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Tuesday
Nov252014

 

 

 

Tuesday
Nov252014

Water Conservation Improves as Use Declines

Water use across the country reached its lowest recorded level in nearly 45 years. According to a new USGS report, about 355 billion gallons of water per day (Bgal/d) were withdrawn for use in the entire United States during 2010, which represents a 13 percent reduction of water use from 2005 when about 410 Bgal/d were withdrawn and the lowest level since before 1970.

Reaching this 45-year low shows the positive trends in conservation that stem from improvements in water-use technologies and management. Even as the U.S. population continues to grow, people are learning to be more water conscious and do their part to help sustain the limited freshwater resources in the country.

Water withdrawn for thermoelectric power was the largest type of water use nationally, with the other leading uses being irrigation, public supply and self-supplied industrial water, respectively. Withdrawals declined in each of these categories. Collectively, all of these uses represented 94 percent of total withdrawals from 2005-2010.

Irrigation withdrawals in the United States continued to decline since 2005, and more croplands were reported as using higher-efficiency irrigation systems in 2010. Shifts toward more sprinkler and micro-irrigation systems nationally and declining withdrawals in the West have contributed to a drop in the national average application rate from 2.32 acre-feet per acre in 2005 to 2.07 acre-feet per acre in 2010.

For the first time, withdrawals for public water supply declined between 2005 and 2010, despite a 4 percent increase in the nation’s total population. The number of people served by public-supply systems continued to increase and the public-supply per capita use declined to 89 gallons per day in 2010 from 100 gallons per day in 2005.

Declines in industrial withdrawals can be attributed to factors such as greater efficiencies in industrial processes, more emphasis on water reuse and recycling, and the 2008 U.S. recession, resulting in lower industrial production in major water-using industries.

Read more here.

Monday
Nov242014

Giant Snook Certified as World Record

Where can you catch snook? Most anglers would say Florida. Some also would mention that the Caribbean side of Central America provides good fishing for these hard-fighting gamefish. I’ve caught them in Belize and Costa Rica, as well as along the Gulf coast of Florida, from Crystal River south.

But the biggest snook swim the Pacific side of Central America, something that not many know.

The IGFA all-tackle record Atlantic snook weighed 53 pounds, 10 ounces, and was taken on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast.

But this past spring on the Pacific side of that same country, Ward Michaels caught a snook that weighed nearly six pounds more.  Just recently, the IGFA has certified the 59-pound, 8-ounce Pacific snook as an all-tackle record. That’s the heaviest snook ever certified.

The previous all-tackle record weighed 57 pound, 12 ounces, and also was the Pacific species.

Six snook species live in the Pacific Ocean, with the Pacific black the largest. Another six live in the Atlantic Ocean, with the common, or Atlantic, snook being the species most often caught.

To read more about those big Pacific snook, check out this article at Florida Today.

Friday
Nov212014

Even a Turkey Knows a Good Book

 

In Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies: Growing Up with Nature, award-winning outdoors writer Robert Montgomery and 13 friends explore what and how we learn about life from the everyday miracles of nature. Each story celebrates the tangible and intangible blessings we derive from the outdoors These tales encourage us to sleep in a tent, swim in a lake, blow the fluff off a dandelion, and wish on a falling star. Invest enough time and a butterfly might land on your nose, or a hummingbird on your finger. You might see an eagle soar or a double rainbow splashed across the western sky at dawn . . .                    
The essays and short stories will inspire you to enjoy the natural world, even if you don’t know a cricket from a cricket frog. They will enlighten you with cautionary tales of thin ice and blazing campfires. They will entertain you with accounts of an alien invasion, white rats run amuck, and an embarrassing trip to the emergency room. Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies will educate you about nature’s mysteries and miracles, ranging from mermaids and snake spit, to African lions and Ozarks dinosaurs.                        
This book will take you to the stars, the mountains, and a little creek below the tree line at the baseball field. And if you enjoyed the outdoors as a child, they will bring back glorious memories.

 

Thursday
Nov202014