- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Robert Glenn, the executive director of Coastal Conservation Association Maryland, says the rubble from the demolished Wilson Bridge hopefully is just the beginning, but his organization, the Maryland DNR and more than 30 other organizations are enthusiastic about the creation of an entire series of artificial fishing reefs in the Chesapeake Bay.

The CCA MD and all of its supporters hope the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative (MARI) will bring in donations so the reef project can come to fruition.

The CCA MD, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, will receive and distribute donations made out to MARI. The donations will be kept in a special account, and funds will be spent on building Chesapeake Bay reefs. Local fishermen, corporations, small businesses and foundations are urged to donate to the MARI fund through a “Buy a Ton” program, which can be seen at www.ccamd.org.

“We encourage every angler in Maryland to visit the Web site and ‘Buy a Ton.’ Projects like these are the future for the health and longevity of [the] Chesapeake Bay,” Glenn said.

Trout angling show on way — The National Capital Chapter of Trout Unlimited will hold its 32nd Annual National Capital Angling Show on Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. The featured guest speaker this year will be Lefty Kreh, world-renowned fly fisherman, casting expert and author. Kreh will address hot destinations for freshwater and saltwater fishing, plus techniques for hooking and fighting fish and knots to hold them.

There also will be fly-casting and fly-tying clinics, fly-tying demonstrations for all experience levels, a rod and reel swap, fishing guides and representatives of fishing tackle and fly shops. Several raffles and a silent auction offer the chance to win fishing trips, equipment and more. Admission is $10 (children 16 and younger, free). Net proceeds from the show are used for local watershed restoration, conservation education and conservation projects. Information: www.ncc-tu.org or 202/966-5923.

Honesty is alive and well — Longtime Rockville friends Dean and Mai Lee, who are now retired in Savannah, Ga., did their good deed of the year during the Christmas holidays. They sat in their car in a Savannah supermarket parking lot when several vehicles pulled up, occupied by camouflage-dressed hunters. The fellows filled one of the pickup trucks with portable deer stands, cased guns and additional clothing. Then they all climbed into one truck and drove off to go hunting. However, the car that remained behind sat there with its trunk open. In their haste, the guys had forgotten to close it. The Lees looked into the trunk and saw an uncased rifle, a gun case, a bag, boots and other items related to hunting. Mai Lee pushed down the trunk lid, locking it, and the couple left a note on the windshield telling the hunters what they did. Dean Lee signed the note, “A fellow hunter.”

It goes to show honesty is alive and well in our country.

Young hunters should attend classes — I don’t quite agree with Kentucky and several other states that are exempting young hunters from attending hunter education classes, even if it’s for only a year. The move is meant to increase hunter participation and recruit new hunters through something called Families Afield. The program establishes a one-year, nonrenewable exemption from hunter education classes as long as the novice hunter is accompanied by an adult mentor. The adult must be a licensed hunter and at least 18 years old. Kentucky also passed a measure that raises the age from 10 to 12 when young nimrods must take a hunter education course.

Big doings in the gun world — Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation has purchased Thompson/Center Arms Inc. for $102 million. The 154-year-old Smith & Wesson gun maker thus owns a major black powder muzzleloading and accessories company as well as a precision rimfire business. The Thompson Contender platform has a significant following in both categories with more than 50 percent of the black powder shooting market. Smith & Wesson and Thompson/Center’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Rochester, N.H., with manufacturing plants also in Springfield, Mass., and Houlton, Maine.

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com.

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