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January, 2010 Volume 35, Issue 1


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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS

(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) -
P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
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    The AuCoin Report
News Briefs from the Great Outdoors
Will Asian Carp overwhelm the Great Lakes?

Invasive Asian carp are probably in the Great Lakes already, authorities say, but only a few and not enough to cause problems. However, to try to prevent more from entering Lake Michigan the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is electro-stunning native fish and temporarily removing them from the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Then they'll poison the water and kill the carp, if any. If carp populations increase in Lake Michigan from the existing population they are ready to go to the next step, poison, using tiny "biobullet" pills that will kill only carp. (Detroit Free Press)
Important whooping crane shot and killed
Number 217 is dead. The female whooping crane, perhaps the most important bird in the endangered population of Eastern migrating whooping cranes, was shot to death during its fall migration from Wisconsin to Florida's Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. The carcass of the seven-year-old crane was found in Vermillion County, Ind. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted a reward of at least $2,500 for information leading to a conviction. (St. Petersburg Times)
Boating biz trending up
Signs of life in the U.S. boating industry: sales of boats in most categories have been trending up slightly since July on the heels of one of the industry's worst downturns, according to the Bellwether Report. On a year-to-year basis October powerboat sales were down about 30 percent from the previous year. But October sales figures show fishing boats, a major category, were up. (Boating Industry)
Anglers spend $45 billion annually
Want to help the economy? Go fishing. A new report by the American Sportfishing Association shows that in 2006 U.S. recreational anglers - that's 40 million people -- purchased almost $45 billion worth of goods and services. Florida got the most, $4.4 billion, followed by Texas, $3.4 billion, Minnesota, $2.8 billion, California, $2.7 billion, and Michigan, $2.1 billion. Altogether, according to the data, sportfishing created a million jobs which generated more than $38 billion in wages and $16.6 billion in taxes paid. (American Sportfishing Association)
Are bass more feminine than they used to be?
About half of the male population of the number one gamefish in America, the black bass, is "intersex;" that is, their male sex organs are producing immature female eggs. It may be caused by farm runoff and/or discharges from water treatment facilities. A nine-year study by the U.S. Geological Survey shows problems in 34 of 111 sites involving eight of nine major river basins. The Southeastern states are said to be hardest hit. (PopSci.com)
Federal campgrounds ending seniors discount
The public is invited to weigh in on a plan by the U.S. Forest Service to eliminate the half-off discount for seniors and disabled people at federal campgrounds operated by private concessionaires. Operators say eliminating the discount for seniors and disabled people will allow them to offer other incentives to promote camping in less popular areas and take the pressure off of the more popular campgrounds. (Outdoorpressroom.com, Oregonian)
Hiking deaths preventable. Usually.
How do hikers die? From falls, often, but also from preventable causes like dehydration and heat exposure. And then there is the case of Stine Rossel, a Danish citizen married just two months. She and her husband sat on a deteriorating log while hiking in the White Mountains. The log broke spilling them to the ground and then the log rolled over her. (Outdoors-411, Southeastern Outdoors)
New generation of topo maps online
The next generation of digital topographic maps have been released by the U.S. Geological Survey and downloads are free for hikers, campers, anglers and other land lovers. Each map includes elevation contours, hydrographic features, roads and geographic names. Users can turn geographic features on and off and zoom in and out. A set of analytical tools can also be downloaded. (Dept. of Interior, National Map USGS)
Iditarod mushers may be drug-tested
Alaska's Iditarod dog sled race will drug-test mushers before the March competition this year. Race officials said mushers will not be informed in advance of when and where they will be tested but testing may be random or involve certain mushers at a specific checkpoint. Lance Mackey complained. The three-time winner who holds a medical marijuana card said it was a "dog race, not a human race" and that using drugs did not affect the outcome. (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Studying bird sex and survival
Why do ducks bob their heads? Why do some birds fake a broken wing? These and other interesting bird behaviors are explained in a new five-week Internet course by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The course helps birders take their hobby to the next level, explaining some of the ways bird behavior relates to sex and survival. (Women's Outdoor Wire, Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
 Visit Machu Picchu for free
Is visiting Peru's Machu Picchu on your to do list? Or, perhaps, you'd like to see what it's like at a Mount Everest base camp in Nepal? How about going on a South African safari? Take your pick, and take a companion, if you submit the winning video of why you deserve an adventure of a lifetime to a new website, myadventures.com. (My Adventures.Com)
Leon Wilson's secret to long life
The secret to a long life? Go to church and shoot deer. Thus spake Leon Wilson, soon to be 101 years old and a Minnesota deer hunter since he was 10. Deer, church, and, yes, not to be forgotten, playing pinochle with daughter Judi at the senior center in Baudette on Mondays and Wednesdays. (Star Tribune)















 














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