Off the wire

Record low salmon runs halt commercial fishing
MILLBRAE, Calif. — California's commercial chinook salmon fishing season will be called off again after a record low number of the fish returned to the Sacramento River to spawn last year, federal fisheries managers announced Wednesday.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Change could be in air for Texas this fall
Texas' half-million or so wingshooters could see substantially liberalized dove-hunting rules — a longer season, larger bag limit, earlier opening day in the South Zone — if federal wildlife officials give anticipated approval to modifications in regulatory frameworks governing migratory game-bird hunting.
Read complete story from the Houston Chronicle

Museum puts wildlife exhibits in natural settings
A Canadian lynx snagging a duck out of the air, a coyote about to pounce on a quail and a pair of wolves about to drag down a caribou. Those are just some of the displays featured at a wildlife museum near Bryce Canyon National Park.
Read complete story from The Salt Lake Tribune

Hunting and fishing biz remains steady in Wyoming
Despite the country's economic downturn, anglers and hunters seem to be heading outdoors in central Wyoming and spending money on travel, gear and outfitters. For the most part, business remains good for the outdoors industry in the Casper area — the hunting and fishing hub of the central region of the state.
Read complete story from the Star-Tribune

Conservationists fight California bear hunt expansion
AN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — A coalition of 37 conservation, animal welfare, faith, and student groups today urged the California Department of Fish and Game to drop plans to expand trophy hunting of black bears across the state.
Read complete story from the Environment News Service

Hunting scam targets landowners
In a scam that has rocked Adams County, father and son duo, Elmer and Joseph Payne owners of Lethal Impact Outfitters, have been cited with a multitude of charges ranging from turkey hunting over bait to providing false information. Additional charges are forthcoming pending completion of the investigation by the Ohio Division of Wildlife and the Adams County Prosecutor's Office. Those charges are just the tip of the iceberg; however, as the pair allegedly used land in Adams County, without prior landowner consent, to set up a highly successful deer and turkey hunting outfitter and guide service that is estimated to have produced over $80,000 in a year's time.
Read complete story from the People's Defender

Feds vote to halt Calif. chinook salmon fishing
MILLBRAE, Calif. — California's commercial chinook salmon fishing season will be called off again after a record low number of fish returned to spawn last year, federal fisheries managers announced Wednesday.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

"Full Metal Jacket" star finds bag of cash at Fort Missoula
R. Lee Ermey, in Missoula this week to shoot a segment for his upcoming series "Locked and Loaded," had been driving with crew member Harlan Glenn to a Fort Missoula museum when he spotted something black lying on the blacktop.

On closer examination, it turned out to be a bank deposit bag. Ermey stopped the car and picked it up.
Read complete story from the Missoulian

Angler breaks S.C. record with 63-pound striped bass
Once wasn't enough for Terry McConnell.

McConnell, a 55-year-old auto repair shop owner from Eastonolle, Ga., has broken his own South Carolina state record for striped bass with a fish weighing at least 63 pounds.
Read complete story from The Greenville News

Bipartisan stream access bill approved
HELENA, Mont. — A bill clarifying state law on public access to certain rivers and streams from county roads and bridges is headed to Gov. Brian Schweitzer for his expected signature.
Read complete story from the Billings Gazette

Tuna fishing trip produces state record catch
A tuna-fishing trip that didn't work out wound up producing a state-record 126 and a half-pound amberjack for a Wilmington fisherman on March 31.
Read complete story from WXII

Breckenridge mourns hunting accident victim, 18
Adam Garcia and his friends were typical Breckenridge teenagers hunting on the first day of turkey season Sunday when a gun apparently went off accidentally as they headed back to the house, fatally striking Garcia at close range.
Read complete story from the Reporter News

Overboard dog comes home after 4 months on island
SYDNEY — A pet dog swept off a sailboat in choppy seas off Australia was found alive four months later on a remote island - and returned to her family, who'd thought she was dead.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Make way, gators: Croc numbers surge in South Fla.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Three dead dogs, and Chris Marin has had it. He's lived with his family along a canal just south of Miami for several years, and never had a fear of the water - until now.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Calif. river system is nation's most endangered
FRESNO, Calif. — California's two longest rivers have been named the country's most endangered waterways because of outdated water management and poor flood planning, according to an environmental advocacy group.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Rare megamouth shark caught, eaten in Philippines
MANILA, Philippines — Fishermen in the Philippines accidentally caught and later ate a megamouth shark, one of the rarest fishes in the world with only 40 others recorded to have been encountered, the World Wildlife Fund said Tuesday. The 1,100-pound, 13-foot megamouth died while struggling in the fishermen's net on March 30 off Burias island in the central Philippines. It was taken to nearby Donsol in Sorsogon province, where it was butchered and eaten, said Gregg Yan, spokesman for WWF-Philippines.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Record spotted?
While fishing for crappie, Michael Garvey landed a monster spotted bass that looks big enough to break the state record for the species.

Garvey was casting a one-inch Roostertail along a tree-lined bank when something hit his lure that felt like the crappie of a lifetime.
Read complete story from the Madison Courier

Cold day leads to trophy catch
A day that started cold and miserable last Sunday for Oklahoma City police officer Kenny Davis ended fabulously.

Davis landed a 10.8-pound largemouth bass from Lake Thunderbird near Norman that might even change the future of bass fishing at the reservoir.
Read complete story from the Oklahoman

As west warms, some fear for tiny mountain dwellers
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The American pika — a short-legged, hamster-sized fur ball that huddles in high mountain slopes - isn't built for long-distance travel. So as the West's climate warms, the tiny pika has little choice but to scurry a little farther upslope to beat the heat.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Inbreeding taking toll on Michigan wolves
The two dozen or so gray wolves that wander an island chain in northwestern Lake Superior are suffering from backbone malformations caused by genetic inbreeding, posing yet another challenge to their prospects for long-term survival, according to wildlife biologists.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Firearm sales continue to climb in March
NEWTOWN, Conn. — Firearm sales continued to surge across the country for the fifth straight month, extending a trend that began after the November elections. The increase also follows recent comments by several high-profile members of the Obama administration about re-imposing permanently and expanding the ban on modern sporting rifles.
Read complete story from the National Shooting Sports Foundation

Blubbery "researchers" lend fin to climate science
TROLL RESEARCH STATION, Antarctica — Into the Antarctic enigma, the puzzle of a place with too few researchers chasing too many climate mysteries, slowly waddles the elephant seal. The fat-snouted pinniped, two ugly tons of blubber and roar, is plunging to its usual frigid depths these days in the service of climate science, and of scientists' budgets.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Volunteers help salamanders avoid roadway massacre
NEW HAVEN, Vt. — The black salamander with yellow spots sat on the roadside in the dark, ready to make a go of it. But it was not on its own. It got help from an escort — one of 45 people who volunteered on a recent night to carry salamanders, frogs and newts across the road during their annual migration to mate.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Relief from itch seen in cure; may aid treatment
NEW YORK — Scratch an itch and you get…aaaaaah. Now scientists have watched spinal nerves transmit that relief signal to the brain in monkeys, a possible step toward finding new treatments for persistent itching in people.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Alaska's Mount Redoubt has another large eruption
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Mount Redoubt volcano had another large eruption Saturday after being relatively quiet for nearly a week. Radar indicated a plume of volcanic ash rose 50,000 feet into the sky, making it one of the largest eruptions since the volcano became active on March 22, said the National Weather Service.
Read complete story from the Associated Press