Outdoor Briefs July 14 2017

Fire restrictions in place at FWP sites in Custer County

Fire restrictions are now in place throughout Custer County, including on Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) properties.

According to an FWP news release, campfire and smoking restrictions are in place at Twelve Mile Dam Fishing Access Site (FAS), Kinsey Bridge FAS, Bonfield FAS, Roche Jaune FAS and Pirogue Island State Park.

“Stage 1 restrictions mean that people cannot build or maintain a campfire. People also may not smoke except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of flammable materials,” the news release noted. Cooking is allowed with propane or liquid petroleum gas stove that can be turned off.

Boaters must stop at every inspection station, every time

Watercraft users in Montana must stop every time they pass an AIS watercraft inspection station, even if they have previously been inspected, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks..

According to Region 6 Warden Captain Ron Howell, “many folks have been bypassing inspection stations after previously being inspected, thinking they are in the clear for the day, or even the weekend, with the copy of the inspection form.”

Howell said the carbon copy of the inspection form is not a “free pass” to bypass a station. “Boaters still have to stop every time.”

Custer State Park lakes reopen following E.coli concerns


RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Two lakes at Custer State Park have reopened to swimmers following some health concerns.

Julie Brazell from Custer State Park tells KOTA-TV test results show that E. coli is no longer a problem at Sylvan and Stockade Lakes.

The lakes were temporarily closed after high levels of E. coli were found in the water. Other activities such as boating and fishing are also allowed. Park officials test the water weekly.

Fisherman hauls in Texas record hammerhead shark

TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) — A 1,033-pound (468 kilogram) hammerhead shark caught over the weekend during a fishing tournament based in Texas City is a record for the species in Texas and one of the largest fish ever caught in the state.

Tim McClellen has been fishing for 20 years and says you never know what’s going to bite when you drop your line.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department records show his hammerhead caught offshore in the Gulf of Mexico tops the old mark set 37 years ago by 162 pounds.

Records also show the biggest fish in Texas is a 1,129-pound tiger shark reeled in from the gulf in 1992.

Protesters mad about fishing ban surround Minnesota governor

ISLE, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s governor canceled a meeting with business owners around a lake after protesters in boats encircled him on the lake to protest a temporary ban on walleye fishing.

The Star Tribune reports that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton was with a group fishing for bass on Mille Lacs Lake on Saturday when about 75 protesters encircled him.

Walleye fishing — even catch and release — is prohibited on the lake for the next three weeks. The Department of Natural Resources is trying to protect walleyes from hooking mortality, the problem of fish dying after they’re released.

Dayton spokesman Sam Fettig said the governor was expecting the protest but decided not to go ahead with the meeting because the protesters were shouting, surrounded the boat and made it difficult to fish. Dayon said he didn’t want to “reinforce that kind of destructive behavior.”

Wildlife officers say dry weather is causing bear call spike

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Colorado officials are noticing a spike in bear calls, and believe the dry weather may have something to do with it.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Ranger Kurtis Tesch told the Aspen Daily News that the agency has been receiving about 10 calls each day on bear activity. Aspen police have gotten 31 bear calls just this month.

Tesch says that bears are having a tough time finding food. Chokecherries and service berries will not be sprouting until a few weeks and Tesch says the hot, dry weather has sucked the nutrients out of grass, which bears resort to eating in these situations.

Residents are asked to be extra vigilant about trash storage, not to leave food outdoors and lock doors and windows.