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Want to Help Animals? Give Locally, Not to ASPCA, HSUS

Many fishermen own dogs and/or love animals. That’s why they’re targets for the latest television advertising blitz by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a New York-based organization.

The commercials feature photos of abused dogs and cats, as sad music plays in the background and a narrator pleads for donations. The implication clearly is that the money will be used to help these animals. The reality is that most of it will not.

“But the reality is that in 2012, the ASPCA gave just 0.045% of its multi-million dollar donations to local shelters. That’s less than one-half of one percent, broken down in even tinier portions in order to be spread all over the country,” says the Examiner in an expose about the deceptive marketing campaigns run by both ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Both of these organizations run these campaigns from time to time, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from people who believe that their donations will help homeless/abused animals at local shelters. But most of that money is used for advertising/marketing, administrative costs (including six-figure salaries), and, especially in the case of HSUS, a political agenda that is anti-hunting, anti-fishing, and anti-farming.

Please, if you want to help homeless/abused animals, give to local shelters, which are NOT affiliated with these national organizations.

Need more information? Check out the following:

  • Lawyers in Cages is a brilliant parody of the tear-jerker ads that HSUS and ASPCA create.
  • "Despite (ASPCA) raising a combined $519 million nationally, North Carolina animal welfare groups received only $1.1 million in major grants. That's almost the same amount the ASPCA paid one telemarketer for one fundraising campaign that ended in July. 

"In 2009, records show North Carolina received $517,845 from the ASPCA, the second most of any state. However, 96 percent went to one spay and neuter group in Asheville."

  • HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter. HSUS is not affiliated with any pet shelters. And HSUS gives just 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters.”
  •  “Those public tax documents also reveal HSUS collected nearly $113 million in contributions and grants in 2012. That’s $7.8 million more than the previous year. HSUS capitalizes on its ability to suck up dollars from animal-lovers who think they are donating to local pet shelters, and it pours those donations into anti-hunting crusades.”
  • The HSUS lobbies against the agriculture industry, hunting, trapping, dog breeders, pet stores and numerous other groups. Their lobbying efforts cost lots of money. In 2010, for example, HSUS reported spending more than $13.5 with a fundraising consultant and more than $10 million on marketing efforts to promote HSUS and its programs. More than $1.7 million was spent on legal fees by the HSUS that year alone.”



Surprise! Fishing Is Good for You

How about that? An article in the Huffington Post tells us that fishing makes us better people. Of course, if you are on this site, you knew that already.

And I wrote a book about it: Why We Fish--- Reel Wisdom From Real Fishermen.

Some of the revelations in the Huffington article:

  • Fishing can keep you physically fit.
  • Fish are an excellent source of nutrition.
  • Eating fish could help you live longer.
  • Fishing may reduce stress.
  • The sport may decrease symptoms of PTSD.
  • Plus, it helps you unplug.

Sadly, the person who wrote the article probably doesn’t fish herself. In providing advice on how to get started, she focuses on fly fishing, which is NOT the way for most to begin fishing, especially if they are children.

The way for most to get started is by having fun and catching fish, and, in the beginning, those two are pretty much synonymous. And for both adults and children, that’s much more likely to happen with worms and a Snoopy spincast rod than with a 6 weight rod and dry fly. 


Angling Fever is 'Catching'

 “The angling fever is a very real disease and can only be cured by the application of cold water and fresh, untainted air.” --- Theodore Gordon

“Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.” ---Ernest Hemingway

Why We Fish --- Reel Wisdom From Real Fishermen

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” --- John Buchan

“For the supreme test of a fisherman is not how many fish he has caught, not even how he has caught them, but what he has caught when he has caught no fish.” – John H. Bradley

“You've got to think lucky. If you fall into a mudhole, check your back pocket - you might have caught a fish.” --- Darrell Royal

“A trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it.” – Arnold Gingrich


Michigan to Start Online Scheduling for Bass Tournaments

Photo by Ron Kinnunen

Beginning Jan. 1, if you want to schedule a bass tournament at a state-managed access site in Michigan, you can do so online. The Michigan Tournament Fishing Information System web application is intended to reduce scheduling conflicts. But it also could improve management of the state’s bass fisheries if organizers will use it to report catch data.

Here’s more from Michigan DNR:

"This system is designed to help both tournament organizers and recreational anglers and boaters avoid ramp conflicts. In addition, tournament organizers can electronically report their catch data and help Fisheries Division effectively manage our valuable fisheries resources.

"By policy, Fisheries Division will not assist nor become involved in promoting fishing tournaments. However, Fisheries Division recognizes that bass tournament catch and effort data can provide important information about bass populations across the state of Michigan."


West Virginia Uses Hardwoods for Fish Habitat

 WVDNR photo

Fisheries managers suspect that hardwoods might provide better habitat in the state’s aging reservoirs than Christmas tree brushpiles, and now they are doing something about it.

“A lot of our reservoirs are habitat-limited,” said Nate Taylor, a fisheries biologist for the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

“Many of the impoundments were created in the 1960s and 1970s, and the flooded trees that attracted fish during the lakes’ early years have long since decomposed. The goal behind our program is to re-create some of that fish-attracting habitat.”

East Lynn Lake, a 1,000-acre reservoir managed by the Army Corps of Engineers in Wayne County is the test site.

“We marked 25 trees (near the water) and submitted them for (Corps) approval,” the biologist added. “They gave us the go-ahead on 17 of the 25. The main goals were to create habitat in areas where people were most likely to fish, and to avoid creating navigation hazards for boaters.”

The large trees with broad canopies then were felled into 10 to 20 feet of water, and secured to their trunks with steel cables to prevent them from floating away during high water. A sign at each site identifies the deadfall as a “WVDNR Fish Habitat Project.”

“We wanted people to know that each tree was part of an official government project,” Taylor said. “We had a trained forester felling these trees, employing all the proper safety equipment. We don’t want anyone else trying this and getting hurt or killed in the process.”

The widespread branches of hardwoods will provide cover over a much larger area than brushpiles, and they won’t decompose as quickly as the softer woods of Christmas trees.

Additionally, the latter can be difficult for anglers to locate, and collecting, transporting, and anchoring them is more expensive than simply cutting down shoreline hardwoods.

“As far as payout, hardwood trees are the way for us to go,” Taylor said.

If the hardwood habitat at East Lynn proves as successful as biologists believe it will, then DNR likely will expand the strategy to other Corps impoundments. 

(This article appeared originally in B.A.S.S. Times.)