of stroke in the stroke belt and also among African Americans,' says study author Fadi Nahab, medical
director for the Stroke Program at Emory
University Hospital
in Atlanta.


The research, part of a large government-funded study, Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS), involved 21,675 participants from across the country; the average age was 65.


Of the participants, 21% were from the 'stroke buckle,' the coastal plain region of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia
where stroke mortality rates are even higher than they are in the rest of the
stroke belt. Another 34% were from the rest of the stroke belt and 44% were
from the other states.


Participants were interviewed by phone and then given an in-home physical exam. The questionnaire asked how often they ate oysters, shellfish, tuna, fried fish and non-fried fish. The American Heart Association
recommends people eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids—essential fatty acids
humans get through their diet—at least twice a week, baked or grilled but not


Fewer than one in four overall ate two or more servings of non-fried fish a week. Stroke belt residents were 32% more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish each week than those in the rest of the country.


African-Americans were more than 3.5 times more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish each week than Caucasians, with an overall average of about one serving per week of fried fish compared with about
half a serving for Caucasians.


When it came to eating non-fried fish meals, stroke belt residents ate an average of 1.45 servings per week, compared with 1.63 servings eaten by people elsewhere.


'This is good stuff. It's a well-done study, but I think one thing to bear in mind is that it's not specifically a study of stroke risk. You're looking at a community and seeing how it's behaving on the whole,' says
Daniel Labovitz, a stroke neurologist at Montefiore
Medical Center
in the Bronx.


'This study can't tell you causation. It can't tell you there's a direct link between one thing and another, it just tells you they're associated,' says stroke neurologist Victor Urrutia, an assistant professor at
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


How might eating fried fish impact stroke?


It could be that frying the fish leaches out the omega-3s, says Jeremy Lanford, stroke director at Scott & White Healthcare in Roundrock, Texas.


Or the increased fat calorie content from the frying oil may contribute to stroke, says author Nahab. He also notes that fish used for frying, such as cod and haddock, tend to be the types lower in healthy fats.


More research is needed to tease out whether cooking methods affect stroke risk, Labovitz says.


'In other words, is fried fish a problem, or is it another red herring?' he says.


The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Funding was provided by General Mills
for coding of the food frequency questionnaire.




Canadian scientists find blue sharks diving deep every night to feast on squid in Gulf Stream

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [Chronicle Herald] By Kelly Shiers - December 23, 2010 - In the Gulf Stream, some 300 kilometres off Nova Scotia's coast, hundreds of thousands of huge blue sharks are slipping under warm
waters, rising and falling without fail in a mysterious daily rhythm, as if
they were yo-yos on kilometre-long strings.


It's a dance never before imagined. These massive predators - lions of this oceanic food chain - swimming on the Atlantic's surface by night and by day, sinking blindly to its inky depths, so far down no
light could ever reach them, no creature could ever be seen.


And it's a winter ritual that has scientists amazed.


'Nobody had any idea they were doing this,' Steve Campana, head of the Dartmouth-based shark research team that made the discovery, said in a recent interview.


'We found that all of these sharks are leaving Canadian waters in the late fall and when they swim out, they inevitably run into the Gulf Stream, this giant current of warm water that comes up from the Caribbean.
Within a day or two of hitting the Gulf Stream, every single blue shark started
this wild diving behaviour whereby they would spend the night up in the surface
waters - in the top 30 or 50 feet (nine or 15 metres) - and every day they
would spend down in incredible depths, as far as a kilometre below the surface.


'Every single shark did this. And they did it every day.'


Campana, head of the Canadian Shark Research Laboratory at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, said the discovery has implications for commercial fisheries, sheds new light on the role of the Gulf Stream and tells
us more about this most plentiful, yet little understood, large shark that
plies our waters.


'We have had some basic understanding of them for a while,' Campana said of the sharks that can grow as long as four metres and weigh as much as 250 kilograms.


But because blue sharks have essentially no commercial value, it's been a challenge to study them, he said. That's because 'the blue sharks, essentially, are all being thrown back in (the ocean)' by fishermen.


Scientists at the research lab began studying the blue sharks a couple of years ago, darting 40 of them with satellite tags that tracked each one's location, the water temperature around it and how deep it
was swimming. After about six months, the tags released, floated to the ocean
surface and beamed the data to a satellite, which transmitted it to the lab.


When shark after shark showed the same daily diving behaviour, the scientists knew they had a puzzle on their hands.


Because many of the tagged sharks were too young, scientists ruled out the possibility that it was some kind of mating ritual and they weren't trying to evade hunters because 'there's nothing that eats a blue shark,'
Campana said.


Instead, the team believes the sharks are homing in on the Gulf Stream and its huge quantities of squid from Florida and the Caribbean, as if it's a buffet. The sharks are simply following behind the squid as they move
up and down the water column trying to avoid being eaten.


Despite the fact the sharks are blind, even half a kilometre from the surface, their senses of smell and hearing, plus their ability to detect the minute electrical fields produced by all living animals allow them
to follow the food trail.


'They can undoubtedly find food,' he said. 'But it would be tougher for them (in the depths) than it would be at the surface, so we were trying to figure out why they would bother spending the energy to go down that
deep every single daytime. Why not just stay up at the surface and feed on the
things that are up there in the daytime and wait for (the squid) to return the
next night?'


The answer has to do with the water temperature and the shark's own metabolism, he said. The Gulf Stream's surface waters are so warm the cold-blooded shark's metabolism would speed up and they would burn more
energy if they stayed near the surface during the day.


The scientists calculate the sharks would use up their food and fat reserves as much as three times faster at the surface than they would down deep where the Gulf Stream waters are cooler.


'It's actually better for them to dive during the day and hope to get a meal down there. But even if they don't, they're better off (to go deep) than to stay at the surface.'


Campana said the scientists believe the Gulf Stream is a giant feeding ground in the winter, not just for blue sharks, but for other species, including swordfish, bluefin tuna and even sperm
whales - all of which seem to be doing these deep dives as well.


Given the size of the Gulf Stream and the number of species diving deep, the researchers concluded the stream 'is probably one of the key feeding grounds for large animals in the North
Atlantic,' he said.


While blue sharks are prized in the recreational catch-and-release fishery and account for most of the sharks (about 98 per cent) caught in the province's fishing derbies, the species is the bane of
commercial fishermen, who accidentally catch about 2,000 tonnes of blue fish


'Now that we know that blue sharks are, every daytime, down very deep, then maybe fishing operations can be adjusted somehow to not catch the blue sharks but catch the swordfish or the tuna they're looking for, for
instance,' he said.


© 2010 The Halifax Herald Limited.

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