August 13, 2014

Trail Mix for 8/14: Drought a time to take some extra catch-and-release caution

Outdoors news and notes.

California's Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking anglers to employ the best catch-and-release practices during the state's extreme drought.

As water levels decrease, water temperatures increase, exposing cold-water species such as trout to potentially fatal risks.

Anglers are urged to take these protective measures for catch-and-release fishing:

• Avoiding fishing during periods when water temperatures exceed 70 degrees (likely afternoon to late evening)
• Play and land hooked trout quickly and avoid extensive handling of the fish
• Keep fish fully submerged in water during the release
• Utilize a thermometer and check water temperatures every 15 minutes as it climbs above 65
• Stop angling activities when captured fish show signs of labored recovery or mortality
• Use barbless hooks to help facilitate a quick release

Archers' hunting season to open

Saturday marks the start of hunting season for archers.

Bowhunters are permitted to hunt quail, chukar and geese through Sept. 5 and during the general season.

Dove season opens Labor Day (Sept. 1) for two weeks, before another session Nov. 8 through Dec. 22. Shooting hours are from a half hour before sunrise to sunset.

At a meeting a week ago, the state Fish and Game Commission adopted hunting regulations for resident and migratory game birds.

Some important changes:

• The daily bag limit for mourning and white-winged doves increased to 15 in aggregate, of which no more than 10 may be white-winged doves. The possession limit is triple the daily bag limit.
• Eurasian collared-dove season is open all year beginning Sept. 1.
• Canvasback bag limit has been reduced to one per day.

Get more details at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regulations.

Spaces available for August Bauer hunter safety courses

Herb Bauer Sporting Goods has openings for hunter safety classes on Saturday, Sunday, Aug. 23, 24, 30 and 31.

Cost is $20 plus homework. Sign-ups also are open for September classes.

The last day to buy a shotgun for delivery before dove season is Wednesday.

Seattle speed hiker completes Pacific Crest Trail in record time

Joe McConaughy, 23, has set a record for completing a hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Seattle native started June 18 and completed the 2,650 miles in 53 days, 6 hours and 37 minutes — arriving at the Canadian border in Washington about noon Sunday.

McConaughy was hiking to benefit CancerCare in honor of his cousin Colin, who died of neuroblastoma at age 2. He raised more than $30,000 for the organization.

The former cross country and middle distance runner at Boston College was followed by a support crew of three classmates in Jordan Hamm, Jack Murphy and Michael Dillon.

McConaughy shattered the previous record of 59 days, 8 hours and 4 minutes for an assisted effort, set last year by Californian Josh Garrett.

A day earlier in 2013, Heather Anderson of Bellingham, Wash., set the record for an "unassisted" or "thru" hike at 60 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes.

CDFW wildlife outreach meeting

When: 9 a.m.-noon Saturday

Where: Grassland Water District Office, 200 W. Wilmott Ave., Los Banos

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife will have a public outreach meeting regarding Type A wildlife areas in the northern San Joaquin Valley.

It will provide updates on habitat conditions, water availability for wetlands and hunting programs.

State wildlife areas to be discussed are Mendota, Los Banos, Volta and North Grasslands, including the Salt Slough, China Island, Gadwall and Mud Slough units.

For details and to RSVP, send an email to Sean.Allen@Wildlife.ca.gov.

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