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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Just Because They Can

I remember fly fishing for carp before it was cool. It was something to do when there was nothing else to do, like chub fishing on steroids.

Now that we target this shallow water, skittish invasive specie, should they become food for the table, or do they become food for racoon, skunks and the like, or released back to the water to continue to invade? I tried the food for the table thing once, when my then 5 year old son landed a 10lb carp and insisted it come home with us. Good memory, not so good taste.

There are places that if it weren't for carp there wouldn't be any fish at all. Their adaptability allowed them to fill a niche not occupied by other fish. But should the effort be on improving water quality or on preserving carp. I guess sometimes you just have to take what you can get.

Carp thrive in some very clean wild trout streams too, and in all places in between the pristine and the grimy. They don't live in the grunge because they prefer it. They live there just because they can.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Mandatory Life Jacket Requirement Starts November 1

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding boaters that beginning November 1 and lasting through April 30, they are required to wear a life jacket while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or on any canoe or kayak. The requirement applies to all Pennsylvania waters.
“Life jackets are the most important piece of safety equipment on a boat,” says Laurel Anders, director of the PFBC Bureau of Boating and Outreach. “According to Pennsylvania’s boating accident reports, almost 80 percent of all boating fatalities happen to boaters not wearing a life jacket. A disproportionate number of the fatalities occur during the months of November through April. During these cold weather months, boaters are especially at risk due to the water temperature and the risk of sudden cold water immersion.” 
When a person is unexpectedly plunged into cold water below 70ºF, the body’s first response is usually an involuntary gasp. Without a life jacket, a victim may inhale while under water and drown without coming back to the surface. If an individual does make it back to the surface, his ability to swim is usually restricted because of a shortness of breath or hyperventilation.
Individuals who plan to fish, boat or hunt from a boat this fall or winter are encouraged to follow these cold water survival safety tips:
  • Always wear a life jacket, even when not required. Many models also offer insulation from cold air. Read the life jacket’s approval label to be sure it’s appropriate for your boating activity.
  • Never boat alone.
  • Leave a float plan with family or friends and know the waters you plan to boat.
  • Bring a fully charged cell phone with you in case of emergency.
  • Wear clothing that still insulates when wet, such as fleece, polypropylene or other synthetics.
  • If you are about to fall into cold water, cover your mouth and nose with your hands. This will reduce the likelihood of inhaling water.
  • If possible, stay with the boat. Get back into or climb on top of the boat.
  • While in cold water, do not remove your clothing.
  • If you can’t get out of the water, get into the Heat Escape Lessening Posture (HELP). In this position, individuals bring their knees to their chest and hug them with their arms.
  • Once out of the water, remove wet clothes and warm up as soon as possible.
  • Seek medical attention when necessary. Some effects of exposure to cold temperatures can be delayed.
To learn more about life jacket wear and cold water survival, visit
For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.