Off the wire


UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution

LONDON — Five carp-shaped robot fish developed by British scientists and costing $29,000 each are to be released into the sea off north Spain to detect pollution in a trail run next year.

Read complete story from Reuters

Report: Energy production choking bird population

WASHINGTON — Energy production of all types — wind, ethanol and mountaintop coal mining — is contributing to steep drops in bird populations, a new government report says.

Read complete story in the Sun Journal

Report details failing salmon fishery

The collapse of Sacramento River salmon stocks this year and last, which sharply cut fishing along the West Coast, is mainly attributed to poor conditions for young fish at sea in a report by state and federal biologists released Wednesday.

Read complete story from The Times-Standard

Not so deadly? Chance Tulsa spider misidentified

TULSA, Okla. — A spider that was found in a Tulsa grocery store may not have been as deadly as originally thought.

Read complete story from The Associated Press

Angler nets Irvine Lake record 22.6-pound rainbow trout

IRVINE, Calif. — Mission Viejo's Greg Stotesbury, a renowned saltwater angler, is now credited with landing the largest rainbow trout ever caught at Irvine Lake, a 22.6-pounder.

Read complete story in the L.A. Times

As recession deepens, more Americans go fishing
MEREDITH, New Hampshire — From his wooden fishing shack on Lake Winnipesaukee's thinning skin of ice, Mike MacDonald doesn't need to think twice about why more Americans are going "fishin'" in the deepening U.S. recession.
Read complete story from Reuters

Russia to ban hunting of baby seals
Russia announced on Wednesday that it would ban the hunting of baby seals, effectively shutting one of the world's largest hunting grounds in the controversial trade in seal fur.
Read complete story from The New York Times

Salmon booms and busts tough to change
Federal fisheries biologists say the 2008 collapse of salmon returning to California's Sacramento River was triggered primarily by climatic conditions that produced little food in the ocean, compounded by too much reliance on fish produced in hatcheries instead of the wild.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Hunters say hunting inside the city is a safety issue
Bow hunters won't have to leave the city limits for their sport during the next deer season.

That's because the Topeka city council has agreed to let them hunt on certain pieces of property inside the city of Topeka.
Read complete story from KTKA.com

Last chance to bid on special New Mexico gould's tag
Time is running out to place bids on a very rare New Mexico Gould's wild turkey tag. The National Wild Turkey Federation's online auction will close March 23 at 8:00 p.m Eastern Daylight Time.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Despite tourism industry's challenges, recession gloom seems overstated
Two years ago the state of Wisconsin extended the anterless deer hunting season into mid-December. Snowmobile groups objected, given that snowmobile clubs were not about to open trails until bullets stop flying.
Read complete story from BusinessNorth.com

Waterfowl hunting has large economic impact in midwestern states
WASHINGTON — Waterfowl hunters spent $900 million on a variety of goods and services from food, transportation, guns and decoys to hunting dogs, clothing and other incidental expenses in 2006, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These trip and equipment-related expenditures generated more than $2.3 billion in total economic output for 2006, which resulted in $157 million in federal and state tax revenues, supported more than 27,000 jobs, and generated more than $8.5 million in employment income.
Read complete story from infoZine.com

Rare reptile hatchling found on NZ mainland
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A hatchling of a rare reptile with lineage dating back to the dinosaur age has been found in the wild on the New Zealand mainland for the first time in about 200 years, a wildlife official said Thursday.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Montana man ties state record by reeling in 3.7-ounce pygmy whitefish
A Kalispell man ice fishing on Bitterroot Lake in northwestern Montana on Tuesday caught a tiny fish so big that it tied a state record.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

What's a Chinese duck doing in Wausau? And how did it get here?

Jodi Krautkramer and her boyfriend, Brent Nieslowski, are trying to find out. They spotted the apparent Mandarin duck on Sunday while walking at Oak Island Park over their college spring breaks.
Read complete story from the Wausau Daily Herald

House panel votes to end access to handgun permits
NASHVILLE — Tennessee's database of state-issued permits to carry loaded handguns would be closed from public inspection under a proposal headed for a full House vote.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Negligent homicide in hunting death upheld
NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana's Supreme Court has reinstated the negligent homicide conviction of a man who shot his friend to death in an Avoyelles Parish deer hunting accident.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Bat hung onto shuttle during liftoff
A bat that was clinging to space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank during the countdown to launch the STS-119 mission remained with the spacecraft as it cleared the tower, analysts at NASA's Kennedy Space Center concluded.
Read complete story from NASA.gov

Man finds 41 snakes in buddy's crawl space
Jeff Stafford's buddy owes him a few beers — and 41 brews would still be a bargain for the colony of bull snakes Stafford found slithering in the crawl space of friend's townhome in Westminster Sunday.
Read complete story from The Denver Post

Wolf numbers up again, but expansion slowing
BILLINGS, Mont. — Federal officials say a record 1,645 gray wolves counted in the Northern Rockies this winter shows the predators' population remains strong, but is no longer expanding as rapidly as in past years.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

New government brochure explains climate science
WASHINGTON — Day after day, reports of the dangers of climate and climate change circulate in the news, often filled with confusing data and debate.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Rare vine in Hawaii designated endangered species
HONOLULU — A rare Hawaii vine has been added to the endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday. It's the second species to be classified as endangered by the Obama administration. The first was the reticulated flatwoods salamander, an amphibian native to south Georgia, north Florida and coastal South Carolina. It was put on the list last month.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Researchers find pint-sized meat-eating dinosaur
WASHINGTON — Imagine a vicious velociraptor like those in "Jurassic Park," but only as big as a modern chicken. That's what Canadian researchers say they have found, the smallest meat-eating dinosaur yet discovered in North America. This pint-sized cousin of velociraptor, weighing in at 4-to-5 pounds, "probably hunted and ate whatever it could for its size - insects, mammals, amphibians and maybe even baby dinosaurs," according to Nicholas Longrich of the University of Calgary.
Read complete story from The Bulletin

Family of chimp attack victim seeks $50M
STAMFORD, Conn. — The family of a woman mauled by a chimpanzee filed a lawsuit seeking $50 million in damages against the primate's owner, saying she was negligent and reckless for lacking the ability to control "a wild animal with violent propensities."
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Ancient fishing trap found off Welsh coast
A GIANT fish trap discovered off the West Wales coast has provided a rare glimpse of the "extreme fishing" of 1,000 years ago. Actor Robson Green has recently popularised the virtues of adventurous angling on a TV show that has seen him hunting piranha-like species and tackling catfish with his bare hands.
Read complete story from walesonline.co.uk

State wildlife official hooks fishermen
Lake Wales, Florida — Four fishermen from South Carolina had a very unlucky Friday the 13th. That's when a state wildlife officer seized their catch and charged them with going over their limit. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Jim Adams made the bust and seized more than a thousand fish from the four anglers.
Read complete story from 10connects.com

WVU wins 14th NCAA rifle title
FORT WORTH, Texas — The West Virginia University rifle team captured its 14th national championship Saturday afternoon at the TCY Rifle Range and the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The title is the first for the Mountaineers since 1998.
Read complete story from wvgazette.com

Anglers await game departments trout truck
GROTTOES, Va. — When Ricky Kincaid's truck pulls into town, he attracts the kind of attention the ice-cream man might get on a steamy summer afternoon. But Kincaid draws a different crowd, one made up of folks looking for a little outdoor fun.
Read complete story from the Daily News-Record

Sunday bowhunting may become legal
New Jersey bowhunters will pursue the state's exploding deer population on Sundays if Gov. Jon Corzine signs legislation approved today by the Assembly and last fall by the state Senate.
Read complete story from The Star-Ledger

Dog owners visit doctor less
UBC professor and author Stanley Coren says dogs work better than Prozac, a prescription antidepressant-- and that's no exaggeration. According to a study published recently in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, the positive effects of having a familiar, friendly dog close by include lowered blood pressure, slowed heartbeat and more relaxed muscles--all signs of reduced stress.
Read complete story from Calgary Herald

Giant fossilized sea monster
OSLO — A giant fossil sea monster found in the Arctic and known as "Predator X" had a bite that would make T-Rex look feeble, scientists said Monday. The 50 ft (15 meter) long Jurassic era marine reptile had a crushing 33,000 lbs (15 tonnes) per square inch bite force, the Natural History Museum of Oslo University said of the new find on the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
Read complete story from Yahoo News

Park service wants to get the lead out
The United States National Parks Service announced Tuesday it would begin taking action to phase out the use of lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle in parks under its jurisdiction by the end of 2010. The announcement brought forth opposition, especially in the hunting and firearms industry.
Read complete story from stjoenews.com

Clearing Big Bend air in Texas will take 146 years
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas — Growing up in a speck of a desert town in the heart of Texas' Big Bend region, Delia White once had picturesque views of rugged mountains in every direction. On a clear day, she could see jagged peaks a 100 miles away.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Champion of environmental stewardship dies
Jack Lorenz, who became a nationally prominent advocate for nature preservation during 18 years as executive director of the Izaak Walton League, and who developed a code of ethics governing outdoor activities, died of a stroke March 2 at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, where he was visiting. He was 69 and lived in Woodstock, Va.
Read complete story from The Washington Post

Poisoned, wounded Calif. condor treated at LA zoo
LOS ANGELES — A California condor captured because it appeared sickly was found to not only be suffering from lead poisoning but also had been shot, animal experts said Friday.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Poachers fight use of GPS by wardens
Ogden, Utah — A trapper accused of illegally killing bobcats is challenging the use of a GPS device that was attached to his truck as he visited dozens of trap lines in northern Utah. Lawyers for Jared Beal, 41, of North Ogden, say game wardens weren't justified in using the Global Positioning Device, which they surreptitiously attached to his truck at his home.
Read complete story from The Salt Lake Tribune

Turkey knocks motorcycle rider off bike
BUCKFIELD, Conn. — A Sunday afternoon motorcycle ride to shake off winter's cabin fever took a serious turn for a Hartford rider after he was knocked off his bike by a wild turkey. Jeffrey Russell, 23, of Hartford, was being treated for a fractured collarbone Sunday night at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after the 4:25 p.m. accident.
Read complete story from sunjournal.com

Hunter busted for bolting antlers on doe
BURLINGTON, Vt. — A man who bolted antlers to the head of a dead doe and posed for a photograph with the deer was fined $400 and jailed for game violations.
Read complete story from Talk Radio 570 KLIF