Another gray whale has been found dead, killed by a gill net off the Southern California coast. It's the second known net-caused whale death in the last two weeks.
According to the San Diego-based National Coalition for Marine Conservation, the latest incident--a 27-foot gray found dead on a Point Loma beach April 4--brings the number of known whale entanglements in gill nets since December to 12. Seven of the cases, the NCMC says, resulted in whale deaths.
The whale found dead at Point Loma may have been one seen days earlier off Long Beach, making slow headway because of a net it was caught in.
The NCMC is pushing for legislation that would restrict the use of gill nets off the coast, to protect not only marine mammals but non-targeted fish as well. The NCMC claims that thousands of blue sharks are caught and discarded by gill net fishermen each year. Studies also show, according to the NCMC, that many billfish are illegally killed in drift gill nets. The organization said 400 to 2,100 striped marlin were killed by gill nets in 1983.
The net that killed the Point Loma whale was an inshore monofilament net, commonly used by commercial fishermen to catch species such as halibut. The use of those types of nets has been restricted off the coast of Central California recently, after it was learned that they were killing sea otters, harbor porpoises, sea lions and marine birds.
The Fish and Game Commission has authorized the Department of Fish and Game to prepare a plan for control of mountain lions in areas where the cats are known to kill domestic sheep.
If approved, the plan for mountain lions in a Placer County area, Foresthill Divide, would be the first special management lion program since lions were dropped from game animal status to the protected list in 1972.
In the 130-square-mile Foresthill Divide, lions have killed an estimated 280 sheep since 1972, 123 in the last three years. Most likely, marauding lions will be shot.
The regional conclave of the Southwest Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers, with 21 fly fishing clubs participating, will meet April 20-21 at the AMFAC Hotel in Westchester. . . . A Salinas man, Manuel R. Huerta, was ordered to reimburse the state $3,000 and was sentenced to 15 days in the Monterey County jail after pleading no contest in a poaching case involving a deer and a tule elk. . . . The Verdugo Hills Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its fund-raising dinner April 23 at the La Canada Country Club, La Canada. . . . Bobby Garland, Washington, Utah, won the U.S. Bass Lake Mead Invitational pro fishing tournament, collecting $3,500 in cash and an $18,000 bass boat. . . . William V. Richardson, Reseda, has been sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading no contest to 12 Department of Fish and Game counts of unlawful possession of protected birds. . . . The National Rifle Assn. will hold a celebrity trap shoot June 29 at Prado Tiro, the Olympic shooting facility in Chino, to raise money for the U.S. shooting team. . . . Showtime: Outdoor Sports, Vacation and Recreational Vehicle Show continues through Sunday at the L.A. Convention Center; Anaheim Boat Show, through Sunday, Anaheim Convention Center.