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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Orvis Sells Ross Reels to the Mayfly Group

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Mayfly Group, LLC, Colorado Springs, Colo., will acquire the Manchester, Vermont-based Orvis Company’s Ross Reels subsidiary.

Orvis acquired Ross Reels from 3M in June 2013 as part of an acquisition that also brought flyline manufacturer Scientific Anglers under Orvis ownership. Based in Montrose, Colo., Ross Reels produces mid-priced fly reels. Since acquiring Ross, Orvis has developed a clear growth strategy for its Scientific Anglers brand, while concurrently struggling to integrate the Ross Reels brand into its own reel business.  “It became clear that Ross is not a strong fit for Orvis’ long term strategy,” according to Jim Lepage, President of the Orvis subsidiary operating both Scientific Anglers and Ross Reels.

The Mayfly Group, LLC operates various sporting brand names including Abel Automatics, Inc., the manufacturer of Abel fly reels and accessories in Camarillo, Calif.

“With the help of the Abel engineering team, the Ross brand will be updated and new products added; in addition, Ross will re-introduce selected reels from its former product lineup,” said David Dragoo, president of Mayfly.

“We respect the company’s strong tradition, outstanding workforce, well-run factory and quality products. We are happy to have found a strategic buyer that can give Ross Reels the attention it deserves and look forward to seeing it prosper and grow in the years to come.  We wish Ross and its employees nothing but the best,” Lepage said.

About The Mayfly Group
The Mayfly Group, LLC is a private investment company founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado. According to its mission statement, The Mayfly Group’s intent is “To provide outdoor enthusiasts with the best and most dependable products in the world while engaging in efforts to protect and sustain our natural environment.

About The Orvis Company
 Founded in Manchester, Vermont in 1856, Orvis pioneered fly-fishing and the mail order industry in the United States. A leading corporate steward for the environment, Orvis contributes 5% of pre-tax profits every year to protect nature.

About Ross Reels
Founded by Ross Hauck in 1973 and acquired by Orvis in June, 2013, Ross manufactures fly reels, fly rods, complete fly fishing outfits, reel outfits, rod cases, fishing pliers and other outdoor related products in Montrose, Colorado.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 2013 Winter Newsletter

Cross Current Guide Service & Outfitters
Capt. Joe Demalderis 
2010 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide of the Year

Season's Greetings and  Happy New Year! Winter is here, the time for planning the year ahead. There's also fishing to be had from the tropics to rugged winter steelheading and I hope someplace you're able to get some casts in. On the warmer days I still fly fish for northern pike (see below). If you feel hardy enough give me a call. We can do a full or half day at special winter rates. In just a few months spring will be here and with it the first dry flies of the year with hungry trout hot on their heels. That spells the Upper Delaware River System.
The Upper Delaware

"the finest staff of professional fly fishing guides on the Upper Delaware River" Paul Weamer, author the Fly Fishing Guide to the Delaware river
The Upper Delaware is the finest wild trout fishery in the eastern US. I guide on the Upper Delaware from mid April through October. This past season we had some of the best consistent fishing I've seen in years. 2014 should be another excellent season. Reservoirs are already above average capacity and snowfall has been better than its been in a long time. If you'd like to book a day on the river this spring please get in touch with me soon. Every year the spring fills up quicker and quicker. Sometimes I wish May were sixty days long! I have an excellent guide staff working on the river who I'm more than happy to arrange a day with too.
Water flows were excellent thanks to the hard work of Friends of the Upper Delaware River. There was one real heat wave that threatened to heat the river and place the trout in jeopardy, but quick action by Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR) convinced policy makers that a cold water release was needed. The Friends of the Upper Delaware River  are working on river access, spawning habitat restoration, water flow and thermal issues, and working with and educating the potpourri of government agencies that have a hand in the water management of this river. The current water management plan expires this spring. FUDR is the lead organization working toward  implementing a more equitable plan for the future. They can really use your support with a membership contribution. Please join Friends of the Upper Delaware River

Bonefishing, Bare Bones Style


My 2014 season starts in March with bonefishing in the Bahamas. This is the sixth time we'll be at Mangrove Cay, one of the islands that make up Andros. We have a house we rent with nice clean air conditioned rooms, we hire a wonderful cook and housekeeper and are guided daily by the top guides in the area and good guys to spend time on the water with. The dates are 3/5-11, 3/12-18, 3/19-25, 3/26-4/1. All meals, five days fishing, six nights lodging and guides: $2,500 per person based on double occupancy and two anglers to a flats skiff/guide. Drop me a note or call if you'd like to go or want more information. This books fast and due to logistics we need confirmation by early January.

Northern Pike

I've added some other fish to the aquarium this year. In early April, for the cabin fever gang, I've added fly fishing for northern pike. Depending on conditions we'll either be fishing a lake or a river. There are pike up to 20 lbs lurking about, but realistically you're hitting fish in the six to ten pound range. A good fun day on an early spring day when playing hooky feels the sweetest!

Carp on the Fly!

Another recent addition is fly fishing for carp. This is mostly a wade fishing game in some surprisingly pretty rivers and streams. Fly fishing for carp is one of the fastest growing segments in the fly fishing world. It's a sight fishing game, perfect for fly fishing. Carp pull real hard and routinely tip the scales at seven to ten pounds. Carp fishing is best from late June to mid October.

Smallmouth Bass

Then there's smallmouth bass on the middle section of the Upper Delaware. In July 2007, Field & Stream Magazine named this section of the Upper Delaware as one of the top five smallmouth bass rivers in the US. Great fun on the fly or light spin gear. This is best from early July through October. Inch for inch and pound for pound, the sportiest fish in freshwater.

Fall Bonefishing

November, 2014 we're back bonefishing. Mid November is an excellent time to fish the flats and also a great way to ease into winter! This is the same as the March bonefishing trip but we're there for only two weeks getting back well before Thanksgiving.


Winter 2015 is back to Patagonia. You'll be fishing in one of the last great frontiers of trout fishing. Let me know if you'd like to be a part of this trip. It's spectacular! If trout fishing's your favorite fly fishing, at least once in your life you have to fish Patagonia. We also offer booking on an individual basis for those who wish to travel on their own schedule. Patagonia fishing trips can be tied into wine country tours in Mendoza, Argentina or any selection of ecotourism destinations in Chile or Argentina. Just let us know what your thinking and we can help you make it real.

Drop me an email, crosscurrent@optonline.net or call me, 914-475-6779 and let's go fishing!

All the best,

Cross Current Guide Service & Outfitters
Capt. Joe Demalderis
Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide
(914) 475-6779

Monday, December 16, 2013

New York Announces a Temporary Blackout Period for Sporting License Sales and Game Harvest Reporting

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced that beginning Thursday, December 26, the public will not be able to purchase hunting, fishing or trapping licenses, or secure a recreational marine fishing registration or report their harvested game. The temporary blackout period is due to a transition that DEC will undergo from the current computerized licensing system to a newly developed system and is expected to last approximately one to two weeks.

"In order to transfer the most current data and transition to the new system, we need to completely shut down license sales and game harvest reporting," said Commissioner Martens. "The loss of the ability to purchase a sporting license, associated stamp or permit, register to recreationally fish in New York's marine waters or report a harvested deer or bear will be temporary and the public will be notified as soon the new system is accessible."

DEC is in the transition phase to a new system for computerized sporting license issuance and game harvest reporting since the contract with the provider of the current system ends December 31, 2013 and that provider will no longer be in sporting license business. DEC's new sporting license system is part of a larger multi-agency effort in New York State to consolidate licensing systems and facilitate securing licenses in New York.

Hunters, anglers, and trappers need to purchase their licenses, stamps, and permits prior to December 26, 2013 in order to hunt or fish during the blackout period. There will be outreach efforts about the blackout period so that potential anglers, hunters, and trappers are prepared for this closure period. Hunters are encouraged to purchase remaining first-come-first-served deer management permits (DMPs) prior to the December 26 blackout period. Sporting licenses are available at nearly 1,500 locations across New York State, via telephone (1-866-933-2257) and via the internet at https://nyfgisales.appsolgrp.com/fgnyia/html/index.jsp. For a list of license agents, visit DEC's website.

"If you know of a friend or relative that is planning to hunt, fish, or trap and who may not have already purchased a sporting license, please get the word to them about the black-out period and the need to purchase their license prior to December 26," Commissioner Martens said. "While another announcement will be made when the new system is functional and licenses are available for purchase, we encourage anglers, hunters, and trappers to periodically check the DEC website for updates."

Deer and bear season in Westchester County and deer season in Suffolk County will be open during at least a portion of the blackout period. Small game and waterfowl hunting seasons and many fishing seasons also remain open during this time.

Hunters are required, by law, to report deer, bear, and turkey harvested pursuant to a hunting license within seven days of taking the animal. During the blackout period, hunters will not be able to report their harvest; however, they will be given a seven-day grace period to report their harvest once the new system is up and running.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dolphin killed, Alabama shrimper convicted.

An Alabama man pleaded guilty yesterday in a federal court in Gulfport, Miss., to knowingly shooting a dolphin, the Justice Department announced. Brent Buchanan, 38, of Bayou La Batre, Ala., pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of knowingly taking a protected marine mammal, a federal crime under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.   In court documents, Buchanan admitted to knowingly shooting a dolphin with a shotgun while shrimping in the Mississippi Sound in July or August 2012.

A sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 24, 2014.   The maximum penalty is one year in prison, a $100,000 fine, and a $25 special assessment.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act is a federal law which makes it illegal to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or to attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, any marine mammal in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States.   The Act protects all species of dolphins, as well as other marine mammals such as whales and seals.

The case was investigated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Law Enforcement, with assistance from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine, the Alabama Marine Police, and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resource Division.   The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi and the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

NOAA Office of Law Enforcement is actively investigating a number of other possible dolphin shootings along the northern Gulf Coast since 2012.   Anyone possessing information relating to such an incident is requested to contact NOAA Office of Law Enforcement at 1-800-853-1964 or a state wildlife law enforcement agency.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sign-up for the 114th Christmas Bird Count

Depending on your location one of the dates between December 14, 2103 and January 5, 2014 is the dates for the 114th Christmas Bird Count.

For more than a century, citizen scientists have been collecting data for the longest running wildlife census collecting useful information on bird populations across the Americas. Some observers brave the elements for a few hours while others simply keep a tally from the comfort of their home logging visitors to their feeders, while others spot bids from the warmth and comfort of their vehicle.  Either way, it's an interesting and totally fun way to spend a few hours on your select day, and you don't have to be a hardcore birder to participate.

 Last year was the first time I joined and you can bet I'll be back again this year. You can read about my experience here: My Audubon Christmas Bird Count 2012

To get involved this year or to learn more about The Christmas Bird Count, visit this site: http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count  Even if you live in a big city, there's a location near you.

Monday, December 09, 2013

2013 Sea Surface Temperatures on Northeast U.S. Shelf are still high, but lower than 2012

Sea surface temperatures for the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) remained high during the first half of 2013, but were lower than the record high levels that occurred in 2012, according to NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC). Sea surface temperatures (SST) for the Northeast Shelf in the first half of 2013 were just above 9 degrees Celsius; as a whole, they declined more than 1 degree C, making 2013 the third warmest year in the time series. The results are reported in the Center's latest Ecosystem Advisory.

"Surface and bottom temperatures have moderated since 2012, when temperatures reached record highs, but still remain above average, continuing the trend of above average temperatures observed during autumn and winter months,” said Kevin Friedland, an oceanographer in the NEFSC's Ecosystem Assessment Program. Bottom ocean temperatures are being influenced by water entering the ecosystem.

The moderation in temperature from 2012 was not uniform over the Northeast Shelf. Northern "ecoregions", such as the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, remained relatively warm, while the Middle Atlantic Bight cooled to a greater extent. Sea surface temnperature (SST) in the Middle Atlantic Bight declined by nearly 2 degrees C, making it the ninth warmest year on record in that region.
Spring plankton blooms, which usually peak in April in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank, were well below average in 2013. Along the coast of Long Island a strong spring bloom occurred, which is not typical for this part of the ecosystem. The below-average plankton bloom in the Gulf of Maine appears to have adversely affected zooplankton populations that are critical to the base of the food chain.

“An abrupt shift is evident in the time when key spring warming occurs. “We believe that the changes in the timing of warming events have affected plant and animal reproduction,” Friedland said. Thedate of the spring thermal transition - which marks the average temperature between winter and spring - was relatively constant between 1982 and 2006, but since 2006 has occurred two weeks earlier.

The Northeast Shelf ecosystem continues to experience wide swings in physical conditions. The biological responses to these pronounced physical fluctuations have significantly influenced the dynamics of the Northeast Shelf LME, according to the advisory.

To view the spring 2013 summary of conditions for the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem and related background data, go to Ecosystem Advisory.

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

Ship strike reduction rule proves effective protecting North Atlantic right whales

NOAA officials today issued a final rule continuing protections to reduce lethal vessel collisions with the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale.

The ship strike reduction rule, first implemented in 2008, requires large ships to travel at speeds of 10 knots or less seasonally, in areas where right whales feed and reproduce, as well as along migratory routes in-between. Thanks to cooperation and partnership with the shipping and transportation industry, indications are that the rule is working as intended.

“Since the ship speed restrictions went into effect, no known fatal ship strikes of North Atlantic right whales have occurred in the management zones," said Mark Schaefer, deputy NOAA administrator and assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management. “This rule is working. Before this rule went into effect, 13 right whales died as a result of being hit by vessels in the same areas during an 18-year study period.”

With only about 425 North Atlantic right whales in existence, these whales are among the most endangered in the world. The top threats to the species are ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear.

Right whales are highly vulnerable to ship collisions, because their migration route crosses major East Coast shipping lanes. Measures taken by NOAA to prevent entanglement of right whales in fishing gear coupled with NOAA and the International Maritime Organization’s ship strike reduction efforts provide one of the most comprehensive approaches ever taken by NOAA to help large whales recover.

The rule requires vessels that are 65 feet and greater in length to travel at 10 knots or less during the seasons right whales are expected to be present in designated areas along the East Coast.

In the mid-Atlantic area, the 10-knot speed restrictions extend out to 20 nautical miles around major ports. NOAA Fisheries researchers report that approximately 80 percent of right whale sightings in the mid-Atlantic are within 20 nautical miles of shore. NOAA also established a program for temporary voluntary speed limits in other areas when an aggregation of three or more right whales is confirmed.
The rule allows vessels to exceed the limit if needed to ensure vessel safety.

The rule is part of NOAA’s broader ship strike reduction efforts. Existing protective actions include surveying whale aggregation areas by aircraft, extensive mariner outreach programs and mandatory ship reporting systems that provide advisories and information on right whale locations to mariners.  

Friday, December 06, 2013

Interior Dept. Rule Greenlights Eagle Slaughter at Wind Farms, Says Audubon CEO

New Rule Will Authorize 30-Year Permits for Killing America's National Bird
New York, NY - In a stunningly bad move for eagles, the U.S. Department of the Interior has finalized a new rule that would make it possible to grant wind energy companies 30-year permits to kill Bald and Golden eagles. Audubon's CEO released the following statement:
Bald Eagle
Photo by; Jim Grey
“Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check,” said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold. “It’s outrageous that the government is sanctioning the killing of America’s symbol, the Bald Eagle. Audubon will continue to look for reasonable, thoughtful partners to wean America off fossil fuels because that should be everyone’s highest priority. We have no choice but to challenge this decision, and all options are on the table.”
Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at www.audubon.org.


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Commission takes action to rebuild Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, but ignores sharks.

Elizabeth Wilson, who directs The Pew Charitable Trusts' international ocean policy unit, issued the following statement today at the conclusion of this year's annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, or ICCAT.

"Delegates from 55 governments spent the past week in Cape Town debating the future of Atlantic bluefin tuna and several species of sharks, while also exploring ways to combat illegal fishing and fraud. They took positive action to rebuild Atlantic bluefin tuna populations and end illegal fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, but failed to address the plight of vulnerable shark species that are being significantly impacted, as fisheries remain largely unregulated.

"ICCAT has taken the next step in supporting the recovery of severely depleted Atlantic bluefin tuna by maintaining catch limits, in line with scientific advice, for both the western and eastern bluefin populations at 1,750 metric tons and 13,400 mt, respectively. The future of one of the ocean’s most iconic and valuable fish—the Atlantic bluefin tuna—is brighter today. This decision will help the species stay on a path toward full recovery.

 "However, despite evidence of ongoing and persistent overfishing, ICCAT member governments, for the third time, delayed the mandatory implementation of an electronic system for tracking the catch and trade of bluefin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean.

 "There is clear evidence of continued illegal fishing in the eastern Atlantic bluefin fishery, with one study indicating that actual catch exceeded the quota by 57 percent between 2008 and 2011. Delaying the electronic bluefin catch document system for another year leaves loopholes wide open for fraud and illegal fishing. It undermines management efforts and threatens the recovery of this severely depleted species. To guarantee that the new 2015 deadline is met, all ICCAT member governments must make a full-faith effort to test the system during the upcoming year. That includes submitting all the necessary information required to make it fully operational as soon as possible.

 "ICCAT did show leadership in the fight to end illegal fishing by mandating that to gain authorization to fish in its convention area, every large fishing vessel has to have an International Maritime Organization, or IMO, number. Each number is unique and stays with that vessel until it is scrapped. To evade authorities, over the years, owners have been able to change vessel names, radio call signs, and flags of registration—essentially changing their entire identity—with ease. Requiring IMO numbers will prevent this type of subterfuge from continuing in the ICCAT area.

"The decision means that, as of 2016, every vessel at least 20 meters long fishing in ICCAT fisheries will need an IMO number. That number also must be reflected in relevant ICCAT records. ICCAT today made great strides toward ensuring that illegal fishers cannot disguise their identity. We urge all other fisheries management bodies to follow this example by mandating IMO numbers for vessels fishing or operating in their areas of competence, and demanding timely and thorough reporting of data by flag states.

"Taking steps to better implement last year's commitment to conduct port inspections, ICCAT members adopted the use of forms to report vessel information and inspection results.

"Unfortunately the governments that are members of ICCAT have failed to limit catches of porbeagle and shortfin mako sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, despite clear scientific advice that overfishing is depleting their populations. It is deeply disappointing that, even after years of debate, these species will not be properly managed even though they are inherently vulnerable.

"An estimated 100 million sharks are killed annually around the world to meet demand for their fins and meat. Sharks are particularly at risk because they grow and reproduce slowly. ICCAT’s inaction runs contrary to the recommendations of precautionary science and will accelerate the decline of these top predators across the Atlantic Ocean."

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A book you'll want to own: The Total Fishing Manual

"If hooking a panfish on a worm under a bobber doesn't make you smile, you should go see a doctor." Anthony Licata

That one line, early on in Field & Stream's: The Total Fishing Manual, sets the tone for a book on the many varied tactics used in fly, lure and bait fishing that transform an all around fisherman into a well rounded angler.

Want to know the top 15 greatest lures of all time? You'll find that here. This book is packed with tips and information from panfishing to some of the toothiest and most aggressive game fish that swim. Joe Cermele and the editors of Field & Stream show how to pick the best flies, lures, baits and tackle for just about any fishing situation you'll face. You'll learn how to get the most out of your tackle and equipment. There are no wasted words in this book that you'll be sure to reference again and again.

I just finished reading it and think it's one of those fishing books that will be around for a long time. Lots of good fishing tips, some you know, others you don't, and ones you forgot. When I was a kid this is a book I would have read over and over and over (heck, I'll probably do that now).

Follow this link to Amazon and check it out: The Total Fishing Manual (Field & Stream): 317 Essential Fishing Skills (Field and Stream)