All posts by snjones

Kenai dipnetters to see enforcement of new fish waste laws in 2013!!!

First of all, kudos to the City of Kenai for FINALLY addressing this problem. As a life-long Kenai Beach dipnetter, I have hands-on experience as to what this zoo looks like. And every year, the crowd swells alongside the trash and waste.

This year, the City of Kenai has refined laws already in place regarding fish waste. There was a general law, but never specified WHERE people needed put their gut pile. This new enforcement (backed by newly hired seasonal officers, a $150 fine [reduced from $500], and a new sandrake) states that dipnetters MUST dispose of fish waste IN the water. What did all this cost? $172,350.

What a waste of money. This plan is about as watertight as a gillnet. Here are some problems I have with the new ordinance:

1.  People are gonna get PISSED when you start throwing guts in their nets and faces.

2. The tides WILL carry the guts BACK to the top of the beach, so what’s the point?

3. Solution to #2: Kenai spent a crapload of money on a “sandrake” to groom the beach and “push the guts back into the water”. What happens if there is actual TRASH buried or hanging around? They are going to push it INTO the ocean?

4. [On the sandrake] :

“…[the sandrake] will make the beach more aesthetically pleasing, because no one “likes hanging around rotten fish.’ Second, the fish carcasses attract warm-blooded animals, like birds and dogs. Those animals are the source of a fecal bacteria found in the river.”

FIRST – I don’t know an Alaskan dipnetter that will avoid fishing because of the rotten fish around. Those who DO have a problem with it are probably tourists and shouldn’t be dipnetting anyhow!

SECOND – Birds have been pooing in our river for thousands of years, ain’t gonna stop now. As for the dogs, is there a special tide that pushes dog poo UP the river? No. Fecal bacteria in the river originates IN THE RIVER (aka people using the river as a potty while fishing the banks).

Rant over. And yes, I am very glad to hear Kenai is taking notice and wants to do something about the problem. I only wish that they were more organized about it and used logical reasoning instead of spending more money. Think smarter, not harder!

Study shows depleted fish stocks can come back from the brink

First thing I thought of when I read the title and first paragraph was “Yeah, RIGHT.” I was a pessimist until about halfway through when they started talking about the study design and assumptions (WHEW!).

So, a few Canadian scientists and professors came together and decided they wanted to learn more about fish stocks. They used a statistical modeling method used in medicine, called Survival Analysis. This method estimates how fast a patient will recover from a disease if given certain treatments. Sounds good, right? These fish scientists tweaked it. They wanted to see how fish stocks (the patient) would recover from over-exploitation (disease) when stricter management is applied (treatment). And what they found is pretty much as expected. If you take the pressure off, a population will bounce back. Of course this changes when considering the fecundity, life span and many other factors of a species.

But, the coolest part is that these fish populations could bounce back faster than we have estimated. One example of this would be the the summer flounder in the mid-Atlantic, off the US coast. One not-so-good example would be the Atlantic halibut – severely overfished and slow to reproduce.

“Nature is not as fragile as we might suppose,” Jensen said. “Just because a fish stock has been overexploited for a long time doesn’t mean we should give up on it.”

Fish Kills along the Mississippi River

Many concerned citizens are calling in reporting dead fish lining the river banks of the Mississippi in Davenport, Iowa. Fish kills are usually not taken lightly, but in this case, they are not too big of concern.

Gizzard Shad Fish are very dependent on their environment. If there is a large sway in the temperature, they end up lining the river banks. The local Fish and Game department says this is nothing new. These Gizzard Shad go through seasonal kills each year, some more than others. Davenport is about as far north as they travel, and when the temperatures are warm they thrive. But as soon as a cold year comes through – they die by the masses.

The Fish and Game department isn’t really concerned about this at all. They mentioned that many species thrive on the kills – other fish, birds and wildlife. And if

other fish species started to wash ashore with them, they would immediately investigate the cause.

But, other than the stink of rotting fish, this community doesn’t have anything to worry about.


fish kills gizzard shad

Shark dies in making of Kmart Ad

*Spoiler Alert! Some slightly naughty language may be used here*



This is one  those stories that really pisses me off about people and multinational corporations. They’ll do anything to make money.

In Los Angeles, CA on March 6, a white-tipped shark died in captivity. His purpose? To star in a Kmart advertisement.  The article stated that the 5 foot shark became overwhelmed and very stressed when the actors were jumping in and out of the pool.  While specialized veterinarians were on staff, and did everything possible to save the shark, he did not survive.

This article was clearly written with the thoughts of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in mind. While I am definitely not a “PETA” type of person (I hunt, fish and enjoy a good steak) – I harvest humanely.  Humane treatment of these animals has been a HUGE problem for quite some time (and not exclusively sharks). A white-tip shark’s homeland is literally AN OCEAN. It is simply impossible to recreate this setting in a captive environment. For starters, the noise a simple water filtration system makes is enough to cause lethal stress in dolphins (Documentary: The Cove) – so imagine having a bunch of actors splashing about. Yes, more than enough stress to be lethal.

The capture of these large ocean-dwellers for entertainment purposes is horrible. From companies like Sea World to Kmart – they are all in it to make money and probably only care about the bad publicity that will come from a death like this one. Which is incredibly saddening.


For those of you who have not watched or heard of “The Cove“, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is about the secretive slaughter and sale of dolphins for both food and entertainment in Japan.







Fish attracted to same-sex Flirts

I reported on an article from the BBC website written in December 2012.

A recent study found that male Atlantic mollies exhibit homosexual tendencies.

Mollies will “nip” at the genital opening of females to show that they are ready to mate. Males will actually do this to other males, as well. The scientists of this study called it a “conundrum”. Although homosexuality occurs in most species across the globe, it contradicts Darwinism.

Females always preferred attractive males (who did not need to show homosexual tendencies). But when only unattractive males were available, those who showed their “ability” or “good health” via homosexual “nipping” were preferred.

The scientists suggested that this may be to show the females they are physically fit and healthy, which may, increase their fitness.

Salmon ‘losing distinct genetic differences’

I reported on an article written in October 2010 and posted on the BBC news website about Atlantic salmon and the environmental and genetic challenges they are currently facing in Europe.

A team of biologists conducted a study from 1988 through 2007 that involved in taking tissue samples from 924 adult salmon. These fish were taken from 5 rivers in Asturias, Spain to measure genetic differences among them.

Due to public desire, larger salmon have been introduced to these rivers that select for smaller salmon. The larger salmon have interbred with the local, smaller salmon and phenotypic differences have occurred. The suggested problem with this is that these “hybrid” salmon may not be suited to the climate changes they now face and may lead to a massive plunge in this salmon population.

The study also found that the warmer waters are naturally causing salmon to lose their “homing” abilities and end up in the wrong rivers to spawn.

The biologists stated that “The ability to disentangle the effects of climatic changes and anthropogenic factors (fisheries management practices) is essential for effective long-term conservation of this iconic species.”





Pigmy Seahorse – Hippocampus bargibanti

Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) –  Bargibant’s seahorse, common pygmy seahorse

I am the smallest species of Seahorse that is known to man – measuring a stout 2 cm tall!


One difference between males and females – the men carry the eggs and young around in their trunk! Once fertilized and released from the female, the male houses them inside his body.

Have one breeding partner during the breeding season, but the partner may change in between seasons.

I live in gorgonian sea fans, sea grasses and soft corals. I even have polyps on my body that allow me to blend in with my environment!

You can find me in shallow, warm tropic waters 🙂 I don’t usually stray too far from my camouflaged home, though.

I don’t really travel far. I just wrap my tail around a branch of coral or seagrass and catch food as it drifts by. I usually like to stick to tiny crustaceans.

Anything bigger than me is pretty much an enemy. That’s why I choose to live in a home I can blend into. As for friends, I like to hang out with other Pygmies, like myself.






Pigmy Seahorse