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Outdoor Notes : Federal Saltwater Licensing Plan Is Opposed

April 04, 1986

The Sport Fishing Institute has predicted there will be vigorous opposition to a proposed plan for mandatory federal licensing of saltwater sport fishermen.

The plan, as described in President Ronald Reagan's 1987 budget: A $10 federal saltwater sportfishing license, $5 of which would be kept by the issuing coastal state, the rest directed to the federal treasury. The plan, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Sport Fishing Institute, would yield a total of $40 million from the 23 U.S. coastal states.

Eight states, including California and Texas, already assess a fee for saltwater fishing. Said the Sport Fishing Institute: "A federal saltwater license for the 15 states that currently do not require a license to fish in salt water is a political quagmire. Suggesting a saltwater license as a debt reduction measure is incomprehensible."

How do migrating tuna travel unerringly across thousands of miles of ocean? Biologists at the University of Hawaii and from the National Marine Fisheries Service may have found the answer. Both groups report that yellowfin tuna have microscopic organs in their snouts which may be a small "compass." The organ, with nerves linking it to the fish's brain, contains about 10 million crystals of the mineral magnetite.

Magnetite, which has magnetic properties, appears to give the tuna the ability to navigate by responding to the Earth's magnetic fields.

President Reagan recently nominated Frank H. Dunkle of Colorado as director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dunkle is presently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinator for the Colorado River Endangered Fishes program in Denver.


U.S. Bass will hold a $75,000 bass tournament April 26-27 at Lake Mohave. . . . Mesa, Ariz., fisherman Doug Pinotti recently caught an Arizona-record, 2-pound 9-ounce yellow bullhead in the Colorado River near Bullhead City, Ariz. John Swanke, South Weber, Utah, recently caught a 34-pound 4-ounce striped bass at Lake Powell and won the lake's $500 striper derby. . . . The Balboa Angling Club celebrated its 60th birthday March 17. . . . Fly fishing authors, fly tyers, casters and guides will present two days of hourly instruction and demonstrations at the conclave of the Southwest Council, Federation of Fly Fishers, April 12-13 at the Amfac Hotel, near LAX. . . . Showtime: Anaheim Boat Show, Anaheim Convention Center, April 9-13; Western Recreation Vehicle Show & Sale, Long Beach Convention Center and Sports Arena, April 16-20. . . . Two Southland sportfishing magazines, California Angler and Today's Fisherman, have merged.

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