Volunteer Opportunities For Spring Youth Events

New Picture (1)DSCN1292Boulder Flycasters is participating in many local and regional youth fishing clinics this spring and we need volunteers to help with the youth presentations.  We partner with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife to man various stations educating children from ages 3 to 16 in areas such as fish habitat, game species, fish anatomy, regulations and more.  No one needs to be an expert, Parks & Wildlife provides large education easel board presentations that are easy to use.  In addition to the clinic presentations, we also help with casting and fishing at many of the clinics as well.

Please volunteer today to help with one or more of the clinics listed below.  The clinics typically last only 2-3 hours and it is very rewarding time spent teaching our fishing and conservation skills to the next generation.

  • Louisville Fishing Clinic:   Saturday, 4/27/2013, at Warembourg fishing pond north of Cherry street
  • Broomfield/Westminster Fishing Clinic:   Saturday, 5/4/2013, at Metzger Pond
  • Erie Fishing Clinic:  Saturday,   5/11/2013, Thomas Reservoir
  • City of Boulder Children’s Water Festival:  Wednesday, 5/15/2013, CU Campus
  • City of Boulder Water Conservation Fair:  Saturday,  5/18/2013, East Boulder Rec Center

Please contact Larry Quilling for more information or if you’d like to volunteer.

Larry QuillingBFC Youth Coordinator

the5quills@comcast.net

303-579-0656

Catch & Release Signs are now in place on Boulder Creek

 

Thanks to everyone who came out on a cold and rainy Saturday last weekend to install the final nine Catch & Release signs along the Boulder Creek Path.  A total of 21 signs have been placed between Ebin Fine Park and 55th St. giving a much higher profile for the Catch & Release regulations. 

  Additional interpretive signs similar to those placed in Rogers Park will be added as part of a larger Kiosk project being planned by the City of Boulder early next year.  These signs will help educate creek visitors about catch & release and safe fish handling methods.

 A special thanks to the multiple City of Boulder departments who embraced this project and went out of their way to approve and install our new signage.  Both Kristin Cannon and Kris Middledorf, our Colorado Parks & Wildlife officers played a pivotal role in our success as well.  We are very fortunate to have their service in our community.

There be Trout in there!

The Centaurus High Trout in the Classroom program had some new arrivals late last week.  The fertilized eggs that were delivered about two weeks began hatching last Friday.  All seemed to have survived the hatching which was a problem for last year’s 1st egg delivery.  Craig Weinhold’s biology classes will rear the trout over the next eight months for release in the spring.  This fish should grow to a size of 3 to 5 inches during their time in the TIC tank.

Help Wanted: Install Party for Boulder Creek Catch & Release Signs

Exciting news!  Some of you may have noticed new Catch & Release signs have appeared along the Boulder Creek Path last week.  Thanks to the City of Boulder, the Colorado Parks & Recreation Department and Boulder Flycasters, a total of 19 new signs are being installed from Ebin Fine Park to 55th St.

The City did the tough work, installing new sign posts and the new signs.  We need a volunteer crew of five to seven persons to help install the remaining nine signs on existing posts this coming Saturday, October 6th.  We will meet at the Boulder Justice Center parking lot at 9AM from where we will move down the bike path to complete the installations.   We be a mixed work crew with opportunities to either drive/ride & walk to the installation sites or to ride bikes to the locations.  Both transport modes for volunteers are welcomed.  The installations should not take more than 2-3 hours leaving time for lunch afterwards.

All necessary hardware and tools for the project will be provided.  Work gloves are recommended for those of you who have soft desk job hands like mine.

Please contact Larry Quilling for more information or to sign up for the work crew.

Larry Quilling

The5quills@comcast.net

303-579-0656

Stewardship Tip of the week

Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) is a type of algae found in fresh water.  Commonly known as “rock snot,” didymo can form thick, brown mats on stream bottoms.  During blooms, didymo can cover long stretches of streambeds and can disrupt the organisms that live in and on the streambed.  This can have an adverse affect on fish by limiting their food supply.

Didymo has been found in New York, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.  In New Zealand, didymo has been particularly pernicious.  Under the New Zealand Biosecurity Act of 1993, the entire South Island is a Controlled Area.  People are legally obliged to prevent the spread of unwanted organisms and can face a penalty of up to 5 years and/or a fine of up to $100,000 for knowingly spreading didymo.

The accepted methods of curtailing the spread of any nuisance species applies to didymo:

  • Check any gear and remove all obvious clumps of algae.
  • Clean all items using very hot water (above 60 degrees centigrade) for at least 20 minutes.  As an alternative, soak items in a 2% solution of bleach and water or a 5% solution of salt and water.  Absorbent items, such as felt-soled waders should be soaked for at least 45 minutes in hot water kept above 45 degrees centigrade.
  • Dry all equipment thoroughly before taking it to a new watershed.

New research, though, by P. V. Sundareshwar, et al, writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, indicates that didymo is able to concentrate phosphorus from the water.  Didymo can, as a result, grow in streams that are considered relatively clean.

This provides additional incentives to keep phosphorus out of our waters.

One thing that we all can do, and it is very simple, is to make sure that any lawn fertilizer that we apply goes on the target area.  If granules of fertilizer, of which phosphorus is a component, end up on your sidewalk, sweep them up and place them on the lawn.  Fertilizer granules on hard surfaces run directly into the watershed where they could contribute to didymo blooms.

The mantra of check, clean, and dry is certainly sage advice.  These steps should be followed to prevent the spread of any nuisance species.  Keeping phosphorus out of the watershed by preventing runoff from the home can help as well.

Catch & Release

Stewardship Tip of the week

Catch and release fishing is one of the most powerful tools for conservation.  It is also used across a wide, and diverse, population of anglers.  Consider:

  • In the United Kingdom, course anglers have practiced catch and release for more than a century to prevent target species from disappearing from heavily fished waters.
  • In the Chesapeake watershed, catch and release angling has been a critical component in restoring the American and Hickory shad runs.
  • An Illinois angler released a 105-pound blue catfish back into the Mississippi River after catching it in a tournament in 2010.

We usually associate catch and release fishing with the “glamor” fish such as Salmon, Trout, and Bass.  While catch and release fishing has benefitted many populations of these highly prized fish, all species can benefit from catch and release.  For example, the shad runs, famous in the Chesapeake watershed, have been in decline since the 1970s.  A moratorium was placed on the possession of shad in the Chesapeake and its tributaries; this led to the growth of a catch and release fishery.  In addition to the catch and release regulations, the various departments of fish and game in the Chesapeake watershed have introduced stocking programs.  In Virginia, for example, tagged shad were introduced into the headwaters of the James, Rappahannock, Potomac, and Pamunkey Rivers.  Studies by the Virginia Department of Fish and Game have shown that the numbers of American shad returning to the James River have increased dramatically.

Catch and release is a tool that can be used for any type of fish, not just the fish that get the headlines.  It is certainly a tool that you should use as a conservation measure.  It is also a tool that you can use to return large fish to the population.  A trophy that is returned to the water may live to fight another day.  More importantly, that trophy may reproduce and pass its genes on to the next generation of fish.

We Are Stewards.

Stewardship Tip of the week

“It can have some of the water, but not all the water.”  Geoffry McQuilkin, the former Co-Executive Director for the Mono Lake Committee, speaking at the Walker Lake Summit in 2002, was referring to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

In 1941, the LADWP extended the Los Angeles Aqueduct to Northern California and diverted four of the creeks that fed Mono Lake.  By 1982, its water supply strangled at the source, Mono Lake had dropped 45 vertical feet.  It had lost half its volume and doubled in salinity.  The Mono Lake Committee pursued litigation.  Eventually, the courts and the California State Water Resources Control Board ordered restoration of the damaged resources.
 
Although, the lake is now 25 feet lower than its prediversion level, Mono Lake and its surrounding environment are on the rebound.  It will never be completely restored, but the situation is improving.
 
You can have some of the water, but not all of the water.
 
Today, natural gas and oil companies are using tremendous amounts of water to extract fossil fuels through hydraulic fracturing.

In Pennsylvania alone, there are about 71,000 wells that use hydraulic fracturing.  A low volume frack may consume 20,000 to 80,000 gallons of fracking fluid, the majority of which is water.  A high-volume frack may use as much as two to three million gallons of water.  Removing such large amounts of water from the watershed can have a severe impact on our fisheries.  Here in Nebraska, Pumpkin Creek no longer flows.  Overzealous irrigation practices dropped the water table so low that the creek dried up.

The time is now.  We need to let our congresswomen, congressmen, state legislators, and parliaments, know.  The hydraulic fracturing industry can have some of the water, but they can’t have all the water.

BFC Youth Night

 

Despite the snow, the BFC Youth Night last Friday evening was a great success.  We had 25-30 youth participants with their parents attend the various workshops sponsored by the local fly-fishing shops, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Umpqua Feather Merchants, and the CU Fly-fishing Club.  Every youth attendee left with large bags of “Schwag” including hats, & filled fly boxes.  Thank you to all of oour sponsors who made this possible with their donations.

The highlight of the event was the 4 year old young man who won the raffle grand prize of a youth rod & reel combo.  His eyes and smile said it all!

Bass Pro Fishing Classic: Need Volunteers

Good Morning!

The  Bass Pro Fishing Classic is coming up and the Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife is looking for help!   Allison Kincaid, the Division Hunting and Angling Outreach Coordinator, is recruiting volunteers to assist with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife fishing info. booth on the following days and time:

Saturday, February 25     8:00 AM-12:30 PM, Noon – 5 PM

Sunday, February 26        9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Noon – 5 PM

Saturday, March 3           8:00 AM-12:30 PM, Noon – 5 PM

Sunday, March 4              9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Noon – 5 PM

Allison is looking for volunteers who are comfortable interacting with the public and answering questions using the Fishing Brochure. Please let us know if you can help and also what day and shift(s) you are able to help by contacting: 

Allison Kincaid

Hunting and Angling Outreach Coordinator – NE Region

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

6060 Broadway

Denver, CO 80216

Phone: (303) 291-7291

allison.kincaid@state.co.us

Stewardship Tip – Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a controversial method of extracting oil and gas from shale formations.  Hydraulic fracturing is a process that occurs naturally.  Oil and gas companies attempt to accelerate the process to release oil or natural gas by drilling into rock formations and injecting highly pressurized fracking fluids.  Fracking fluid is composed of a 98% water and sand mix.  The remaining 2% contains chemical additives some of which are found in common household products.  It also contains toxic components such as acid, benzene, a known carcinogen, anti-bacterial agents, clay stabilizers, and surfactants.

Wastewater from fracking may contain radium, a radioactive element, and corrosive salts, all of which occur naturally thousands of feet underground.  According to a recent NY Times article, the wastewater is “sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water.”

Unfortunately, there have been numerous cases of illegal dumping.  A waste hauler in Southwest Pennsylvania was indicted in 2009 on 98 criminal counts of illegally dumping millions of gallons of wastewater from natural gas drilling.  Two men recently plead guilty to dumping 200,000 gallons of wastewater down an abandoned oil well.  Illegal dumping of wastewater from fracking operations can have a disastrous effect on our fisheries.

If you live in an area where fracking wells are present, be diligent in watching your waters.  If you see someone illegally dumping fracking wastewater or if you spot signs of pollution such as bubbling gas, turbidity, oily surface film, or dead fish, report it immediately to your state department of environmental protection.  You can find links to your state or territorial environmental agency on the EPA’s website.