Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alabama Oak Mountain State Park Fishing Pier

Construction is complete on the new fishing pier at Oak Mountain State Park in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2009, the existing pier was extended by 125 feet, doubling the available fishing space. The new section is 200 feet long and is adjacent to the original pier behind the park office.

The new pier complies with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and was constructed primarily to facilitate exceptional anglers events, which provide fishing opportunities for special needs students in Shelby and Jefferson counties. An official dedication ceremony will take place in 2012 prior to the exceptional anglers event “Gone Fishin’ Not Just Wishin’,” which was canceled this year due to severe weather.

Jerry Moss, Fisheries Biologist with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Exceptional Anglers event coordinator, said this project will benefit countless special needs students as well as visitors to the park just looking for a good fishing spot.

“This pier solves a problem we’d been faced with for years, lots of kids and not enough space for them to have a quality fishing experience,” Moss said. “Add to that the fact that everyone can enjoy the pier and it’s just a win-win for everyone.”

The new pier will be available to park anglers when not reserved for educational fishing and community events. A valid fishing license is required and creel limits must be observed. Fishing licenses are available from the park office, various retailers around the state or from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website, www.outdooralabama.com.

To learn more about Oak Mountain State Park visit www.alapark.com/oakmountain

source: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Monday, June 27, 2011

Missouri Highfin Carpsuckers

Among the lesser known fish of Missouri is the highfin carpsucker. The Fishes of Missouri by William L Pflieger describes the highfin carpsucker as rare, with known populations only in the Meramec, Gasconade, Osage and White river systems. One distinguishing feature is the extremely long filament on the front of the dorsal fin.

Highfin carpsuckers prefer clearer, cleaner streams than their close and much more widely distributed relatives, the river carpsucker (Carpiodes carpio) and the quillback (Carpiodes cyprinus). Like the gizzard shad, the highfin carpsucker is known for jumping out of the water.

On May 21, 2011 Derek S. DePew set the Missouri state alternative fishing methods record for highfin carpsucker while participating in a bowfishing tournament.

The alternative-methods record for the species was open, allowing DePew an automatic record when Conservation Agent Chris Boyd verified the fish’s species.

DePew's fish weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces and was 15 inches long. Highfin carpsuckers seldom grow larger than a pound or longer than 12 inches.

source: Missouri Department of Conservation

Friday, June 10, 2011

How To Avoid Spreading Invasive Species

With floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters having such an impact in recent years, the spread of invasive species is becoming an even bigger issue for fishermen and boats.

Several U.S. federal and state agencies are offering anglers advice on how to lessen the possibility of spreading invasive plants or animals while fishing and boating.

"Public awareness and action are keys to preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species," said Kim Bogenschutz, aquatic invasive species program coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. "Boaters and anglers can unintentionally transport aquatic hitchhikers if they do not take the proper precautions to prevent their spread - clean, drain, dry."


The following are a few invasive species prevention tips from Iowa Department of Natural Resources:

 - clean any plants, animals, or mud from boat and equipment before leaving a water body

 - drain water from all equipment (motor, live well, bilge, transom well) before leaving a water body

 - dry anything that comes into contact with water (boats, trailers, equipment, boots, clothing, dogs)

 - never release plants, fish, or animals into a water body unless they came out of the same area

 - empty unwanted bait in the trash

Before transporting equipment to another body of water:

 - spray your boat and trailer with hot, high-pressure water;

 - or dry your boat and equipment for at least 5 days.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Marabou Jigs for Catching Panfish

Marabou jigs are always popular for catching panfish. They come in a range of weights, patterns, and material combinations. These simple designs feature a painted lead head jig, a chenille body and marabou feathers. Solid colored jigs are popular, such as white, black, yellow, chartreuse, green and other colors.

Marabou crappie jig patterns feature color combinations. Some of the most famous are red head/black body/white tail, red and white, pink and white, chartreuse body/black tail and others.

Small spinner arms are sometimes added to traditional marabou jigs to create spinnerbaits. These specialized rigs consist of a wire arm, which attaches to the line. The arm has upper and lower snaps, to which a jig and spinner blade are attached.

One advantage of this design is its modular construction. The arm allows anglers to quickly change the jig, allowing for variations of weights, colors, or head shape. The spinner adds an element of flash and pulse, and also allows a slower retrieve. The wire spinner arm also helps prevent snags and increases the chances of catching larger species.

Marabou jigs are an excellent choice in spring and early summer for catching yellow perch, crappie, sunfish and other species. In addition to panfish, these simple lures often take larger species such a largemouth bass, pickerel, and walleye.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Maryland Anglers Urged to Prevent the Spread of Didymo and Whirling Disease

In order to protect fish populations and keep their habitat healthy, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued a reminder for anglers to clean and dry their gear between streams and outings.

MD DNR recommends scrubbing with dish soap or a 5 percent salt solution as an easy way to prevent the spread of invaders such as didymo and whirling disease.

Wader wash stations are available at several key wild trout areas including the Gunpowder River, Savage River, the North Branch of the Potomac (Barnum area), and Big Hunting Creek.

Anglers need to be aware that a proposed Maryland regulation to prohibit felt soles in all waters is scheduled to become effective in March 2011.

MD DNR is seeking public comment on the proposal through February 28 via email to fisheriespubliccomment@dnr.state.md.us or by mail to: Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service, ATTN: Felt-Soled Wader Ban Regulation, 580 Taylor Ave., B-2, Annapolis, MD 21401.

source: MD DNR