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Next Dive Club Outing

Aug 20 - Stillwater Cove, Sonoma

Campsites 5 &6

 

In Other Ocean News:

Our club's Aug 20th camping at Stillwater weekend is the same weekend as the SCAN fundraiser (Sonoma County Abalone Network) at Ocean Cove so is anyone can get up early Saturday they can participate. Also there is usually a big potluck on Saturday night - we can save a plate or two for late comers if anyone is interested. It is a great group and a fun dive - the best prizes are the raffle prizes. You can enter the day of the event ($40.00).

From Our friends at the DFG:

Freshwater and Ocean Sport Fishing Supplement Now Available

The 2011-2012 Freshwater & Ocean Sport Fishing Supplemental Regulations booklet was published on the DFG website at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations earlier this month. Paper copies of the booklet will be available soon wherever sport fishing licenses are sold and at your local DFG office.

Of particular interest to saltwater sport fishermen, the supplement contains final regulations for ocean salmon and for groundfish. Many regulation changes are now in effect for the groundfish fishery.

Groundfish include over 80 species of fish, some very popular with sport fishermen. The more popular groundfish species targeted by sport fishermen include rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, greenlings, leopard shark, and California scorpionfish (sculpin). Also included are Pacific sanddab and other species of flatfishes including flounder and sole, skates, sharks, rays, cod, and others. For a complete list of federally managed groundfish species, visit the DFG website at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/groundfish_fedlist.asp

California Outdoors Q&A: Paper Fishing License vs. Scanned Copy on Smartphone?

Question: If I scan my fishing license and save it as a pdf file on my smartphone, can I then just show my license saved on my phone to any game warden who asks to see my license?

Answer: No, you are required to have your actual sport fishing license in possession while fishing. Fishing and hunting licenses are printed on special waterproof paper to prevent fraudulent duplication. A scanned or digital version of your license on your phone could be easily altered from its original image.

Dungeness Crabs

Question: I have a couple of questions that I'm hoping you can answer. First, what is the best method for keeping Dungeness crab alive and in the best cooking condition for hours, or even three or four days? Secondly, when less than 50 percent of the crabs quit moving, are they still edible? If so, is there a time frame for this? Thanks in advance for any information. Many of us crab catchers who need these answers might now be wasting an unnecessary number of delectable Dungeness crabs.

Answer: Ideally, its always safest to keep the crabs alive until you're ready to put them directly into the cooking pot. To keep them alive for transport, the crabs should be kept cool, moist, covered with fresh seaweed, and then covered with a soaked burlap bag on top. You should be able to keep them alive overnight (and maybe longer) this way, but I
wouldn't push it. To keep them alive for several days, you'll need a well-aerated saltwater tank, ideally with filtration. Without good aeration and filtration, low levels of dissolved oxygen becomes an issue, and as the crabs urinate in the water (turns bluish), without filtration the meat will slowly spoil.

As far as how long the crabs will remain edible after dying, I wouldn't wait longer than an hour or so to toss them into a boiling pot. Once crabs die, the meat starts to decompose if not cooked quickly. One reason is because when the crab dies, its mid-gut gland (the source of food digestion enzymes) is soon attacked and damaged by those same enzymes, and then the enzymes spread out into the muscle tissue, breaking it down into mush. Yuck!

Bottom line …Dungeness crab are one of California's most delicious and popular seafoods, and they are always best enjoyed when kept alive until ready to drop into the cooking pot.

Mussels

Question: I'd like to collect some mussels from Monterey Bay but know there are health warnings during certain times of the year. Is it safe now? Is there someplace on the Web where I can check?

Answer: Mussels may be taken year-round but health warning quarantines are currently in effect for consumption of mussels. The California Department of Public Health monitors and annually quarantines the take of mussels for human consumption to prevent cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning and domoic acid poisoning. The quarantine is usually in effect from May through October. For updated information on quarantines and naturally occurring shellfish toxins, please call the California Department of Public Health's Shellfish Biotoxin Information Line at (510) 412-4643 or toll-free at (800) 553-4133.

Female Crabs

Question: My son and husband have been sport crab fishing for years. They always release the females but have noticed that the male-to-female ratio in their pots is much higher for males compared to females. I tell them that the females are smarter and stay out of the traps, but I'm sure there is a scientific reason for the difference. They rarely find a female in their pots, and when they do it is late in the season. Any idea why?

Answer: While I'm sure your theory of the females just being smarter is probably true (wink), the real reason is more likely because the females are much smaller and the escape ports allow the smaller females to escape more readily from the traps before they are pulled to the surface.

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