In the Loop 02.11.11

Henry's Fork Rainbow

A beautiful winter rainbow from Idaho’s Henry’s Fork.

photo by Mike Dawes

We’re buried in deep snow here in the Northeast, so fishing seems like something far off in the future. But Mike Dawes of World Cast Anglers took advantage of a break in the weather around his shop in Jackson, Wyoming, so he ran up to the Henry’s Fork to scratch the winter itch. He’s got some nice photos of the adventure up on his blog.

fish icon Just as Montana has taken the first baby steps toward a ban on felt soles, folks in Oregon are calling “Whoa!” on the whole process. As Ryan Kost writes in The Oregonian, “[U]nlike the boots, a bill to outlaw their sale and use by 2015 doesn’t seem to have much traction” in the state legislature. Despite plenty of testimony about the dangers of aquatic nuisance species and how felt is a vector for the spread of these invaders, legislators seem more concerned with angler safety.

fish icon Montana has always had more angler-friendly access laws than many of its neighbors to the south—We’re looking at you, Colorado and Utah!—but a new bill that would  revamp the state’s stream-access law has got anglers and other water users up in arms.  Sponsored by Dillon Republican Jeff Welborn, the measure would bar anglers from using water bodies that get water diverted into them. “This is going to kick Montanans off of streams they’ve been fishing since Montana was a territory,” [said Bruce Farling, executive director of Montana Trout Unlimited]. “Hundreds of miles of streams would be affected.” The new bill is a reaction to a recent decision by the state Supreme Court allowing access to Mitchell Slough, off the Bitterroot.

fish icon As Valentine’s Day—one of the biggest days of the season for jewelers—approaches, some of the biggest names in the industry are expressing their opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay and making a pledge not to use any gold mined there. Among the fifty-four jewelers who have signed the pledge are Tiffany & Co., Fortunoff, and the Zale Corporation. “In the long run, the pursuit of the mine project will be detrimental to the local communities both environmentally and economically,” said Damien Dernoncourt, CEO of John Hardy Jewelry, one of the most recent jewelers to sign the pledge. “We extend our support to the protection of the Bristol Bay watershed and hope that others will join us in building a more sustainable future where business can grow.”

fish icon  Chock this one up to the Law of Unintended Consequences: in 2008, the gates of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River were opened wide in an attempt to flush the system and provide critical habitat for native plants and animals, including the endangered humpback chub. Unfortunately, researchers have discovered, this attempt to help native species has led to an 800 percent increase in populations of a prominent nonnative species—rainbow trout. The gushing water cleared the gravel bottom near the base of the dam, which created ideal spawning habitat for the trout. Now the trout are spreading downstream and competing with the humpback chub.


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