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Outdoor Notes : DFG Plans to Try Chemical to Keep the Sea Lions Away

January 24, 1986

Operators of sportfishing party boats will begin experimenting next summer with fish spiked with a nausea-inducing chemical in hopes that sea lions will be discouraged from swiping fish from fishing lines.

The Department of Fish and Game experiment will be tried in San Diego, which has most of the Southland's sport fleet. Underwater bombs, high-volume radio transmissions and even guns have previously been used to chase bothersome sea lions away from sportfishing boats.

Since 1972, when the Marine Mammal Protection Act went into effect, forbidding the harming of sea lions, their numbers have quadrupled to about 75,000 in Southern California, biologists say.

During the experiment, sport fish such as mackerel, rock fish or kelp bass will be injected with lithium chloride, a chemical that causes any animal eating it to become temporarily ill.

"What we're hoping for is to get the sea lions to associate such food in the presence of fishing boats as an unpleasant experience," said DFG biologist Herb Frey.

The DFG's latest aerial survey of pronghorn antelope in northeastern California resulted in the highest count in more than 30 years. Survey team members counted 7,256 animals, 272 more than the previous high, 6,984, in 1982. Last year's count was 6,509.

The increase, biologists said, was caused by favorable weather, which stimulated increased kid production.

The DFG uses the survey information for its pronghorn hunting recommendations to the Fish and Game Commission. The state's pronghorn hunt in Modoc, Siskiyou and Lassen counties is held in late August and early September. Pronghorn numbers in the area have tripled in the last 22 years.

Briefly Roland Martin and other bass fishing pros will preside at Loyola Marymount University's bass fishing Institute Feb. 6 through March 6. . . . The government of Morocco will conduct a fishing tournament between France and the United States May 1-8 for a large species of corbina, called meagre. . . . The National Marine Manufacturers Assn. reports that recreation boat sales climbed for the third consecutive year in 1985, to $13.3 billion, and predicted that the cost of financing boats will drop in 1986. . . . Showtime: Don Bullock's Anaheim Gun Show, Feb. 1-2, Anaheim Convention Center. . . . The North American Field Shooting Championships are set for Feb. 21-23 at Sequim, Wash. . . . A Salt Lake City TV news account of the shooting of an endangered peregrine falcon flushed out a suspect, with several witnesses calling the TV station minutes after the story was reported. . . . A total of 109 pronghorn antelope, live-trapped in Wyoming, have been released in Nye and Lincoln counties in Nevada, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife. . . . The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reminds hunters that Feb. 1 is the deadline for non-resident elk hunting applications, and that March 15 is the application deadline for non-resident deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat hunts. . . . The American Kennel Club will conduct its first California clinic demonstrating its new noncompetitive hunting test for retrievers at Coto de Caza Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. . . . Pomona College biologist William Wirtz will discuss the suburban coyote at the Mt. Baldy Group of the Sierra Club Tuesday at La Fetra Hall, University of La Verne. . . . Carl Miller, Los Angeles, won the recent World Festival of Fishing at Rancho Buena Vista, Mexico.

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