Archive for June, 2009
Six-year-old grabs top spot with 138.8-pound halibut.
When 6-year-old Tegan Humphrey of Palmer boated a 138.8-pound halibut on Sunday, her mother was proud and impressed.
Her father, Charles, who’d helped Tegan crank it from depths of the Pacific Ocean, was tired.
Her charter boat captain Rob Hyslip was thrilled to have a client atop a division of the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby.
And Tegan? She was slightly sad.
Nice catch, she thought. Wrong species.
“She was fishing for a mermaid, and she didn’t get what she wanted,” said Courtney Humphrey, her mom. “So she was a little disappointed.”
Paula Frisinger, derby coordinator for the Homer Chamber of Commerce, said that Alaska’s biggest fishing derby rarely sees a mermaid entry. “I think that’s a great idea,” she said of a mermaid division. “We’ll have to think about that.”
Tegan’s halibut was large enough to grab the top spot in the derby’s Lady Angler division for June, well clear of Barb Cheney’s 61.6-pounder.
And it’s unlikely any Alaska flatfish caught this summer will weigh 3 1/2 times more than the angler on the other end of the line.
Tegan, a 40-pound student headed to Wasilla Lake Christian School this fall, had just finished a long battle with another halibut when her big fish gobbled up the squid and herring bait about 2 p.m.
The previous fight produced a chicken halibut with teeth marks from gills to tail, an indication that a larger halibut — they’re cannibalistic — had tried to secure a meal.
Not long after Tegan had her bait back on the bottom, her pole doubled over.
“No sooner did she hit the bottom, than that fish was on,” Hyslip said. “And it took off zinging line.
“Next thing I heard was, ‘I can’t crank it, I can’t crank it.’ “
Dad stepped in to help, and the fight lasted about 25 minutes. It ended with another disappointment for Tegan when Hyslip pulled out his sawed-off shotgun.
“You’re not going to shoot my fish,” she pleaded.
“Yeah,” Hyslip acknowledged. “She wasn’t thrilled at first. She didn’t really understand what was going on.”
Before long, though, the small disappointments were forgotten. Tegan had her big fish, so big the captain had to shoot it.
Local waters might seem clearer to the naked eye, but the reason behind it could disrupt the food chain and eventually the fish supply.
Zebra mussels, which are spreading throughout the Chain O’ Lakes and the Fox River, filter through a liter of plankton-filled water a day each as they go, said Pat Charlebois, aquatic invasive specialist with the Illinois Natural History Survey and the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant program.
But those plankton, which fog the water, are needed to serve as the base of the food chain.
“[Zebra mussels] are bad,”“Because they’re removing particles from the water, some people think the water becomes clearer. Lake Michigan is clearer now, but that is because there’s no food.”
The mussels, named for their brown and cream stripes, are about the size of a nickel and have become more prevalent in inland lakes over the past three to four years,
They stick to boats with cementlike strength, which is how they spread between bodies of water.
“They’re all over,” “I’ve been on the chain for many years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Don Ericson, owner of Ericson Marine in Algonquin, said he noticed their prevalence last fall.
“It’s getting worse and worse, and [they’re] clogging up the water intakes of the boats, especially those that are just sitting in the water,” he said.
The mussels can be hard to remove from boats or equipment, usually requiring a high-pressure wash or even a manual scraping to get them off.
“They’re really coarse,”. “You could hurt your hand badly if you scrape your arm on them.”
the shells are very thin, making them easy to break. They then become sharp enough to cut people, which can lead to problems for swimmers stepping on boat ladders or bottoms of rivers or lakes.
One way to prevent their spread is for boaters to clean out their watercraft and let them dry for five days when transferring between bodies of water, Adam said.
“What we’re trying to do is educate people,” he said. “There’s no natural way to get rid of them at this point.”
The mussels originated in the Caspian and Black seas and traveled to the Great Lakes through ships. Once they reached Lake Michigan, local boaters transferred them inland.
“There’s still a lot of unknowns about the long-term impact zebra mussels have on different lakes,”
In Lake Michigan, which has had zebra mussels for about a decade, there has been a decline in the shrimplike Diporeia, which many fish eat, it’s unclear whether it’s directly related to the zebra mussels at this point.
some companies are working on control methods, but so far the only products that work also kill surrounding plants and animals.
“[For now] we ask people to take precautions,” “And to not spread them.”
Keep the Spark Alive
The Chain o Lakes fireworks committee is dedicated to returning the the tradition of the 4th of July Fireworks to Mineola Bay
They can not do this alone . They need the help of everyone that needs to keep the tradition alive please don’t let this great tradition fade away .We understand that these are tough economic time for a lot of people but even a small donation can make a difference.This years goal is $35,000 and so far they have $14,00 raised
As a Fisherman and a resident of the chain, I am donating and I hope you can as well, so we can keep this amazing tradition continuing on for our kids and theirs kids