This newsletter is being sent during National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) February 27 – March 3, 2012. The week features a full slate of events in Washington, D.C., as well as a host of associated events and activities in all areas of the country. First begun in 2009, NISAW is a great way to get out the message about invasives. Visit the NISAW Site
On Thursday March, 1 from 1:00 – 3:00 (Eastern time) anyone interested is invited to listen to a webcast of the Grassroots Partnership session taking place in Washington, DC. This is an audio only broadcast that you listen to on the Web. Learn More
There are a number of associated activities taking place as part of NISAW. Several of our great Clean Angling partners have efforts that compliment the national activities.
The Fishing Outfitters Association of Montanan (FOAM) is undertaking several efforts to get their professional guide and outfitter members to better teach their clients about cleaning Read More
Recycled Fish has kicked off the week at the Bassmaster Classic where they have unveiled the new What-A-Mussel game. Read More
Trout Unlimited has been conducting a national survey about anglers and invasives. During NISAW they expect to release the results of this biggest ever attempt to better understand how anglers relate to invasives. In addition, TU will be providing special training to their volunteer leadership. Read More
Patagonia is highlighting a number of outreach initiatives including their new web content and product hang tags. Unfortunately the Patagonia program has not yet been posted to the NISAW website so we can’t supply a link. Visit the NISAW link above to find it when posted.
US Senator Takes the Pledge!
Montana senator Jon Tester has joined the ranks of those who pledge to take personally responsibility for reducing the spread of invasives. On February 28, Senator Tester announced that he had taken the Clean Angling Pledge. As part of his remarks Testor said “This pledge is an important step to stop the spread of invasive species so that we can pass down our outdoor heritage to our kids and grandkids.” Read More
Felt Bans in the News
In the January 2012 Issue of the Clean Angling News we reported about the new felt ban being implemented in Rhode Island. The ban was for all waters, fresh and salt. However, the ban has been modified and now only applies to fresh water. Read More
Felt bans are one of the hottest topics among anglers and we continue to provide a comprehensive accounting of all felt ban proposals in the US at US Felt Bans
Clean Angling Ambassadors Announced
The Clean Angling Coalition has just launched a new program that is sure to attract attention form a lot of anglers. The Clean Angling Ambassador program is an effort to get many of our best known anglers to become active advocates for clean angling. The Ambassadors are all role models for many others and by including a simple cleaning message every time they advocate for fishing they use their influence to educate everyone about the need to be clean.
The list of Ambassadors contains some very well known anglers and Program Director Leah Elwell tells us to watch for many new additions to the list coming soon. Read More
Any time we do anything we can expect that there will be critics. In the past month a couple of stories out of Minnesota feature those who ask if the AIS fight is going too far.
Glenn Schmitt is an outdoor columnist who questions a new program that will require all boat owners to take and pass an online test Read More
At the same time, Representative Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, questions the AIS program saying “The approach is one that creates more government and takes away individual liberties to operate boats on waters,” Drazkowski said. “It’s full of enforcement and it’s full of sanctions to boat owners in order to apparently accomplish the objectives.” Read More
The House is poised to vote on legislation that would strip California’s ability to manage its own water supply, overturn more than a century of water law and gut important wildlife protections under the Endangered Species Act – all to benefit a handful of large agribusinesses in California’s Central Valley.
Contact your Representative to oppose this radical bill that puts the wants of a few powerful special interests over the needs of many others.
This so-called San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act would do sweeping damage, including:
- Exempt corporate farms from having to comply with the Endangered Species Act when they withdraw massive amounts of taxpayer-subsidized water from the fragile ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay Delta.
- Prevent California from using state law or even its constitution to manage its own water resources or to protect fish and wildlife in the Bay-Delta ecosystem.
- Threaten the survival of California’s commercial and recreational fishing industry along with the thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars it contributes to the state economy.
This irresponsible bill could be up for a vote as soon as Wednesday. Please tell your Representative to vote NO on HR 1837.
At a time when water resource conflicts are common throughout the West, this bill jeopardizes the positive, collaborative efforts of farmers, water districts, state and federal agencies and environmentalists to implement real solutions for the Central Valley.
This bill is a terrible precedent that would be bad for the environment, bad for salmon fishermen up and down the Pacific coast and bad for taxpayers. Please take action today.
Every two years, DEC proposes changes to freshwater fishing regulations to enhance fishing opportunities and to protect the state’s freshwater fisheries. DEC will accept public comments on the proposals through April 2. A summary of the proposals is available on DEC’s Freshwater Fishing (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html) webpage. The full text of the draft regulation and instructions for submitting comments can also be found on DEC’s Proposed Regulations (http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html) webpage. Comments on the proposals can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to Shaun Keeler, NYSDEC, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753. Following a full review of public comments, final regulations will take effect October 1.
Patagonia Rock Grip Boot Gear review
By George Anderson
I’ll have to admit I was a little skeptical about trying these new boots from Patagonia, after the less than pleasant time I had with their “Sticky” rubber soled boots earlier this summer, when I spent the better part of the day skidding around on every rock in the lower Henry’s Fork. After five minutes in these new boots with their aluminum bars, wading a rocky stretch of water here on the Yellowstone, as well as a couple of days fishing the spring creeks, I was simply amazed and impressed at how well these boots with aluminum bars screwed to the soles gripped the rocks.
Last fall Craig Matthews (Blue Ribbon Flies) had told me how well these worked on the Madison, and his report was enthusiastic and impressive. As many of us know, the Madison has some of the nastiest wading conditions around. I trust Craig’s opinions, and he is absolutely right – these new Patagonia boots are so good, that they give you new confidence in wading difficult, rocky bottoms.
Aluminum isn’t anything new to wading devices though, as we know how well the old Dan Bailey “Stream Cleats” – the fit over rubbers with aluminum bars that zigzagged across gripped any rock with aggressive tenacity. These simply slipped over a regular wading shoe. As awesome as these were, unfortunately they are gone forever. The good news is that the amazing new Patagonia Rock Grip boots with the aluminum bars feel just about the same! The grip you get is just unbelievable. On most rocks you don’t slip one single bit, as the aluminum bars bite in. There are six aluminum bars screwed to each boot – two on the heel and four on the sole. Walking seems quite normal, and I had a lot less tendency to trip than I did wearing the old Bailey Stream Cleats. When the bars eventually wear down, (this may take a couple of years for most anglers) they can be replaced with little effort or cost.
For anglers who are getting older and are looking for safer wading alternatives, Patagonia’s Rock Grip boots with aluminum bars seem like the best option right now. They proved to be far better than the softer Rock Grip Patagonia boots, or any of the Simms Vibram streamtread soled boots I’ve used- and this includes the ones with carbide studs, star cleats, and alumibite cleats. These boots even gave me more grip than anything I’ve worn with felt soles.
Wearing these new Patagonia boots with the aluminum bars, I felt invincible. Even in tough wading conditions I didn’t have to look down to glace where I was putting my feet. Just cruise along without looking down, having all the confidence in the world that I wasn’t going to slip or skid. But as my son James found out, trying the new Patagonia boots one day, all this confidence can prove your undoing as he stepped on some slimy bedrock in the Yellowstone, skidding underwater quick enough to float his hat! So while you need to use caution, these boots were gripping like crazy for me, and I was wading in nasty rocks and over bottom conditions that have proven to be exceptionally sketchy with rubber or felt soled boots.
I’m already thinking about how these new Patagonia boots will tame nasty places to wade like the Upper Madison below 3-dollar bridge, or that lower Henry’s Fork near Ashton Idaho. I can’t wait to get back to these places and be wading out in the middle of the river up to my waist with all the confidence that I won’t be going for a swim. I can also imagine these boots being great for striper fisherman, atlantic salmon fisherman, and hard core steelheaders. The price of $239.00 seems steep at first but I’d gladly pay twice this much to get this kind of traction!
Patagonia’s River Crampons – $199.00
Patagonia also makes a device they call their River Crampons, for $199.00, and these also utilize the aluminum bars – two on the heel and three across the sole, and these come in two sizes that will fit over most wading shoes. With the straps needed though, it just gives you more places to hang up your fly line. While the convenience of being able to take them on and off (for getting in the boat or going inside to buy more flies) is a plus, I think the Patagonia boots with the aluminum bars screwed on are far more desirable while fishing.
One last thought about either the boots or river crampons – These will grip rocks like no tomorrow, but get your fly line between these aluminum bars and a flat rock, and you’ll likely cause some damage, if you don’t cut right through it. So you’ll need to be careful handling your running line both while wading and in a drift boat. I’m always stepping on my line while standing in a drift boat, so I know I’ll have to be especially careful. But to me, the payoff in increased traction well outweighs the danger of cutting up a fly line. Also, on days when you know are fishing primarily from a boat and are not faced with difficult wading conditions, you can simply go back to your favorite felt soled or rubber-soled boots.
A Major Victory – Court Upholds Towns Right to Ban Fracking
As reported in the New York Times a New York State Judge has ruled that the upstate town of Dryden in Tompkins County can ban natural gas drilling within it’s boundaries. Passed last year to clarify that Dryden’s zoning prohibits the exploration for and production or storage of natural gas and petroleum, the home rule effort landed the Town of Dryden and the Town of Dryden Planning Board in a law suit brought by Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corporation, which owns leases on more than 22,000 acres in the town and has invested $5.1 million in drilling operations there. Anschutz argued that the zoning amendments amounted to an attempt by the Town of Dryden to regulate the gas industry, but the Court found that New York state’s oil and gas law does not restrict municipalities from changing their own zoning laws to halt natural gas activities.
While Anschutz may pursue appeals and other legal maneuvers to try to reassert its claims, the ruling is a decisive victory for opponents of fracking and advocates of home rule approaches to prevent fracking and related activities by concerned communities.
“The town of Dryden has proven in court that citizens — and not multinational energy companies — control the future of their towns,” said Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper.
Under the leadership of Helen and David Slottje, Earthjustice and Dryden Resources Awareness Coalition, environmental groups including Catskill Mountainkeeper came to the defense of Dryden and another NY town, Middlefield, when their newly enacted bans on gas drilling activities were challenged at the end of last year. Catskill Mountainkeeper and others have also been pursuing legislative efforts to strengthen the rights of communities to exclude gas drilling through zoning amendments, aquifer protection laws and other home rule activities. This week’s ruling validates New York’s existing home rule law and makes a strong statement endorsing the community efforts already underway across most of New York to enact laws to protect people, animals, farmlands, and existing ways of life from unwanted industrial activities such as gas drilling.
According to the New York Times: “Justice Phillip R. Rumsey of State Supreme Court said that state law does not preclude a municipality from using its power to regulate land use to ban oil and natural gas production. The ruling is the first in New York to affirm local powers in the controversy over drilling in the Marcellus Shale, a gas deposit under a large area of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.”
Join our “DON’T FRACK FRIDAYS” call campaign every Friday to let Governor Cuomo know that we don’t want fracking to ruin our health and our environment. His office can be reached at (518) 474-8390.
This is on Facebook go take a look, very informative
Every day we drive over culverts. There are thousands of them in this country, and they are one of the most significant impediments to fish passage, spawning, and survival. Badly constructed or poorly engineered, they pose a threat no less than a major dam, yet they are easily overlooked.
But the solution is dramatically simpler than removing a dam. Thousands of culverts around the country need to be removed or modified, but compared with removing a dam, the cost is minimal and the overall impact to many watersheds is greater. The lack of controversy associated with most culvert projects and their comparatively low cost, according to Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood, “make fixing a culvert so that fish can pass, one of the best investments in trout recovery.” The Orvis/TU Culvert Fund will go toward the engineering and removing of culverts. Each year TU will determine a list of watersheds that will most benefit from a concerted effort to replace culverts. Presently, there are projects that involve culvert improvement or removal in the Blackfoot drainage of Idaho, the Bear River drainage of Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho, and projects up and down the spine of the Sierra in California, not to mention dozens of potential projects in native brook trout habitat all along the Eastern Seaboard.
You can help repair and modify culverts across the country by giving to the Orvis/TU Culvert Fund. Orvis is donating $90,000 in matching funds so that every $100 you donate will become $200. It will offer the best dollar for dollar return for improving fish habitat and fishing access and opportunity. Send your check to The Orvis/TU Culvert Fund, c/o The Orvis Company, 178 Conservation Way, Sunderland, VT 05250 or donate online.
Photos (L to R): Jessica Riehl, WVSORO.org, Jessica Riehl
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has made it clear it intends to issue a finalized SGEIS this spring, which means that fracking could move forward under the state’s flawed proposal as early as this summer. This move is completely irresponsible, and shows that the state is willing to compromise the health, safety and environment of its citizens and buy-in to the gas industry’s Ponzi scheme.
Critical omissions in the SGEIS that are unlikely to be addressed in time include:
- DEC’s failure to analyze potential negative socioeconomic impacts to our communities and other business sectors, such as agriculture and tourism;
- DEC’s failure to analyze health impacts, despite the fact that we know fracking is making people sick just over the border in Pennsylvania; and
- DEC’s failure to plan for disposal of the millions of gallons of hazardous wastewater that will be created in fracking is allowed to move forward.
These omissions alone call for DEC to redo and supplement the SGEIS, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
We cannot allow our health and environment to be sold to the gas industry. Governor Cuomo has promised that he will not allow fracking to move forward until he has the facts and the science that shows that it will be safe and a net benefit to New Yorkers. Rushing forward in this fashion breaks that promise and puts New York in jeopardy to become yet another case study of fracking gone wrong.
To give DEC an opportunity to address all adverse individual and cumulative impacts as legally required, write and tell the Governor and legislature to put the brakes on fracking and support a bill pending in the legislature that would extend the moratorium on issuing fracking permits until June 1, 2013, A7400-A/S.6261.