Rural Missouri - March 2012 - (Page 14)

O U T D O O R S cross Missouri, thousands of anglers are preparing for the opening day of the 2012 catch-and-keep trout season, which begins March 1. They’re tying flies, checking rods and reels and making sure the camera is ready to capture images of the lunkers they hope to catch. But anglers who own felt or other porous-soled waders or boots have another step to take. They must either treat their waders or buy new ones to comply with a new regulation intended to prevent the spread of an invasive algae that has the potential to devastate Missouri’s trout streams. The felt-soled wader ban is among a handful of regulation changes for 2012. The invasive algae, Didymosphenia geminata — known more commonly as “didymo,” “rock snot” or “boulder boogers” — forms large, thick mats on the bottom of coldwater streams. As didymo builds up, it reduces the quality and quantity of food vital to fish such as trout and eventually makes fishing practically impossible. While it hasn’t been found in Missouri, didymo has established itself in the White River in Arkansas. “We don’t want it here because right now, there is no cure,” says Mark Van Patten, a fisheries biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. “We decided to take a proactive stance, but it’s still going to be up to the anglers to use due diligence.” Because porous-soled waders and boots tend to hold moisture for long periods of time, they have the potential to harbor the microscopic single-celled algae. An angler could unknowingly transport didymo from one stream to another, says Van Patten, adding that the felt ban is in effect at trout parks and along 18 Missouri rivers and streams where conditions would support didymo growth. “It’s up to the anglers,” says the Callaway Electric Cooperative A by Jason Jenkins 2012 Regulation Change Highlights • Beginning with the 2012 frog season, bullfrogs and green frogs may be taken on conservation areas using crossbows, pellet guns and .22 caliber or smaller rimfire rifles or pistols. • All-day dove hunting will be offered at 10 conservation areas where only partial-day hunting was allowed before. • Atlatls may be used during the fall archery deer and turkey seasons. • Additional hunting methods will be allowed during the muzzleloader portion of the firearms deer season, including archery methods, crossbows, atlatls, handguns firing expanding-type centerfire ammunition and air-powered guns, .40 caliber or larger, that are charged only from an external high-compression power source. • It’s illegal to plant seeds on MDC areas. For the complete Wildlife Code, visit “It’s pretty nasty stuff,” says the Laclede Electric member. “It almost looks like a bunch of junk and toilet paper hanging on the rocks. We sure don’t need it here in Missouri.” Walther says he plans to seal his felt-soled waders for opening day at Bennett Spring. While he agrees that the ban is necessary, he hopes MDC is lenient with enforcement in the beginning until news of the regulation change spreads. Van Patten has heard some complaints about the ban, but he hopes all anglers understand that a bit of inconvenience today could save their trout streams for tomorrow. “Ask yourself, ‘What’s your trout stream worth to you?’” says Van Patten. “Is it worth $150 to go buy a new pair of waders? How would you feel if you were the one who introduced didymo into your trout stream?” An MDC instructional video demonstrating how to treat felt-soled waders is online at Trout anglers are encouraged to replace their porous-soled waders and boots, like those on the left, with ones that have rubber or synthetic soles, like those on the right. Poroussoled waders will be prohibited in trout parks and on 18 trout streams starting March 1. New shoes for trout anglers Felt-soled wader ban tops 2012 regulation changes member. “They need to check their waders, clean them and make sure they treat them with salt water or dry them completely before they go from one stream to another.” While the easiest way to comply with the new regulation is to buy waders with rubber or synthetic soles, those who wish can treat their old waders to make the felt non-porous. Van Patten recommends using contact cement. An MDC instructional video that shows how is available online. “It’s an intermediate fix,” he says. “The cement will wear with each use, and you’ll have to re-treat.” John Walther is an avid trout angler from Jefferson City and a member of the Capital City Fly Fishers. He has fished the White River in Arkansas where “rock snot” already has been found. photo courtesy of New Zealand Fish & Game An invasive algae known as “didymo” or “rock snot” prompted Missouri to ban feltsoled waders in the state’s trout waters. Outdoor Notes T he U.S. Department of Agriculture will conduct a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up, beginning March 12 and ending April 6. CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and develop wildlife habitat. In return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. Currently, about 30 million acres are enrolled in CRP, and contracts on an estimated 6.5 million acres will expire on Sept. 30, 2012. For more information, visit a local USDA Farm Service Agency service center or C ••••• hronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a neurological disease affecting members of the deer family, has been found in Missouri’s free-ranging white-tailed deer herd for the first time. The Missouri Department of Conservation received two positive test results for CWD from tissue samples taken from deer harvested in northcentral Missouri during the 2011 fall firearms deer season. Both positive test results were from adult bucks harvested in Macon County close to private hunting preserves where two cases of the disease were discovered in 2010 and 2011. While there is no scientific evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans, health officials advise people to not eat meat from animals known to be infected with CWD or that exhibit signs of any disease. MDC plans to obtain more tissue samples for CWD testing by harvesting deer in the immediate area where the two infected deer were harvested. ending legislation in Jefferson City would allow anyone in Missouri to kill a mountain lion. Sen. Bill Stouffer of Napton filed the bill, which would require those who kill a mountain lion to report immediately to a state conservation agent and surrender the animal’s body within 24 hours. As of press time, no action had been taken on the bill. P ••••• 14 MARCH 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2012

Rural Missouri - March 2012
Stickin’ to it
Out of the Way Eats
Spending to save
Just vault
Guarding the honeybee
Hearth and Home
Callaway’s kingdom dinner
News Briefs
Around Missouri
The comical curator

Rural Missouri - March 2012