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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.


Artificial Attractors Prove Better in N.C. Study

Photo courtesy of North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Results from a three-year study in Piedmont reservoirs confirmed what fisheries biologists suspected: Artificial structures are better at attracting and holding fish over a long period of time than structures made of natural materials.

For the study, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) deployed three types of attractors made of synthetics and one of natural materials in lakes Townsend and Cammack.

“Using GPS coordinates, we dropped two porcupine attractors, two attractors constructed of PVC pipe and corrugated plastic pipe, two attractors constructed of PVC pipes and halved plastic barrels, and two attractors constructed out of Christmas tree bundles into each lake,” said Brian McRae, Piedmont Region fisheries supervisor.

“We also marked two control sites in each lake that were devoid of structure.”

Each attractor then was checked seasonally for three years, using high-definition imagery sonar, which allowed evaluation in low-clarity water without disturbing the fish.

McRae said that imagery was clear enough to identify larger sport fish and schools baitfish swimming through the attractors. “However, it wasn’t clear enough for us to identify specific species, except for large catfish.

“We also used traditional sampling methods to supplement the images and verify the species utilizing the attractors,” he added.

During the first two years, all four types of attractors held more fish than the control sites. But by the third year, the artificial structures held more fish than the Christmas trees, which had lost all of their needles. Additionally, the attractor made of PVC and corrugated plastic pipes held more fish than of the others.

Because of those results, WRC has placed artificial structures in several Piedmont waters, including Lake Thom-a-lex, Shearon Harris Reservoir, and Tar River Reservoir, with Lake Reidsville scheduled for early 2014.

“Using artificial structures made from synthetic material, we believe we are being more efficient because once the artificial structure is deployed, we know that it will be there attracting fish for years to come,” McRae said.

“North Carolina uses sound fisheries principles to place reefs and native-plant projects in ways that make sense across the board,” said Bill Frazier, conservation director for North Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation.

“As hard as they were hit in their budget this year, it makes sense to place the effort into things to do not have to be renewed or tended that much. They are a really forward-thinking bunch.”

(This article appeared originally in B.A.S.S. Times. To learn more about artificial habitat and its benefits check out Fishiding.)


Cruelty to Fish

As a complement to my “Catch and Release Is Cruel column in the December issue of B.A.S.S. Times, editor Dave Precht penned “Cruelty to Fish.”

In his opinion piece, he provides some great insights from Protect the Harvest, “an education and advocacy group founded in 2010 by Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil to help farmers fight back against animal rights activists, especially those from HSUS (Humane Society of the United States).”

And he quoted executive director Brian Klippenstein:

“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. If we continue to say, ‘It’s a hunter’s problem, or a fisherman’s problem or a cattleman’s problem,’ we’re going to get our clocks cleaned.

“But if we’re formally aligned, there’s no way on earth they can beat us. The key is to get out of our slumber. Spread the word to county commissioners, to congressmen . . . Don’t let the other side control the whole agenda.”

In other words, we can’t be isolationists, allowing the chicken producers, dog breeders, and trappers to fend for themselves, or we become like the appeasers of World War II.

Quoting Winston Churchill, the executive director said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

Precht’s conclusion: “Let’s take on the crocodile now.”

My sentiments exactly.

And one of the best ways to counter-attack is to point out what a scam that HSUS is perpetrating on the public through its commercials about neglected and abused cats and dogs. Go here to learn more and check out the great "Lawyers in Cages" video.



Livewell Invention Aids Fish Survival


A little company in rural Kentucky has quietly invented a product that could drastically reduce delayed mortality in bass following tournaments, especially during hot weather.

The easily installed V-T2, with no moving parts, creates an open air exchange when installed in the center of a livewell lid.  A three-inch sleeve protrudes into the water, directing air into, through, and out of the livewell, to cool, oxygenate, and remove harmful gases.

Judy Tipton said that she and other tournament anglers developed the simple and inexpensive ($44.99) ventilation system of out a desire “to keep our bass alive and healthy.”

“Even though we often got through the weigh-ins without a dead fishing or penalty, it was obvious that the health of our fish had declined greatly and the prospect of survival was low once they were released,” said the director of research and development for NewPro Products.

Tipton recalled an August tournament on Barren River Lake. “The release area had hundreds of dead fishing floating,” she said. “Anglers were knee deep in the water, attempting to resuscitate struggling fish, and some just poured out their fish, turned their backs and walked away.

“It was horrible. I remember thinking that I am ashamed to be a part of this. As much as I love fishing and competing in tournaments, I was not proud to be a tournament angler that day.”

Realizing that there had to be a better way, she and her associates developed the V-T2. They recognized that a closed livewell system creates water-quality problems by holding heat and harmful gases and limiting dissolved oxygen.

“Aerators are great and needed,” Tipton said. “But to save on battery power, they usually run on a timer. Fish need continuous oxygen flow the entire time they are in the livewell.

“Interval aeration creates a roller coaster of oxygen levels and a very unstable and more stressful environment.”

By opening up the livewell to the atmosphere, the V-T2 utilizes natural processes to cool, oxygenate, and remove harmful gases. Wind and boat movement enhance the benefits.

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