Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Wednesday, January 19, 2011:
Pretty nice in the woods today. I headed over toward Chatsworth to get away from the snow cover. There was some patches of snow but just as many open areas. What there wasn’t was activity. Short of deer and a few rarer birds it was unusually quiet out there. I put in a few miles worth of walking and ended up grabbing my metal detector to check an area I had hunted a few hundred times in the past. No lighting. All that sounded off was one old button and the usual scattering of spent shotgun shells, some going back a hundred years, easily. There’s obviously been a long less-than-illustrious tradition among hunters of ejecting spent shells and leaving them where they fall in the woods. The prevailing feeling is no one will come across them, meaning they’re not technically litter. Well, I blow that theory to hell and back. Over the decades, I’m likely up to a thousand shotgun shells. So much for no one ever finding them again.
I’m still on a fevered search for old photos of the Causeway Shack, a.k.a. the clam shack, Happy Days, etc. I don’t want to keep the pics, I just want to place them on the next save the Shack website: www.savetheshack.com. Yes, it would be cool to someday make a coffee top book of collected Shack photos, proceeds going to saving historic landmarks. But, for now, I’d settle on just getting an image on-line.
Truth be told, it’s getting downright weird trying to track down vintage Shack shots. There are a goodly number from roughly the 1970s forward to today. But where the hell are shots prior to that? I know there are some out there; fully realizing the Shack was hardly the attention-getter it is now. Still, as a kid I recall seeing cars stopped on the Causeway, taking photos of it. We’re talking the late 1950s. I also recall artists groups out there painting it, sometimes as many as half a dozen painters. But even that timeframe is not that far back. Surely there are pics from the 1940 and 1950s. Hey, why not ask grandma and grandpap if they have any snapshots up in the attic.
I probably shouldn’t say this – if I seriously hope to get that table top Shack Book together – but an old shot of the Shack would be worth a very pretty penny on eBay. I honestly think just a simple snapshot would be worth well over $100. If you have the negatives? Serious profit potential.
Yahoo.com] By Jeffrey Weeks - January 19, 2011 - Commercial fishermen trawling off of the Outer Banks of North Carolina are slaughtering thousands of striped bass in 'culling' operations and tossing them overboard trying to keep larger stripers and remain under their 50 fish limit.
Both recreational anglers and smaller operation commercial fishermen have been aghast at the actions of the trawlers who are wiping out massive schools of stripers and discarding smaller fish to stay under the state 50 fish creel but maximize their profits.
A video of the striper carnage has been posted on You Tube showing some of the thousands of floating dead fish left in the wake of the trawlers. Outer Banks fishermen who are witnessing the fish kill have been taking to message boards and calling authorities to protest this striped bass massacre.
'It's an atrocity,' said Captain Aaron Kelly, a top striper guide with over 15 years of experience on the Outer Banks. 'It's gone on before but I think this was the first time it was in front of such a large crowd.'
Captain Kelly said that the day before the video was shot he and the members of his charter followed one trawler for five miles leaving a long wake of dead stripers.
'It's like they have an endless quota,' he said. 'Under the actual numbers are so many dead fish. It's a frightful waste.'
The striper trawling season is not set to close until this Saturday, January 20. The fishery can be closed earlier if a certain quota is reached, but the quota does not count the thousands of dead discards.
Captain JH Miller was on the water the day the video was made and called the scene 'disturbing.'
'I'm not anti-commercial fishing in the least bit, but there is no justification for leaving miles and miles of dead fish out there,' said Captain Miller. 'These were legal-sized fish just thrown away to die.'
Striped bass have to be 28 inches in size to be kept legally, and all of the charter captains confirmed that among the thousands of dead stripers were many that were over 28 inches and in the 15 pound range and higher.
Captain Ray grew up in the area and has fished the Outer Banks for decades.
'It's happened before but this year is the worst I've ever seen it,' said Captain Ray. 'I saw three huge masses of dead stripers from Nags Head to Kitty Hawk. It would be so much simpler if they were allowed a certain amount of pounds and would come in when they caught that many. I have no clue about why they allow this kind of sickening discard.'
Because the trawlers are inside the federal 3 mile limit and not keeping over 50 stripers they may not be technically breaking the law by killing scores of dead fish and throwing them overboard in order to keep netting.
Both Captain Kelly and Captain Ray said the Coast Guard was flying planes and helicopters very low over the area and must have seen the carnage. The Coast Guard has been closely monitoring recreational and smaller commercial fishing boats during the striper season.
Captain Miller said he called the Division of Marine Fisheries hotline for violations yesterday and was told no one was working.
'Even if they are not breaking the law you'd think the Coast Guard could get on for just the pollution like they do the menhaden boats,' said Captain Ray.
The charter captains said that some recreational boats simply gaffed some of the legal stripers and took them aboard to count towards their limits so the fish would not be wasted.
'Commercial fishermen talk about protecting their livelihood all the time,' said Captain Kelly. 'But these big stripers they're throwing out dead, that's their livelihood right there.'
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Jan 19, 2011 -Poor ice conditions in the Northumberland Strait, which separates P.E.I. from the mainland, are forcing gray seals onto beaches to give birth.
Four thousand gray seals are crammed on to Nova Scotia's Pictou Island, an island about 10 kilometres long that also supports a few dozen human residents.
The seal pups will be fine on the beaches, DFO research scientist Mike Hammill told CBC News Monday, so long as there are no storm surges before they are old enough to swim.
"Probably the worst situation for them is sort of the in-between situation, where you have maybe ice that's good enough for them to haul out on but it's not strong enough to withstand any storm activity," said Hammill.
"So you either want heavy ice conditions or you want very little ice, as far as if you're a gray seal. And if there's no ice then they make use of these islands which suits them quite well."
Hammill said no gray seals have been seen on-shore on P.E.I. yet, but prime birthing time for the seals is still a week away.
A colony of gray seals may well show up on Governor's Island, just outside Charlottetown Harbour, he said.
The seals were also forced ashore last year, and in 2006 1,500 seal pups were washed off the beaches in a storm surge.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - Two Mexican fishing boats have been seized and eight crew members detained over alleged illegal fishing in U.S. waters off Texas.
The incident was reported Sunday night to the Coast Guard's South Padre Island station by someone working on an offshore rig, who reported seeing three boats fishing in an area about 29 miles northeast of South Padre Island.
The Coast Guard said it sent two water craft and a jet, and the crew of the jet spotted the boats. The Coast Guard said one of the three boats made it back to Mexican waters before it could be intercepted.
The Coast Guard says both boats had fish and sharks on board.
The Coast Guard says the eight crew members were turned over to the Border Patrol early Monday.