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  • Saturday, December 29, 2007

    Rock Snot In The News Again

    NPR JUMPS ON THE BANDWAGON
    This Is A Good Thing
    .. The NPR website just published an article about the diatom Didymosphenia geminata -DIDYMO, for short, (Rock Snot, for the rest of us.)
    .. Now that the little slimy nuisance has made it to the Delaware River, the problem is less a 'Western Problem' and is making inroads into the popular press. This is a good thing.
    .. NPR even went to the trouble of building an interactive graphic of five of the most loathed invasive species. This too, is good. Now we just need to hear more about the continuing threats to our fisheries from the industry mavens, bloggers, and sports writers.
    .. The insidious thing about invasive species is that they live mostly out of sight and do their damage away from the photographer's lens. Photographs of Rock Snot are not nearly as sexy as an old fart holding a fish and so they are not published.
    .. Didymosphenia geminata has gone from an isolated western Canadian phenomenon to a North American scourge in just a couple of decades. It has mutated into several forms that bloom and recede or bloom and cover river bottoms from bank to bank. Currently it is creeping into Yellowstone along the Snake River near Jackson, Wyoming.
    .. This little critter has become a world traveler and is found from Mississippi to New Zealand and from California to Connecticut. Visit Protect Your Waters and the Invasive Species Weblog for information about these things.

    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Google Your Water Supply

    NRCS BUILDS ".kmz" DATA FILES
    See Daily SNOTEL Data For Your Waters
    (click image to enlarge)
    .. Should you ever want to know how your snowpack is doing you can get it done with a new visual mapping tool developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS.)
    .. There are two ways to display this information on your computer. 1] if you're a computer mapping junkie, you can download the ".kmz" file and display it on your computer's copy of Google Earth, or --> 2] you can go to the NCRS site and view the daily image.
    .. The data base includes all NCRS SNOTEL sites for North America, and can be viewed either with, or without labels for the sites.
    .. There's nothing that we can do about the results of the weather, but now we can see and talk about it in real time.
    .. The data files are updated daily around 7:30 am and 12:30 afternoon Pacific Time with midnight summaries of the previous day’s data. The symbols are color-coded by the current snow water equivalent as percent of the 1971-2000 normal on this date.
    .. The ".kmz" file is recognized on your copy of Google Earth as "places." If you click on the site of interest you will get a photo of the site and a summary table for the data collected at that site. There are additional real-time reports included in the information on the photo page.
    .. There is also a Google based "Water Supply Forecast" data base created by the NCRS. This is displayed in the same way as the SNOTEL data and can be viewed both ways as well. The forecasts are based on the snowpack, and are available for drainage basins.
    ---------------
    .. Another pair of Google ".kmz" files has been prepared by NOAA. These are 3-D overlays of the snowpack analysis and snow reports. These are based on the latest, (usually daily,) NASA and NOHRSC imagery.
    .. Here are the links to get you started, (P.S. you can build your own ".kmz" file.)
    Google Earth SNOTEL Data Layer
    Google Earth Water Supply Forecast Layer
    National Snow Analyses 3D Interface
    ---------------
    .. Here's one for Tom, (click for data.)

    Saturday, December 15, 2007

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    About Damn Time

    TED WILLIAMS SPEAKS OUT
    "POLITICAL FISH-KILL"

    .. For two years we've noted the continuing demise of the fluvial grayling in the Rocky Mountains, particularly in Montana and Yellowstone, (Reports in this blog.) The court decision that seemingly doomed the fish is reported HERE.
    .. With current research showing that the population in Yellowstone is a remnant of planted fish, and the confirmation that they are adfluvial grayling rather that native river dwellers, the issue becomes even more critical.
    .. Despite calls from many grayling advocates both the Montana FWP and the U.S. FWS have continually denied the fish the protection that they need and deserve. The grayling, along with the indigenous cutthroat, are in trouble.
    .. Now, Ted Williams has taken up the cause. An article in High Country News, (via MidCurrent,) again points out the insidiousness of the current administration in dealing with our natural resources. Williams points out the flip-flop of USFWS and notes the genetic and geographic singularity of the Rocky Mountain population. We need now a concerted and focused effort to list these fish and to do it now.
    .. For resources and a fine video we reprint our post on the subject below.
    -----------------

    YELLOWSTONE GRAYLING NOT FLUVIAL
    WE HAVEN'T CAUGHT OURS THIS YEAR
    First Time In Over 13 Years
    .. About ten years ago we noticed that it was becoming harder and harder to catch a Grayling on the upper Gibbon. For years we'd enjoy a walk to Grebe Lake, take a few, smile, and walk out again. As the legs became more like rubber we could still take our gray ghost in Wolf Lake. Then as rubber turned to spaghetti, we'd take this jewel of the river just a few steps from the pull-outs along the Virginia Cascade Drive, or in the runs around Norris Campground. We're usually on the upper Gibbon 2 -3 times a week. The Grayling is not in our posts this year, and we started early.
    .. The catching of this fish didn't become a pilgrimage for us until about 4 - 5 years ago, when we noticed that they were particularly difficult to catch in Yellowstone National Park. Granted, it's possible to catch the Fluvial Grayling other places - but not many: maybe none if the USFWS has it's way.
    -----------------
    .. Last April sixth, New West ran a column about the Fluvial Grayling by George Wurthner, wherein he noted that:
    "Ever since the fish was first documented to be in danger by the FWS in 1982, the agency has done just about everything it could to avoid listing."

    .. On April 24, 2007 the EPA denied that the Fluvial Arctic Grayling of the upper Missouri River basin, [[ i.e. Big Hole River ]] was a Distinct Population Segment, and therefore not entitled to listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. This action closely followed the denial of the Westslope Cutthroat as a separate species by a federal judge, in March.
    .. The EPA denial brought quick responses from bloggers. Ralph Maughan, on April 25 noted that:
    "We are witnessing the political dismemberment of what is supposed to be an agency guided by science - instead plundered by political obstructionists and public land profiteers."

    .. On the same day Ecorover Pat Munday delivered two posts about the Grayling: "Who Killed Big Hole Grayling? A not-so-mysterious murder." AND "US Fish & Wildlife Service: Big Hole River grayling are not significant."
    .. A day later we posted a note, and The Trout Underground noted that:
    "Astoundingly, the US Fish & Wildlife Service has once again denied species protection (under the ESA) to the fluvial grayling.It’s clearly a political move; the fluvial grayling qualifies for protection under almost any ESA standard."

    .. Now, it's possible that the USFWS is going to reconsider its decision. Mike Bias, Executive Director of The Big Hole River Foundation has sent a letter in support of a reversal to Mark Wilson and Doug Petersen - USFWS, Helena - in support of the Grayling. The letter is annotated with an additional letter of support from the leading Grayling experts from around the world. The documentation in both letters about the genetic and behavioral differences between the Fluvial and Lacustrine forms is significant, and should be familiar to all fans of the Fluvial Grayling.
    ------------
    .. Ted Williams writes, in Fly Rod & Reel Online, about this situation as well. The post; "Who Needs Grayling?" was penned in June, and just published. He cites the results of Amber Steed, a graduate student at Montana State University, who will shortly publish data revealing that the Grayling occasionally seen in the Gibbon River are adfluvial fish that drop down from Grebe and Wolf lakes, stocked in 1920.
    .. We now know about the Yellowstone fish, and this makes the Big Hole fish all that more important. The whole sordid tale of the politics of this fish is retold in a succinct form by Williams and is worthy of review.
    .. There are several organizations that are working to save the Fluvial Grayling of the Big Hole River. Each has web pages and sections on efforts and issues associated with this fight.
    --- The Big Hole River Foundation,
    --- Arctic Grayling Recovery Program,
    --- The Nature Conservancy
    --- Montana River Action
    -----------
    Just how rare is the Fluvial Grayling of the Big Hole River?
    Try Google for an indication:
    .. Google Search for FLUVIAL GRAYLING:
    --> Web = about 23,000 entries, (vs. about 22,800,000 for trout,)
    --> Images = about 286 entries, (vs. about 1,900,000 for trout,)
    --> News = one, (vs. about 4,710 for trout,)
    --> Maps = 7, (vs. about 10,200 for trout,)
    --> Video = one very well done entry presented below for your edification. (vs. about 6,569 for trout.)


    .. Other Resources:
    "Jeremy Bentham, the Pieta, and a Precious Few Grayling" by David Quammen
    "Entrepreneurs Save Native Fish" by Jerry Johnson
    "Arctic Grayling Will They Be Delisted?"
    "Reintroducing Fluvial Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) To The Upper Ruby River, MT. A Progress Report"(PDF)
    Montana's Fish Species Of Special Concern - Fluvial Arctic Grayling

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    Saturday, December 08, 2007

    Bob Steele Would Be Sad

    OWENS RIVER RANCH SOLD
    Follows Arcularius Ranch
    william mullholland is pissed
    .. Tim Alpers has sold the Owens River Ranch. He sold it to the same folks that bought the Arcularius Ranch. Both ranches have been dear to the hearts of Eastern Sierra fishers.
    .. These Two Ranches escaped the water piracy and grand schemes of the Eaton/Mullholland era and went on to become destination fisheries for thousands of visitors. We wonder if Hot Creek Ranch will follow.
    .. Just plain folks and just famous folks haunted the waters of the upper Owens River. It was a warm and friendly place, and "Mom" would constantly remind you not to pet the beaver.
    .. Bob Steele was a near perpetual resident for a brief time - he even fished some. And, rumors and legends persist that the famous John C. Fremont cannon is located in the big draw just to the north and east of the upper pools, (#1, #2.)
    .. Happily the trout rearing operation will continue at a new location further up the valley. The Alpers' Rainbow Trout are justly famous throughout California and the west. The average adult trout is about four pounds, (some are as big as 11#.)
    --------------------
    BACKGROUND & SOURCES

    -- San Diego Union-Tribune
    -- California Game & Fish
    -- Kern River Board
    -- Adios Alpers
    -- Mono County Planning Document
    -- California Water Wars
    -- Tim Stocking Trout
    -- Aquafornia Blog
    ------------

    Friday, December 07, 2007

    The Incredible Disappearing Trout

    NOW YOU SEE IT -- NOW YOU DON'T
    and the beat goes on
    .. Cory Hatch, in the Jackson Hole Daily, details a report by Trout Unlimited that looks at the effects of climate change on Trout & Salmon across the country. Not surprisingly, the outlook for the salmonids is bleak with the continued warming of the earth.
    .. Not only trout, but the insects that they feed on are currently being affected. Spawning activity is also impacted, and populations are beginning to recede into refuge areas.
    .. The Cutthroats of Yellowstone Country are very susceptible to the effects of the coming warmer earth. Bob Gresswell, a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, studies cutthroat trout in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. He has pointed to fish die-offs and fishing closures in Yellowstone and Montana as a probable sign that global warming is already affecting trout populations.
    “I worked in the park for 17 years and we never closed the fishery even once [because of warm water],” he said.

    .. In separate but pertinent research Lusha Tronstad has shown that Cutthroat Trout are not only affected by their environment, but also affect the environment. River chemistry could be significantly affected with the disappearance of the species.
    .. The current status, (biological, legal, environmental,) of the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout is detailed on the Greater Yellowstone Coalition web site -- HERE.
    -------------
    .. There is a narrow, but deep, path through the snow at the entrance to Campfire Lodge on the Madison River. The recent bright and snowy days have brought the neighbors to the water for the first prolific snow fly hatch of the winter. The fish are active in the Hebgen Tailwater and can be seen working the surface at the sun/shade interface throughout the day. Small flies are the order of the day for surface action, (size 20 - 24,) but the blurry-eyed can use nymphs just below the film and do well. Try a Yellowstone Badger in size 16 - 18. If you care to double up put a black Woolly Worm with a red tag as a dropper in size 14 - 16.
    -----------
    .. Rose River Farm recently hosted Project Healing Waters, (PHW, a rehabilitation project for injured soldiers.) National Public Radio has run a series featuring interviews at the farm. You can read about the events and the interviews HERE. The fish are biting on the farm and you should check for Christmas reservations there may be cancellations. If not, do it as soon as you can.
    .. If you'd rather not fish --(HUH?) -- try the wine. Or, for a real treat there are a limited number of sides of Angus Beef available ------ YUMMIE!

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Boaters Attack Fly Water

    MARYLAND CHAIN SAW MASSACRE
    Fly Fishers Irked
    boaters warned
    .. It seems that in the interest of canoe and kayak paddlers everywhere, the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club (GBCC) has taken to the Gunpowder River with chain saws.
    .. Off they went, chain saws in hand to Gunpowder Falls State Park. There they wantonly and illegally turned a lovely tailwater catch and release fishery into a super highway for paddlers. They removed deadfalls, snags, and what they call "strainers." Then they posted a picture of the results on their website.
    .. They cut logs in and near the water and disrupted the flow during wild trout spawning season. And the fly guys are not happy.
    .. These eco-terrorists are members of a club that was founded by Bill Robinson, a Sierra Club member in the 1970's. Robinson and the rest of the "Club" became a tax shelter in 1976. As noted on their web site:
    "We were incorporated as a non-profit organization to promote responsible recreational canoeing and kayaking, to develop a water safety program, and a conservation program."

    .. They are so arrogant that they planned the rape of the Gunpowder River on their web site and bragged about it.
    .. Apparently the administrators of the Maryland State Park don't see much wrong with what the rabid destroyers did. The Maryland Natural Resources Police gave the offenders a gentle warning, attached no fines and sent them home with their chain saws intact. "Go now and sin some more!"
    .. The supposed managers didn't even do the detective work to catch the vandals. It was provided by Theaux Le Gardeur who owns and operates The Backwater Angler.
    .. You can read the full story in the Washington City Paper, the Baltimore Sun. and The Backwater Angler.
    .. Here's the way it used to be, [snags, strainers, fly fishers, cane rods, and all,] (from blip TV.)

    This is posted here as a warning to other fly fishers in the region.
    As noted on the GBCC web site:
    "We are especially active on Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia rivers, with frequent excursions from Maine to Florida, and occasional trips to Canada."

    -----------------

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    Ultimate Christmas Gifts

    THE PERSONAL BLIMP
    RSS For Babes With Books
    A Pinup Collection
    Thrill Driving
    Kangaroo Scrotum
    Rent An Island
    Baby Beemer
    etc.
    .. You've seen the cute backpacks, the scrumptious cane rods, the sexy reels, the exotic feathers, the fancy tying desks, the barely affordable vests, and the other sundry and mundane gifts for the fly fisherman - right? If you need help in this category try The Seattle Times Gift List.
    .. Well get creative - - - try the following ultimate gifts. They don't have to cost a pile of scratch; but it helps.
    --------------
    .. Quiet, maneuverable, sneaky: a personal blimp will aid your "blue lining" escapades. You can even get in on the ground floor and invest in this thing. This radical concept will be one of the things that revolutionizes the fly fishing image.
    .. Do you follow the insightful blog posts over at BABES WITH BOOKS? NO? Well, here's your chance. The RSS Feed will keep you abreast of developments in this shady realm. The I.Q. of most of our neighbors will also benefit from this addition to the feed reader. See, ultimate gifts don't have to cost a bundle.
    .. Have you seen those retro-pinups that grace the pages of blogs? Do you want to use some? Try the Flickr Page that Anheuser has put together. There are nearly 200 wonderfully nostalgic images - even fishing. Try it, you'll like it.
    .. For the fly fishers with a touch of adventure in their soul, the Supercar Thrill Ride might be just the gift. Bop on over to the UK and jump in a Lotus, Ferrari, or cruise around Silverstone. The Price? Between £125.00 and £95.00. Airfare not included, but you can spring for that too; rightoh! Click HERE for the ride of a lifetime.
    .. Depending on your personal tastes and the number that you purchase you can have an embossed Kangaroo Scrotum for a Christmas stocking. This exotic rendition of the bulls balls sack is an excellent "possibles" bag. Keep your flask in it. Cover your new Bill Ballan reel with it. Use the small size for snacks and breath mints. It's a perfect place to keep your change. These pouches can be personalized with your logo and any corporate motto - (can you see a 'Reel Pure' pouch?)
    .. Should you choose to relax on your own island in the South Pacific, it's possible to rent "Villa Coralinna" on Moorea Island for the night or by the week. It's a real bargain at just $450/night and $3,150/week. This little island comes complete with housekeeping, a canoe, and a diving mask.
    .. On the other hand if the Caribbean is more your style you could rent Guana Island. This little bit of paradise is 850 acres and you can take 34 of your closest friends with you. Rates are stunningly low at just $23,000/night. There are also "Kids Weeks" so you can bring your juvenile buddies and fit right in. Hurry the 2008 calendar is filling up fast.
    .. If your taste runs to the merely ostentatious, and you don't want to drive fast in the United Kingdom; it's still possible to have some home-grown fun on wheels. Just dial up the Nieman Marcus Christmas Book and have them send you a BMW M-6 convertible. With a V-10, 500 HP, and a trip to Germany to meet the designers of the the vehicle, (only 50 produced.) this is a bargain at just $139,000. Sadly, you have to spend even more money for a trip to the famous Hofbrauhaus.
    .. If the little BMW is just too tame for you, a flight with real Russians in real Russian jet fighters can be had. If that won't do, how about "ZERO GRAVITY?" For any where from $3,500 to $55,000 you can have these delights in your Christmas stocking. AGENCY, DETAILS, PRICES.
    .. (P.S. - If you have a spare $2,000,000 or need a loan for $15,000,000, you can buy your own Sukhoi SU-27 from the Ukraine. Now there a real stocking stuffer.)

    Sunday, December 02, 2007

    Love At First Bite

    CAN I KEEP HER ?
    SHE FOLLOWED ME HOME !
    (does she have a sister ?)
    [or a brother ?]
    .. Whilst surfing the web we stumbled upon a site that promises love and soul-mate matches made in fly fisher heaven.
    .. It's a shame that they have no catchy slogan to lure the lovelorn fisher to a fate worse than death.
    .. Click on over to THE TROUT UNDERGROUND and help them out.