Off the wire

Gulf oil full of methane, adding new concerns
NEW ORLEANS — It is an overlooked danger in the oil spill crisis: The crude gushing from the well contains vast amounts of natural gas that could pose a serious threat to the Gulf of Mexico's fragile ecosystem. The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Future of whaling ban rests with Japan
TOKYO — Nations will next week consider whether to sanction commercial whale hunts for the first time in a quarter-century, a compromise to coax Japan into ending an annual cull of hundreds of the sea mammals in a sanctuary in the Antarctic. The broader goal at the International Whaling Commission meeting in Morocco that begins Monday is to fix a fractured regulatory system in which a handful of whaling nations currently operate under a complex set of exemptions.
Read the complete story from SouthCoastToday.com.

Oil ends life on the water for Gulf boat captain
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Grounded by oil, the charter boat owner along Alabama's Gulf Coast known as Capt. Bligh walks past an old first mate. "Arrrrrrgh," Bligh growls like a pirate. Hardly anyone calls him by his real name, Brent Shaver. A lot of people don't even know it. Earlier this month, Shaver began a scary season — one without fishing. He had to shut down his inshore guide business after oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill made it through a pass into Perdido Bay, about 100 miles north of the rig site. Rust-colored tar balls now stain its sandy shores.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Sources: BP agrees to $20B fund for spill victims
WASHINGTON — BP will set aside $20 billion to pay the victims of the massive oil spill in the Gulf, senior administration officials said Wednesday, a move made under pressure by the White House as the company copes with causing the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Colorado angler lands monster halibut
When Colorado angler Aaron Buscher hooked something in about 100 feet of water while jigging Monday morning on a halibut charter south of Montague Island near Seward, it was anyone's guess what might be on the other end.
His 7-foot-4-inch halibut tipped the scales at 337 pounds and seems insurmountable for the $10,000 first place prize in the Seward Halibut Derby.

Read the complete story from Alaska Daily News.

Nepal orders probe into slaughter of rhinos
KATMANDU, Nepal — Nepal's government was investigating the poaching of rhinos in the Himalayan nation after 28 of the endangered animals were killed over the past 11 months, an official said Monday.
Read the complete story from Santa Cruz Sentinel.

AP Poll: Majority disapprove of Obama on oil spill
WASHINGTON — Americans are just as down on President Barack Obama for his response to the Gulf oil spill as they were on President George W. Bush for his handling of the devastation unleashed by Hurricane Katrina, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll released Tuesday.
Read the complete story from The Lake County Record-Bee.

Japan may quit whaling commission if ban stays put
TOKYO — Japan is considering withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission if no progress is made toward easing an international ban on commercial whaling, its fisheries minister said Tuesday. The IWC — the international body that regulates whaling — will gather for its annual meeting next week in Agadir, Morocco. The meeting is expected to seek a compromise between pro- and anti-whaling countries, which may include allowing commercial whaling on a limited scale.
Read the complete story from Roanoke Times.

Obama walk in sand is prelude to primetime speech
PENSACOLA, Fla. — Laying the groundwork for an evening speech to the nation, President Barack Obama walked a pristine stretch of sand on Florida's shoreline Tuesday and pledged to "fight back with everything we've got" against the spreading oil lurking offshore.
Read the complete story from The Lake County Record-Bee.

BP: Ship fire halts oil capture in Gulf
NEW ORLEANS — A bolt of lightning struck the ship capturing oil from the blown-out BP well in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, igniting a fire that halted containment efforts in another setback for the embattled company in its nearly two-month struggle to stop the spill, the company said.
Read the complete story from The Lake County Record-Bee.

Oil spill spreads in La.'s big, rich Barataria Bay
BARATARIA BAY, La. — The sand dunes and islands of Barataria Bay, a huge expanse of water and marsh on Louisiana's coast, have become the latest casualty of the environmental disaster spewing from BP's offshore well. And fishermen are bitter.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Angling for a million-dollar largemouth bass
Fishermen around Florida are assisting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) by filling out surveys on bass fishing. The information gathered, along with scientific information, will help create a draft Florida Black Bass Management Plan.
Read the complete story from MyFWC.com.

For Dennis LaRive, a fishing record is nothing new
Whatever he is doing out on the water, Dennis LaRive should keep it up. The Lead resident was fishing on May 1 at Deerfield Lake, northwest of Hill City, when he bagged a nice-sized brook trout. It wasn't until he took it to the Game, Fish and Parks office in Rapid City that he realized how great the catch truly was.
Read the complete story from Rapid City Journal.

Neb. man dies after being strangled by pet snake
A suburban Omaha man has died after being strangled by his 9-foot, 25-pound pet boa constrictor, authorities said Thursday. Cory Byrne, 34, of Papillion died Wednesday night at a local hospital, just hours after police and paramedics pried the snake from around his neck, police said. Byrne had been showing the snake to a friend when it wrapped around his shoulders and neck and squeezed, Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said.
Read the complete story from Fire Fighting News.

Mountain lion suspected in Ariz. attack killed
KINGMAN, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department has found and killed a mountain lion in the direct vicinity of a suspected attack involving a Prescott-area man on Sunday night, June 7. The mountain lion was found less than 1/2 mile from the house where the reported attack occurred near Walker, southeast of Prescott.
Read the complete story from The Outdoor Wire.

MS Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo will go on, with BP's sponsorship
GULFPORT, Miss. — It looks like even the BP oil leak in the Gulf can't stop a long time tradition from returning to Gulfport. Organizers of the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo said Friday that barring any last-minute closures, the 62nd annual rodeo will go on as planned.
Read the complete story from WLOX.com.

Poacher of trophy deer ordered to pay $10,000
HOBBS, N.M. — A southeastern New Mexico man convicted of poaching a trophy mule deer in 2007 has been ordered to pay $10,000 in civil penalties to reimburse the state for the loss of a valuable game animal. Bradley A. Smith, 27, had contested the civil judgment sought by the Department of Game and Fish in addition to two criminal counts of poaching. The Magistrate Court entered a $10,000 civil judgment, which was appealed to the District Court. After hearing testimony and arguments, Lovington District Judge Don Maddox determined that evidence established that the value of the deer was at least $10,000 and entered a judgment in favor of the Department of Game and Fish.
Read the complete story from New Mexico Wildlife News.