All posts by Chris Cocoles

60 Minutes Takes On Salmon Farms vs. Wild Salmon

We’re working on a profile on the upcoming salmon documentary, A Fishy Tale, that will run in our June issue. The argument that producer Sara Pozonsky is trying to convey in her film is the surplus of salmon fish farms in British Columbia and the alleged threat they might pose for wild salmon swimming in the adjacent waters. Pozonsky is hoping her film will be released fall, and 60 Minutes weighed in on the controversy with a report on Sunday night.

Here’s a link to last night’s episode, and if you missed it, it’s a very informative segment by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Wallas XC Duo Diesel Stove/heater Now Available For RVs, Trailers

By Andy Walgamott on May 9, 2014

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL COMES FROM SCAN MARINE EQUIPMENT, U.S. IMPORTER OF WALLAS STOVES, OVENS AND HEATERS.

Twenty years ago, a small Finnish company set out to do what no one ever had before – build a diesel-fired marine stove that could be controlled and that could be converted into a cabin heater with one simple motion.

The next year, Wallas Oy of Kaarina, Finland, introduced the 95D/25, predecessor to the current Nordic Dt stove/heater. Clean, simple and using the safest and most power-dense of all available fuels – diesel No. 2, these products have revolutionized the business of providing clean, controllable cooking and heating in the limited confines of small boats.

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Now for the first time, Wallas has turned their attention to the building of a product based on the same principles, but developed for on highway and off-road vehicles. The result? The XC Duo diesel stove/heater.

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Simple, quiet and safer than pressurized fuel devices, an XC Duo will assure your vehicle needs no pressure tanks or concern over regulations forcing it away from parking garages or tunnels during federal or local alerts.

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A Wallas XC Duo draws less than an amp of DC current for every hour it runs. It uses between 3 and 7 ounces of fuel per hour, depending on where the power is set. The XC Duo has a room temperature sensing feature that will allow it to hold temperature in the room accurately and steadily without user intervention, and it is capable of operation from below sea level to over 9,500 feet.

Able to reach surface temperatures over 1,100 degrees F, a Wallas XC Duo is a great cooking system, with an easy-to-clean Schott Ceran ceramic cooking surface. It is truly an efficient and elegant solution to the needs of a serious camper and anyone wanting freedom to roam.

The XC Duo will be on display for the first time at the Overland Expo May 16-18 in Flagstaff, Arizona. Have a look for yourself and tell us what you think!

For more, see our website, scanmarineusa.com.

Record Bear? Depends On Who You Talk To

Record? Or Not? Photo courtesy of Larry Fitzgerald

The debate about records amuses me. Baseball’s true home run king? Barry Bonds’ detractors say he wasn’t clean through rampant rumors of his alleged steroid abuse, and he didn’t endure the ignorant racist hate thrown at Henry Aaron – imagine if he Twitter was around in Hank’s era? (I’m anything but a Barry Bonds fan – in fact I detested his surly attitude –  and love Hank Aaron’s courage, but baseball allowed years of drug abuse by its players, so there’s no debating that Bonds hit more home runs than Aaron, so end of argument in that context).

In the outdoor sports world, George Perry’s largemouth bass record of 22 pounds, 4 ounces is still official over 80 years later, but several reports have surfaced, like here, and here, and here, that have created plenty of controversy over the most famous fishing record in these parts.

So it’s not surprising that another apparent record seems to be in dispute. On Wednesday, media outlets reported a giant grizzly bear harvested by hunter Larry Fitzgerald in 2013 was determined to be the largest bear ever taken by a hunter. 

Here’s a portion the Fox News report:

Although Fitzgerald shot the bear last September, Boone and Crockett, which certifies hunting records, has only now determined the grizzly, with a skull measuring 27 and 6/16ths inches, is the biggest ever taken down by a hunter, and the second largest grizzly ever documented. Only a grizzly skull found by an Alaska taxidermist in 1976 was bigger than that of the bear Fitzgerald bagged.

Bears are scored based on skull length and width measurements, and Missoula, Mont.-based Boone and Crockett trophy data is generally recognized as the standard. Conservationists use the data to monitor habitat, sustainable harvest objectives and adherence to fair-chase hunting rules.

But the Anchorage Daily News has a different take on the subject today, arguing that some of the news hasn’t been completely accurate, if technical:

Here’s the ADN’s Craig Medred on the confusion:

That a nine-foot grizzly is the largest bear killed by a hunter in Alaska is likely to come as a surprise to Alaskans, some number of whom — hunters or not — might have seen 10-foot grizzly bears. This small fact, however, seems not to have entered the consciousness of the mainstream media as of yet.

“Alaska bear largest to be killed by hunters,” headlined The Spokesman-Review in Washington state.

“An Alaska hunter bagged a massive grizzly bear that has been certified by the Boone and Crockett Club as the biggest bruin ever taken down by a hunter,” reported the New York Daily News.

Well, not exactly. There is no doubt that 35-year-old auto body repairman Larry Fitzgerald killed a nice trophy, but lost in all of the hullabaloo over his bear is the fine print that defines Alaska’s record bruins.

Fitzgerald’s kill is a record bear only because it was shot north of the Alaska Range. South of those mountains slicing through Denali National Park and Preserve, his bear would be just another big bear. That’s because the record-keeping Boone and Crockett Club arbitrarily splits Alaska brown/grizzly bears into two separate categories — grizzly bears and brown bears. The world-record Alaska brown bear, taken in Kodiak in 1952, is much larger.

The state of Alaska doesn’t recognize the distinction between a grizzly bear and an Alaska brown bear, nor do wildlife scientists. Both say the only real difference is diet.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/05/07/3460036/giant-grizzly-is-one-for-some.html?sp=/99/474/#storylink=cpy

So there you have it. Another debate for two hunters to have while sharing a Happy Hour draft at pubs everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yukon River Chinook Fishing Closed

PHOTO COURTESY OF USFWS ALASKA

PHOTO COURTESY OF USFWS ALASKA

 

The Yukon River’s Chinook salmon fishery has been on the decline in recent years. In 2010, then Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke declared a “fishery failure” and a “disaster” in the Yukon for low fish returns.

On the heels of a 30-year-worst king salmon run in the Yukon, local fishermen pleaded to shut down the fishing with another dismal projection expected. From the Anchorage Daily News: 

Last year’s Chinook run was the worst on record dating back to 1982. Biologists estimate that only 76,000 kings returned to the Yukon River, which is only one-quarter of what the chinook run averaged 15 or 20 years ago. 

Subsistence fishing was drastically reduced as a result, much the way it has been for the last several years in what is the state’s largest king salmon subsistence fishery, which has prompted multiple disaster declarations by Gov. Sean Parnell.

Based on information laid out in Tuesday’s meeting, which was sponsored by the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association, the situation doesn’t look any more promising this year. In fact, subsistence fishing may be reduced even more this year to try and get more fish to spawning grounds in Canada.

Biologists are projecting a king salmon run between 64,000 and 121,000 this summer. Given that runs the last several years have come in at the low end of the projection range, biologist Dr. Stephanie Schmidt said ADFG will manage for a run of only 64,000, which would mean a border passage of only about 32,000 kings. …

“These fish are not going to be here forever, not the way we’re catching them,” Huntington told dozens of fishermen sitting around tables in the Binkley Room at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge on Tuesday during a pre-season planning meeting with fisheries managers from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “It wouldn’t hurt to take a few years off and say, ‘Let them go.’ There are other fish out there.”

You know things are bleak when even those who depend on the fish in the river are urging those who make the tough decisions to make a very tough decision.

Here’s a portion of today’s report from CBC expected to shut down the river as the season approaches in the summer:

Fishery manager Jeff Estensen says that includes subsistence harvesters.

“The fishermen on the Alaska side of things can really expect to see no opportunity to fish for Chinook salmon at all in 2014,” Estensen says.

In the 1990s, the Chinook run averaged more than 300,000 fish.

Since 2008, fewer than half that number have returned to the Yukon River.

 

 

 

 

 

Alaska State Troopers Lose Two In Line Of Duty

This isn’t hunting or fishing related, but our thoughts are with the two Alaska State Troopers killed in the line of duty in the village of Tanana on Thursday.

RIP Sgt. Patrick Johnson and Trooper Gabriel Rich. The two officers have appeared on the National Geographic Channel show Alaska State Troopers. 

Saddened by loss of 2 #AlaskaStateTroopers yesterday. Our deepest condolences to their families and the entire force. pic.twitter.com/iRkwoQyARl

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Sweet Deals On Two Most ‘Overlooked’ Weeks At Katmai Lodge

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By Andy Walgamott, on April 30th, 2014

Fly fishing season is upon us. Presently we are very busy loading up supplies and making sure Katmai Lodge is ready to open in June. We are very excited to begin this season with you.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

Katmai Lodge would like to offer you a ONE-TIME SPECIAL PRICE of $5,000 for a SEVEN-NIGHT STAY on two of the most overlooked weeks of the year.

JUNE 28-JULY 5
This week was last year’s BEST for king and sockeye fishing as well as great trout and grayling. With the mild winter and early spring, the Alagnak River should be in prime shape for another early arrival of kings en masse.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

Coupled with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game wanting to get sockeye escapement into the river, this is the most consistent week for non-stop numbers. It’s also a perfect time for trout and grayling on mice and other dry flies.

JULY 26-AUGUST 2
Always wanted to learn to fly fish? Catch that king salmon on the fly? This week of transition is the time 90 percent of our king run is already here and the chum salmon run is at its peak. With the onset of the pink salmon run and shots at silvers, the river will be boiling with fish (only sockeye are unavailable at this time) – and it is all here waiting for you, all at a time without pressure on the river though not for a lack of great fishing!

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

Katmai Lodge offers personalized fishing adventures for groups of all sizes and experience levels. Accessed through its private airstrip with its own amphibious equipped de Havilland Turbine Otter, the main lodge rests atop a bluff overlooking the Alagnak River, offering hundreds of miles of fishing in Alaska’s only designated Trophy Fishing Area.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

Already one of the great fishing ecosystems in Alaska, fishing on the Alagnak continues to improve. The pristine river is uniquely home to all five Pacific salmon species along with native stream fish such as rainbow trout, Arctic grayling and Dolly Varden/char, with four or five salmon species spawning within 2 miles below and 45 miles above the lodge.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

The region is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, which provides amazing photo opportunities.

An experienced guide staff personalizes each guest experience, making use of the lodge’s 40 boats to explore the full range of the Alagnak. Our river-based lodge is only 10 minutes away from tidewater. Its diverse fleet of both jet and prop boats allows for both sea-fresh salmon and rainbow trout fishing, while the lodge’s floatplane enables easy access to Katmai National Park for viewing the renowned Brooks Falls brown bears and for fishing the area’s many blue-ribbon trout streams.

When off the water, anglers are encouraged to enjoy the unrivaled amenities of Katmai Lodge, which boasts more square footage per guest than any other lodge in Alaska. World-class chefs prepare hearty breakfasts and gourmet dinners in the central dining room.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

The main lodge includes a fully stocked fly-tying area complete with expert instruction, central gathering place, a clothing and gift shop as well as Internet access. Adjacent guest cabins welcome anglers to rest and relax, offering the privacy of individual common areas.

The high season for Alaskan salmon fishing at Katmai Lodge runs from late June through September, with trout season opening June 8th. For reservations or to inquire about group packages, anglers should visit the newly launched website at www.katmai.com or call 1 (800) 330-0326 for more information.

 

Preparing For 2014 Bristol Bay Sockeye Season

The sockeye salmon season in the Bristol Bay area will kick off in early summer, and here’s an audio report from Mike Mason of KDLG radio in Dillingham, posted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Among Mason’s report, when he spoke with ADFG area biologist Paul Salomone, who oversees the area that includes the Egekik River:

* In anticipation of an early run, ADFG plans to put together counting towers earlier than normal in the Egegik.

* ADFG anticipates the Egegik sockeye run at around 4.65 million, with an escapement goal of anywhere between 800,000 to 1.4 million fish.

Mason also provided an update on the Ugashik River District in an interview with Salomone.

 

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Washington fishing outfit pleads guilty to illegal fishing charges in Alaska

That’s a lot of lingcod: 11,000 pounds worth caught illegally in the Gulf of Alaska by a Washington-based group, Fisherman’s Finest LLC. The Alaska State Troopers Wildlife Division found that the company had retained 11,000 pounds of a total 56,000 pounds of fish caught in 2010 and 2011. But the intent was not deemed to be malicious, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Here are the nut graphs of the Daily News story:

In July 2010 and 2011, investigators said, the F/V US Intrepid harvested more than 56,000 pounds of lingcod in the eastern Gulf of Alaska, which is state water. At the time, the company was operating under federal regulations as a test rockfish fishery, said Sgt. Brent Johnson, the investigating officer on the case.

The majority of the lingcod was released, but 11,000 pounds was retained and sold commercially, troopers said. Under federal guidelines, such activity was legal, but the state retains management control of that particular species, Johnson said.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/04/22/3436482/company-pleads-guilty-to-illegal.html#storylink=cpy
Fisherman’s Finest pleaded guilty to the charges and will pay a fine of $12,500 ($2,500 suspended), plus be on probation for three years and pay a forfeiture of just over $10,000 for the value of the lingcod haul that was kept.

Hunters, Anglers Blast 5 US Senators Who Want To Strip EPA From Regulating Pebble Mine

By Andy Walgamott, on April 16th, 2014

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPORTSMAN’S ALLIANCE FOR ALASKA

Today, 14 leading sportsmen’s and conservation groups expressed their strong opposition to the Regulatory Fairness Act, which would halt the EPA’s efforts to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska from the proposed Pebble Mine. The groups sent a letter outlining their concerns to the co-sponsors of the legislation, which include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and Sens. David Vitter (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and James Risch (ID). These groups are some of over 1,000 sportsmen’s organizations and businesses that have written the EPA in support of its efforts to protect Bristol Bay.

From the letter: It was with great disappointment that we read your recent legislation to eliminate the EPA’s current work to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska for future generations of hunters and anglers. Stopping the Pebble Mine at Bristol Bay’s headwaters is one of the top priorities for the sportsmen community across the U.S.; a fact that we hope is not lost on Senators who represent not only many sportsmen, but some of the best hunting and fishing areas in the country. While we do not always agree with the EPA or its actions, in the case of Bristol Bay, the EPA is acting to protect productive fish and game habitat, thousands of jobs, and $1.5 billion in annual economic impact.”

“The development of a massive surface mine such as Pebble and its likely impacts on the waters and fish and wildlife resources of Bristol Bay, Alaska, have been thoroughly analyzed through the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment,” said Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “The EPA’s undertaking of the 404(c) review process is the next logical step under the Clean Water Act which is needed and justified to ensure the conservation of the unique resources of Bristol Bay.”

The Regulatory Fairness Act would prohibit the EPA from using its Clean Water Act Section 404(c) authority to restrict permits at “any time” that a particular development will have an “unacceptable adverse effect” on America’s waterways or fisheries. In the case of the proposed Pebble Mine, the EPA’s exhaustive 3-year peer-reviewed scientific study found that even without a catastrophic accident it will destroy up to 94 miles of salmon spawning streams and 5,350 acres of wetlands, lakes, and ponds in the Bristol Bay region. In February, the EPA began the 404(c) process to determine the best way to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine.

“The legislation these Senators are supporting runs directly counter to one of the top priorities for hunters and anglers from across the U.S.,” said Scott Hed, Director of Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska. “We’ve heard from thousands that Bristol Bay is worth protecting; now is not the time to halt the EPA’s thorough process in protecting this sportsman’s paradise.”

Groups signing the letter include:

American Fly Fishing Trade Association
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Berkley Conservation Institute
Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance
Campfire Club of America
Dallas Safari Club
Delta Waterfowl Foundation
International Federation of Fly Fishers
National Wildlife Federation
Orion – The Hunters Institute
Pope and Young Club
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Union Sportsmen’s Alliance
Wildlife Forever

Power Caster: “It’s Easy To Maneuver”

 Power Caster 

Since 1967, we’ve prided ourselves on manufacturing a product our
customers can rely on.  Each Power Caster is hand assembled in the U.S.A.
to ensure consistent quality and performance.

It’s Easy to Maneuver
With Power Caster you can move your single- or tandem-axle trailer and
park it in just a few minutes with very little effort.  Sharp turns, tight corners
and narrow driveways–which are often difficult or impossible using your car
or truck–are no longer a headache.  A 23-foot tandem trailer can be turned
completely around in a 28-foot wide space with a flip of a switch.

Power Caster, Inc
1967
Power Caster, Inc
It’s Safe
Power Caster has been designed and manufactured to meet maximum safety standards.  In addition to a chain
guard, each unit is also grounded.  Our tongue weight and load limits are conservative (with the exception of the
PC-1), allowing plenty of margin for safety.
It’s Powerful and Compact
Each motor delivers 400-800 in./lbs. of torque at the motor shaft.  This is further geared down by a six-to-one ratio
between the motor and wheel.  The result is tremendous power being delivered to the wheel.  Depending on the
model you choose–PC-1, PC-2 or PC-3–Power Caster can handle a tongue load of 500, 800 or 1,800 pounds–all
at a size small enough to fit in the trunk of a car.
It Delivers Maximum Traction
Power Caster connects to the trailer by use of the crank-up jack (NOT THE BALL) or one of our adapters.  This in
effect shortens the trailer tongue and loads it more heavily for better traction.  All models operate best on
comparatively level hard-surfaced ground or pavement.  Inclines of no more than 10% are recommended.  Traction
and trailer weight control areas that can be traversed.  If you provide traction, Power Caster will even move
trailers over grass or soil.
It Can Be Customized
The customization doesn’t stop once you choose the model that best fits your tongue load capacity needs.  Easy
to install bolt-on adapters are available so Power Caster can be used with almost any kind of trailer.  All models
come with a 2-1/4″ socket and bushings that cover crank-up jack diameters of 1-5/8″, 1-3/4″, 1-7/8″ and 2″.  And,
while only the PC-3 comes with the kit that allows you to tap into electric trailer brakes, accessory brake switch
kits are available for the PC-1 and PC-2.
It’s Guaranteed
We’re so sure you’ll be satisfied with the performance of Power Caster that each model comes with a money-back
guarantee.  Simply return your Power Caster within 60 days of purchase, in its original condition (we have to
deduct for paint scratches), and we will refund the purchase price 100 percent (less shipping and handling costs,
both ways).  We also offer a two-year warranty that covers replacement of any defective parts.*
Power Caster, Inc.
5001 Encinita Avenue
Temple City, CA  91780
626-287-6117
800-773-3833
Fax  626-285-7735
contact@powercaster.com