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B.A.S.S. Launches Team Trail

B.A.S.S. has initiated a team tournament trail, culminating in the Toyota Bassmaster Team Championship.

“Not only will we crown the national championship team, but we will also provide an opportunity for one outstanding grass-roots fisherman to qualify for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin.

“A key focus at B.A.S.S. is providing an opportunity for anglers of all ages and skill levels to fish competitively,” said Jon Stewart, B.A.S.S. Nation director and manager of the Team Championship program. “Recent additions include the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series and the High School Championship, and now we’re excited to offer an avenue for team tournament anglers to reach a national stage.”

As many as 200 fishing teams will compete in the championship. To qualify, they will have to finish as the top teams in a participating team tournament trail. Sanctioned Bassmaster Team Championship tournament trails will enroll their anglers as B.A.S.S. Team Members. Collectively, the charter trails that have already signed on span the country from coast to coast, and they represent more than 7,500 participants.

To learn more, go here.


Why We Fish on the Radio


Please check out the radio shows and podcasts listed at the right and below. I was interviewed about my new book, Why We Fish. Hosts and I also talked about how and where to catch fish, B.A.S.S., and conservation and access issues.

And if you want to order a copy of Why We Fish as a Christmas present for your favorite angler, you'd better do it soon!

The Outdoor Guys at ESPN Radio in Kansas City.

The Outdoor Scoreboard Podcast.

Fish Bait Radio Show.



Brown Trout Can Interfere With Brook Trout Conservation

Photo of brook trout by Mark Sagan

No big news here: Brook trout populations throughout the East long have been damaged by stocking of non-native rainbow and brown trout. Brook trout have more specific habitat needs and they are less aggressive, both negatives in a world where species are moved about and ecosystems altered. And they are not trout, but char, related to Lake trout, bull trout, Dolly Varden, and Arctic char.

But this study by USGS does provide interesting insights into the brook trout/brown trout dilemma in New York.

Brown trout introductions could hamper the conservation of declining native brook trout populations, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Brook and brown trout are valuable sport fish that co-exist in many parts of the world due to stocking introductions. USGS researchers found that, in New York State, direct interactions between the two species, such as competition for food, have minor effects on diminishing brook trout populations compared to human-caused habitat disturbances. However, repeated, disproportionate stocking of brown trout in brook trout habitats could drastically decrease brook trout numbers.

"There is great potential for brown trout stocking to reduce native brook trout populations," said James McKenna, USGS scientist and lead author of the study. "But brown trout aren’t necessarily causing the current brook trout declines, and managers may be able to develop sustainable scenarios to support both fisheries."

The USGS study found that human-induced degradation (from dams and roads, among other causes) of the habitats of both species can affect the populations of either. However, because brook trout do better in forested watersheds, whereas brown trout can thrive in more agricultural environments, degraded watersheds and/or the elimination of forests may affect brook more than brown trout. Improper brown trout management could further threaten vulnerable brook trout populations.

Fisheries managers in New York use stocking to maintain brook trout—a native species—and/or brown trout—a non-native species stocked in New York for over 100 years—in some streams. Brook trout have been declining within its native range in recent decades, and there has been concern that the stocking of brown trout has caused these declines.

The report is published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management and is available online.

For more information on USGS Great Lakes ecosystem research, please visit the USGS Great Lakes Science Center website.



Providing Aid and Comfort to PETA

Here’s a perfect example of providing aid and comfort to the enemies of fishing and hunting: SportsOneSource cites a PETA study regarding the benefits of synthetic insulation over duck and goose down.

I don’t question that synthetic might be better. It’s entirely possible and a comment below the article lends credence to that.

But just look at the wording in the article:

“PETA says a poll it commissioned shows that a vast majority, or 80 percent, of outdoor sports enthusiasts are happy to choose products with synthetic insulation rather than duck or goose down and would shop at stores that don’t offer any down products.

“The number rose to 88 percent after respondents were informed that down is sometimes obtained from birds force-fed for foie gras, in addition to the birds who are pinned down and have their feathers ripped out while they are still alive.”

Now, let me ask you this:

Do you think PETA’s motivation is to help sportsmen stay warm while they are hunting and/or ice fishing? Do you think that it would be content if down is no longer used as insulation in outdoor clothing?

SportsOneSource and others in the outdoors industry should ask themselves those questions before providing free publicity to an animal rights organization that wants to stop us from fishing and hunting.