Next Dive Club Outing:


May 28th - 31st - (Fri-Mon/Memorial Day)

Russian Gulch group site, Mendocino

see earlier e-mail for more details - parking restrictions

Golden Ab two years runnin' - ThreePeat?

Abalone Cook-off


In other Ocean News:

From our Friend at the DFG, Carrie Wilson:
California Outdoors Q & A:

Humanely Wrangling Halibut

Question: I'd like to try spearfishing for halibut. If I do find a nice one, can you tell me the best way to quickly kill the fish when I get to it in order to minimize any pain? There must be some spot on the fish where by using a knife, I can quickly kill it with the least suffering. (Justin M, San Diego)

Answer: A well-placed shot with a spear will immobilize a halibut fairly quickly and is probably the most efficient means of killing the fish. According to Department of Fish and Game Associate Marine Biologist Ed Roberts, most spear fishermen do not need to dispatch their fish after retrieving them as the actual shot usually does so. To minimize the struggle and ethically kill your halibut, direct your shots to the spine or brain. On those occasions when you may need to dispatch a halibut or other round fish (as opposed to a flat fish), bring it to the boat and strike the fish on the top of the head, in between the eyes, with a blunt instrument like a "fish billy" rather than with a knife. Trying to do so with a knife on a small boat can be dangerous.

If you are a novice, it is probably not a good idea to attempt to struggle with and subdue a large, wounded halibut underwater with one hand while holding a sharp knife in the other. If you are determined to try to kill the fish as quickly as possible while underwater, you might consider tearing out a gill arch with your hands, or severing it with a knife. Be careful doing this, however, because halibut do have sharp gill rakers and teeth that can cause injury to unprotected fingers. Blood vessels in the arches carry copious amounts of blood to and from the gills, so severing these vessels would cause the fish to bleed to death in short order.

Is putting that much blood in the water a good idea? I'll leave that up to you, but remember that the sound waves created by the struggling, wounded fish may attract the attention of other large predatory fish. Remember too that many of these predators have highly developed sensory systems, and these sensations will probably travel farther and quicker through the water than will the blood.

Question: I read your answer to a recent question regarding whether trout can be shipped across state lines, and you said the answer was no. Are there similar restrictions on shipping abalone to friends in other states? Thanks. (Kelly K.)

Answer: The possession limit for abalone is three, so you may not ship more than three abalone at any time. Neither the shipper nor the recipient may possess more than the legal limit at any given time. You also may not offer for transportation by common carrier more than one bag limit at a time, and the common carrier transporting the abalone may not legally receive for transportation more than the bag limit during any interval of time (CCR Title 14, Section 29.15).
The abalone must be shipped whole, in the shell, with the tags still attached. Abalone can only be legally removed from the shell once they are being prepared for immediate consumption. Abalone may not be shipped by parcel post.
Keep in mind that to send or give abalone to an out-of-state person, you must also abide by the importation laws of the state where the abalone will be going. Different states may have different importation regulations that prohibit or restrict such shipments. Check with the authorities of the state where you'd like to ship for their requirements before trying to do so

North Coast State Parks Day Use Parking Closures:

Be aware that the day use parking along most of the coast will be closed Nov. 2 - June 30 due to CA State Parks budget reductions. Fort Ross will be open Fri-Sun. Gerstle Day Use will still be open (though the bathrooms are closed)


Schoolgirl Jessica Watson due home after solo round-the-world sail

Celebrations and just a hint of controversy await 16-year-old Australian as she sails into Sydney after seven months at sea.

Pink Lady on the high seas

According to navigation experts at the respected Sail-world.com magazine, Watson will have travelled 18,265 nautical miles, but a valid circumnavigation requires 21,600.
That is not to detract from her otherwise remarkable achievement and raw guts, the magazine said.
But it added that, though her log may show she has travelled 23,000 nautical miles, as claimed by her PR team, this includes "tacking and gybing", and not the straight line distances required.
Their claims have led to ill-tempered exchanges with Watson's PR manager Andrew Fraser, and criticism from the many Watson supporters gripped by her journey

It's a moot point. Following the furore over allowing ever younger sailors to undertake such a risky endeavour, sparked when the Dutch courts intervened last year to prevent Laura Dekker, 13, from setting sail solo, the WSSRC no longer recognises the category of "the youngest".
So Watson will claim no record. But at stake are the millions she could, potentially, earn as a result of her highly-publicised venture. One of Rupert Murdoch's Australian papers has bought her exclusive story for a reported A$700,000 (£430,000), and a TV station has exclusive live rights. Watson, who has been sailing since she was eight, will step off her yacht and into a whirlwind nationwide "Meet Jessica" tour. A book is due out in July.
Meanwhile her website is doing brisk trade in baseball hats, wall charts and other sailing paraphernalia. It boasts 14 major sponsors, and the apple growers Pink Lady Australian hope she will become the company's poster girl.

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