- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ocean anglers on both sides of the United States had hoped for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on pending marine fisheries legislation, but that has now been postponed until after the August recess.

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) and its “Angling 4 Oceans” campaign is keeping a close eye on the goings on up on the Hill. The TRCP is comprised of the American Sportfishing Association, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Berkley Conservation Institute, Coastal Conservation Association, Environmental Defense and the Izaak Walton League of America. All of them anxiously await the final stage for this critical piece of legislation. They are hopeful important issues are addressed during this latest round of reauthorization efforts of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The Senate passed its version in June.

Before the reauthorization was put on hold, the TRCP said important progress was made on several key provisions in H.R. 5018, the American Fisheries Management and Marine Life Protection Act, thanks to the work done by Reps. Richard Pombo, California Republican, Wayne Gilchrest, Maryland Republican, and Jim Saxton, New Jersey Republican. They include overfishing deadlines, rebuilding fisheries and integrating fisheries management plans with the National Environmental Policy Act.

Although much of this legislation directly deals with commercial fishing operations, sport anglers easily understand that in the long run legislation concerning fisheries of any type will also affect them.

The TRCP, meanwhile, hopes the House passes a good bill and that Congress will make final passage of a Magnuson-Stevens bill a top priority so it can be sent to the president for his signature.

“Congress needs to take advantage of this historic opportunity to significantly improve the management of our precious marine resources,” the TRCP said.

For additional information about the Magnuson-Stevens Act and more details on this coalition’s priorities, go to: www.angling4oceans.org.

Maryland bear euthanized — Maryland’s Wildlife and Heritage Service (WHS) was forced to euthanize a nuisance black bear near Deep Creek Lake State Park in Garrett County last Thursday.

The female bear had a history of being chased away from human population areas, but of late had been active again in the Deep Creek Lake State Park campground. She was known for coming into the campground in search of food and had exhibited aggressive behavior toward park visitors.

The sow had been trapped twice, chased off with dogs, doused with pepper spray and shot with non-lethal rounds of rubber buckshots in order to change the bear’s behavior.

Despite such efforts, early Thursday morning the bear entered an occupied camper’s tent in search of food. “It was determined that this particular sow had to be euthanized,” said Paul A. Peditto, WHS director. “We could not further tolerate or risk the aggressive behavior of this bear towards people.”

The WHS says a 2005 black bear population study conducted in Garrett and Allegany counties resulted in an estimate of 326 adult and yearling black bears living in the two counties. This represents a 44 percent increase over the 227 adult and yearling bears estimated in a 2000 study.

Fishing line wins Best of Show — During the ICAST Show in Las Vegas, an annual event that showcases the latest products for recreational anglers, industry veteran Pure Fishing of Spirit Lake, Iowa, won the top award for the most innovative product and overall Best of Show with its new Berkley FireLine Crystal fishing line. Have you seen it yet? It’s snow-white, casts like monofilament line, but is much stronger.

cLook for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]washingtontimes.com.

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