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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Fly Fishing Hall of Fame Induction

The 17th Fly Fishing Hall of Fame Induction will take place on Saturday October 6th at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum. The Fly Fishing Hall of Fame was established to recognize and honor those individuals who have significantly enhanced the culture of fly fishing.

 The following individuals have been selected for the 2012 installation:

Stu Apte - Saltwater Fly Fishing Pioneer, Innovator, Conservationist & Author
Thomas McGuane - An author who has loved angling always. 
Ed Shenk, - Author, Angler, Fly Tyer, Instructor
Larry Solomon - Innovator, Fly Fisher, Author, Conservationist
Joe Brooks - Dean & Mentor of Outdoors’ Writing, Conservationist, and 20th C. Ambassodor to Fly Fishing Around the World
Carrie Frost- Founder of the Fly Tackle Capital of the World, Stevens Point, WI
Dr. George Parker Holden - Historian and First Mentor to Modern Angling, Rodmaking and Streamcraft
Paul Young - Rodmaker, Fly Tackle & Fly Fishing Innovator

Visit the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum's website for more info: http://www.cffcm.net/

Friday, August 24, 2012

Best Fly Fishing Products for 2012

The International Fly Tackle Dealer Show is the world's largest annual assembly of manufacturers, reps, retailers, media pros, and fly fishing groups & organizations.  Each year they have their own Academy Awards of what's the best in the market for the given year.  Listed below are the 2012 winners.

2012 New Product Showcase
Best of Show Awards

Best Wading Gear – Men’s Rio Gallegos Zip-Front Waders – Patagonia

Best Eyewear – Costa 580P Sunrise Lenses – Costa

Best Chest Pack/Vest – Flask 2.0 – Rising

Best Outerwear – 3 in 1 River Salt Jacket – Patagonia

Best Youth Specific Product – Castarget – National Fishing in Schools Program

Best Women’s Specific Product – Women’s Kalama Jacket – Redington

Best Eco Friendly Product – R1 Full Zip Jacket – Patagonia

Best Fly Rod – Freshwater – The Circa Collection – Sage

Best Fly Rod – Saltwater – Boron III-SX 9’ 9 wt. – R.L. Winston

Best Reel – Freshwater – Ultralite CLS – Hardy

Best Reel – Saltwater – 8000 Pro Reel – Sage

Best Personal Watercraft – Clearwater Drifter – NRS

Best Fly Line – Freshwater – Scientific Anglers GPX Hover – Scientific Anglers/Ross

Best Fly Line – Saltwater – Bonefish QuickShooter – RIO Products

Best Fly Box/Storage System – MFC Waterproof Fly Case – Montana Fly Company

Best Fly Tying/Materials/Equipment – UV2 Dubbing – Spirit River

Best New Fly Pattern – Freshwater – Flymen Fishing Company

Best New Fly Pattern – Saltwater – Montana Fly Company
Best Accessory – Rod Clip – Smith Creek Ltd

Best General Apparel – Minimalist Wading Jacket – Patagonia

Best New Book – Seasons of the Steelhead – Angler’s Book Supply

Best New DVD – The T-Motion Collection – Catch Magazine

Best Gift Item – Tenkara Set – Tenkara USA.

Best Luggage – Westwater Rolling Carry On – Fishpond

Best of Show – The Circa Collection – Sage

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reversing Decades of Decline, the Number of Hunters and Anglers is on the Rise

 ‘Great News for America’s Economy and Conservation Heritage’

Highlighting the reversal of decades of declining numbers, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the results of a comprehensive national survey of outdoor recreation showing a significant increase in hunters and a double-digit increase in anglers over the past five years.

“Seeing more people fishing, hunting, and getting outdoors is great news for America’s economy and conservation heritage,” said Salazar. “Outdoor recreation and tourism are huge economic engines for local communities and the country, so it is vital that we continue to support policies and investments that help Americans get outside, learn to fish, or go hunting. That is why, through President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, we have been focused on helping Americans rediscover the joys of casting a line, passing along family hunting traditions, and protecting the places they love.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation found that hunters nationwide increased by 9 percent while anglers grew by 11 percent. Nearly 38 percent of all Americans participated in wildlife-related recreation in 2011, an increase of 2.6 million participants from the previous survey in 2006. They spent $145 billion on related gear, trips and other purchases, such as licenses, tags and land leasing and ownership, representing 1 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service is dedicated to connecting people and families with nature,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “We look forward to continuing to work with the States, non-governmental organizations, and additional partners to help keep recreational fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching going strong for people across America’s great outdoors.”
Other key findings include:
• In 2011, 13.7 million people, 6 percent of the U.S. population 16 years old and older, went hunting. They spent $34.0 billion on trips, equipment, licenses, and other items in 2011, an average of $2,484 per hunter.
•  More than 33 million people 16 and older fished in 2011, spending $41.8 billion on trips, equipment, licenses, and other items, an average of $1,262 per angler.
•  More than 71 million people engaged in wildlife watching in 2011, spending $55.0 billion on their activities
At the request of state fish and wildlife agencies, the Fish and Wildlife Service has been conducting the national survey every five years since 1955. It is viewed as one of the nation’s most important wildlife-related recreation databases and the definitive source of information concerning participation and purchases associated with hunting, fishing and other forms of wildlife-related recreation nationwide.

“State agencies, hunters and anglers are the key funders of fish and wildlife conservation through their license and gear purchases,” said Dr. Jonathan Gassett, Commissioner of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “An increase in participation and expenditure rates means that agencies can continue to restore and improve habitat and fish and wildlife species, bring more youth into the outdoors and provide even greater access to recreational activities.”

The U.S. Census Bureau interviewed 48,627 households across the country to obtain samples of sportspersons and wildlife watchers for detailed interviews. Information was collected through computer-assisted telephone and in-person interviews.

The Survey is funded through a Multi-State Conservation Grant from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, which celebrates 75 years of conservation success in 2012.

The report is the first in a series that the Service will release. The next report of findings will contain State data and will be available in the coming months. In late November, the National Report with more detail participation and expenditure estimates will be available online. From December 2012 to May 2013, the 50 State reports will be released on a rolling basis.

The results of the National Overview report can be found here.

Monday, August 06, 2012

"REEL" A day on the river

For many, the Upper Delaware and Catskill region is a refuge from the hectic pace of life in the working world. For anglers especially, it is an opportunity to fully immerse mind, body and spirit in the unique rhythms of the river system. The elemental act of angling enables this escape in a way nothing else can.

"Reel: A Day on the River," is an inspirational film about the tradition and culture of fly-fishing in the East. It highlights the responsibility we have to protect resources like the Upper Delaware River for future generations.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Spiny Water Flea Confirmed in Lake George

New York State Will Work with Partners to Implement Lake Champlain Task Force Recommendations

The presence of the spiny water flea, an aquatic invasive species, was confirmed in Lake George, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today.

"DEC has worked with its partners on the Lake Champlain Basin Task Force to stop and slow the spread of the spiny water flea," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "The discovery of spiny water flea in Lake George is not welcome news and DEC's efforts to slow the spread of this and other invasive species will continue."

Earlier this week the Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Task Force released seven recommendations to slow the spread of spiny water flea into Lake Champlain, which includes redirecting the flow of the Champlain Canal into the Hudson River and furthering a feasibility study for a hydraulic barrier between the Champlain Canal and Lake Champlain.

"DEC fully supports the recommendations of the Task Force and will work with the state of Vermont and our other partners to implement the Task Force's recommendations," Commissioner Martens said. "Boaters and anglers also have a major role in slowing the spread of invasive species. All boating, fishing and recreation equipment must be cleaned and disinfected, to prevent spreading invasive species to other water bodies."

The Task Force is made up of representatives from New York state, Vermont and Canada. The Task Force's report recognizes that the closure of the Champlain Canal and the Glens Falls Feeder Canal is not technically, legally or economically feasible.

The discovery of spiny water flea in Lake George provides another pathway for the invasive species to enter Lake Champlain via the LaChute River. Lake George is not connected to the State Canal System.

The presence of spiny water flea was confirmed through sampling efforts by the Lake George Association on Tuesday, July 31. The samples were taken to the Darrin Fresh Water Institute where four spiny water fleas were identified.

"Right now the Commission's top priority is invasive species control and management, and we will work with our many partners on determining the extent of this population," Dave Wick, Executive Director of the Lake George Park Commission, said. "The Commission is currently developing a comprehensive invasive species prevention plan for Lake George, with the goal of preventing any new invasive occurrences from entering the lake."

The possible presence of the spiny water flea was first reported on Friday, July 27 by an invasive species steward at DEC's Mossy Point Boat Launch near the north end of the lake. A fisherman had reported having a clump of small organisms on his fishing line after spending time trolling the waters off Mallory Island along the east shore of the lake.

The steward took a sample and provided it to the Lake George Association, who passed it on to the Darrin Fresh Water Institute. After the organisms were identified as spiny water fleas the Lake George Association sampled the waters off Mallory Island and further confirmed its presence.

The invasive pest was previously confirmed in the Great Sacandaga Lake in 2008, Peck Lake in 2009, Stewarts Bridge Reservoir 2010, Sacandaga Lake in 2010 and most recently this summer in the Champlain Canal and Glens Falls Feeder Canal. 

Background on Spiny Water Flea

Native to Eurasia, the spiny water flea feeds on tiny crustaceans and other zooplankton that are foods for fish and other native aquatic organisms, putting them in direct competition for this important food source. The tail spines of the spiny water flea hook on fishing lines and foul fishing gear.

Spiny water fleas can impact aquatic life in lakes and ponds due to their rapid reproduction rates. In warmer water temperatures these water fleas can hatch, grow to maturity, and lay eggs in as little as two weeks. Conversely, "resting" eggs of spiny water fleas can remain dormant for long periods of time prior to hatching.

While it is not clear when or how the spiny water flea was introduced into the lakes, it is clear that the initial introduction, and very likely the others as well, were through adult, larvae or eggs being transported to the waters by bait bucket, bilge water, live well, boat, canoe, kayak, trailer or fishing equipment.

Currently, there are no successful means to control or eradicate this and many other aquatic invasive species, so preventing their spread is the only means for reducing their impacts on native aquatic communities. It is very important that boats, anglers and other recreational enthusiasts take precautions to avoid transporting this and other invasive species, particularly after leaving water known to have an aquatic invasive species. 

Prevent the Spread of Spiny Water Flea

INSPECT & CLEAN your fishing, boating and other water recreation equipment and gear. Remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to them when leaving waters, especially those that are known to contain an aquatic invasive species. 

DRY your fishing and boating equipment before using it on another body of water. Drying is the most effective "disinfection" mechanism and is least likely to damage sensitive equipment and clothing. All fishing and boating equipment, clothing and other gear should be dried completely before moving to another body of water. This may take a week or more depending upon the type of equipment, where it is stored and weather conditions. A basic rule of thumb is to allow at least 48 hours for drying most non-porous fishing and boating gear at relative humidity levels of 70 percent or less. 

DISINFECT your fishing and boating equipment if it cannot be dried before its use in another body of water. Disinfection recommendations vary depending on the type of equipment and disease of concern. Be particularly aware of bilge areas, live wells and bait wells in boats. These areas are difficult to dry and can harbor invasive species.

See the DEC website for more information on invasive species and how you can stop their spread.

USGS Spiny Water Flea Fact Sheet: http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.asp?speciesID=162.


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Top Fishing Equipment Brands for 2011

Southwick Associates’ AnglerSurvey.com announced the brands and products anglers purchased most frequently in 2011. This list has been compiled from the 29,495 internet-based surveys completed by anglers who volunteered to participate last year in AnglerSurvey.com polls.
In 2011, the top brands include:
  • Top rod brand: Shakespeare (9.6% of all purchases)
  • Top reel brand: Shimano (21.4% of all purchases)
  • Top fishing line producer: Berkley Trilene (13.1% of all purchases)
  • Top hard bait brand: Rapala (21.8% of all purchases)
  • Top soft bait brand: Zoom (15.2% of all purchases)
  • Top spinner bait brand: Strike King (16.4% of all purchases)
  • Top sinker brand: generic (28.8%), Bullet Weights (12.1% of all purchases)
  • Top fly rod brand: Orvis (10.4% of all purchases)
  • Top fly reels brand: Orvis (16.5% of all purchases)
  • Top fly combo brand: Cabela’s (31.5% of all purchases)
  • Top fly line brand: Scientific Angler (3M) (23.8% of all purchases)
  • Top fly leader brand: Rio (28.9% of all purchases)
  • Top tackle box brand: Plano (45.8% of all purchases)
  • Top landing net brand: Frabill (24.5% of all purchases)
  • Top fishing knife brand: Rapala (25.2% of all purchases)
* Largemouth bass remain the number one targeted species of freshwater fish, with 52% of fishing activity targeting largemouth bass.

* Saltwater anglers were more varied, with 31% of trips targeting redfish/red drum, followed by any saltwater fish that bites (25%), flounder (24%), spotted seatrout or weakfish (23%) and striped bass (20%). Please note these refer to species targeted on trips and not the number of fish actually caught.

A comprehensive 2011 fishing tackle market review will be presented in the April issue of the Fishing Tackle Retailer.

The marketing data presented here is a summary of a 150-page market report just released by Southwick Associates that details consumer behavior including what products and brands are purchased, where they are bought, how much customers spend, and demographics of freshwater and saltwater anglers broken out by each product category. Current information about what gear and brands anglers prefer, how many days they spend on the water and what type of fishing they enjoy most is vital to businesses trying to build their customer base.

You can stay abreast of consumer buying patterns and overall market trends by purchasing an annual subscription to Southwick Associates’ monthly AnglerSurvey.com reports. Reports are available for specific product categories including fishing rods, reels, line, lures, tackle, electronics, apparel, fly-fishing and ice fishing gear, and more. To purchase a report or subscription, contact John DePalma at  jdepalma@brandintelligent.com. 

About AnglerSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com
Launched in 2006, AnglerSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com is a non-scientific survey designed to help the outdoor industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. The information above represents only a small sample of the vast amount of data collected from the complete survey results and available to government agencies, businesses, the media and other interested parties. Results are scientifically weighted to best reflect the attitudes and habits of anglers and hunters across the United States.

2012 Waters to Watch List Highlights Partner Priorities

The National Fish Habitat Partnership (www.fishhabitat.org) has unveiled its 2012 10 “Waters to Watch” list, a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries , watershed systems, shores and lakes that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition.

These waters represent a snapshot of this year’s larger voluntary habitat conservation efforts in progress.  These and other locally driven conservation projects are prioritized and implemented by regional Fish Habitat Partnerships that have formed throughout the country. 

The objective of these projects, to conserve freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats essential to the many fish and wildlife species that call these areas home is the foundation of the National Fish Habitat Partnership.

Throughout the year, through the work of our partners these projects will be the showcase of conservation efforts working to avoid and reverse persistent declines in our nation’s aquatic habitats.  Having featured 60 partnership projects since 2007, the monitoring of these projects proves that partner efforts and strategies do make a difference. 

The 2012 “Waters” include:

Project:                                 Fish Habitat Partnership:
ACE Basin, South Carolina - Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP)

Anchor River, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska - Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership (KPFHP)

Bear Creek, Wisconsin - Driftless Area Restoration Effort (DARE)

Boone River Watershed, Iowa - Fishers and Farmers Partnership (FFP)

Conner Creek, California
- California Fish Passage Forum(CA FPF)

Harpeth River, Tennessee - Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP)

Rio Grande Tributaries, Texas - Desert Fish Habitat Partnership (DFHP)

Table Rock Lake, Missouri - Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership (RFHP)
Weber River, Utah
- Desert Fish Habitat Partnership/ Western Native Trout Initiative (DFHP/WNTI)

White River, Vermont
- Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV)

Since 2006 The National Fish Habitat Partnership has been a partner in 342 projects in 45 states benefiting fish habitat.  “Our approach—teaming local, state, tribal, and federal agencies with private partners and stakeholders is the most strategic way we can make a difference in benefiting fish habitats,” said Kelly Hepler, Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board. “By watching these 10 models of our nation’s aquatic conservation efforts underway, we can see real progress. Too often we have focused on treatment of symptoms with limited success.  Through sound science and on-the-ground locally driven partnerships, these select Action Plan projects can be held high as a vision of what quality habitat should and can be, and how it benefits all people throughout the United States.”  

These regional-scale efforts include, the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, the Western Native Trout Initiative, the Driftless Area Restoration Effort, the Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, the Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership, the Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership, the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership, the Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership, the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership, the Fishers and Farmers Partnership, the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, the Great Plains Fish Habitat Partnership, the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, the California Fish Passage Forum, the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership and the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership.  There are also four “Candidate” Fish Habitat Partnerships that have stated their intent to apply for full NFHP Board recognition. 

For more information on project maps and descriptions, visit www.fishhabitat.org

About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:
The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, and private funding sources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects. The national partnership implements the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 18 regional grassroots partner organizations.