Outdoors notebook: Top amateur anglers headed to Erie
Some of the region's top amateur bass anglers will be coming to Pennsylvania with big dreams this summer.
BASS Nation will hold its Mid-Atlantic Divisional July 22-26 on Lake Erie, centered in Presque Isle State Park. About 100 anglers representing Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Zimbabwe will compete.
Among the qualifiers from Pennsylvania are Ryan Buttermore, Chris Kimmel and Matt Becker, members of the Fort Pitt Bassmasters; Phil Coffin of the PA Southwest Bassmen; Mike Moran of the Road Warriors; Daniel Gray of Lock 3; Ben Billott of the Happy Hookers; Ben Barr of Extreme Anglers; Ian Hanna of Loyalhanna Bassmasters; and Shaun Brown of Basscasters. Those are all clubs from Western Pennsylvania.
The top finishers at the Erie divisional advance to the Federation Nation National Championship, where they'll have a shot to advance to the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.
Tri-County Trout Club is offering a fly fishing program for 20 youngsters.
Boys and girls ages 10 to 16 can sign up for the classes, which start Saturday at Burrell Lake Park and run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday through April 13. Students will learn about cold-water resources, fly fishing, conservation and an appreciation of nature and the outdoors. There will be time spent fishing, learning to cast, tie flies and read streams, insect identification work and more.
Equipment is provided. For information, contact Mike Tutolo at 724-335-1095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa, like Pennsylvania, found chronic wasting disease within its borders in 2012. The disease has spread much faster there than here, however. Whereas Pennsylvania has, to date, found two animals with the disease, Iowa has found six. There as here, all of the sick animals were being pen-raised.
Virginia, meanwhile, found one wild, 3 1⁄2-year-old buck with the disease near West Virginia and where other sick deer were found in each of the three previous years.
For the first time in decades, it soon might be possible to hunt grizzly bears in the lower 48 states.
A coalition of wildlife agencies representing several western states met recently and said that if and when bear populations are fully recovered and federal protection on them is removed, hunting will need to be a part of their management.