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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 According to a new USGS report, about 355 billion gallons of water per day (Bgal/d) were withdrawn for use in the entire United States during 2010, which represents a 13 percent reduction of water use from 2005 when about 410 Bgal/d were withdrawn and the lowest level since before 1970.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Water withdrawn for thermoelectric power was the largest type of water use nationally, with the other leading uses being irrigation, public supply and self-supplied industrial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

 

 

 

Thursday
Nov202014

Ethical Angling

Fishing ethics and proper fishing etiquette are core responsibilities of all anglers.  Fundamentally, these ethics and etiquette can be distilled down to the "golden rule"- that is, treat others the way you want to be treated.  Be respectful of others and be responsible for the area you're fishing.

If you're new to the sport, some of these practices may not be as obvious as others.  For example, leaving an area better than when you arrived is one of the most important fishing rules anglers should follow.

 Read on for more fishing etiquette or "golden rules from Take Me Fishing:

  • Treating fish and our natural resources with respect is essential to the fishing community.  Practice TreadLightly's recreational guidelines and be mindful of sensitive habitat and taking care not to disrupt the environment around you.
  • All anglers should review their state's relevant fishing rules and regulations before heading out for the day and always have their fishing license with them. Regulations are in place for a reason, so please respect and carefully follow the laws on the water you're fishing.
  • Keep only as many fish as legally allowed and that will be eaten. Also, when you plan to keep fish, dispatch of them humanely and care for them immediately by either cleaning them or putting them on ice so their eating quality is preserved.
  • If live bait is allowed in a body of water, only use fish species or other baits that are either permitted by regulation, or are from the water you're fishing.  When practicing good fishing ethics, do not use exotic species such as goldfish and be mindful that any foreign bait may disrupt the ecosystem.
  • Avid anglers and fishing license holders consider spawning fish to be the future of fishing. If you catch a spawning fish, handle it with extreme care. Be mindful of the season and avoid sensitive areas that are known for spawning if possible. 
  • Spawning fish are the future of fishing and should be handled with care if caught and not disturbed if possible.  Be mindful of the season and avoid sensitive areas if possible.
  • Be sure you have the permission of landowners if you plan to fish on private property.  If you don't, you're trespassing.
  • On a public waterway, there is no such thing as somebody's personal "spot".  Fishing areas are enjoyed on a first-come, first-served basis.  While it might be frustrating that you find someone fishing water you've been fishing for days, months or years, the fact is they have as much right to that spot as you do.
  • Do your best to keep noise to a minimum.  Most fish species spook easily.  Quietly approaching an area where others are fishing is not only courteous but will assure fish are not spooked and can still be caught.  An important part of any quality fishing experience is the tranquility found outdoors.
  • Give anglers around you a wide berth and make every effort to avoid crowding to assure a positive fishing experience for all.  In some cases, crowding can't be avoided. Under those circumstances, taking care not to cast over other's lines and to provide as much space as possible for those around you will be greatly appreciated.

Remember, as long as you have a fishing license, that fishing ethics are not in place to restrict you, but to help build a positive angling community. If you wish to discuss fishing ethics best practices or fishing etiquette, join the conversation on the Take Me Fishing Community Forum