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.