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Outdoor Notes : Gill Net Initiative Again Falls Short of Needed Signatures

December 11, 1987|Pete Thomas

The Alliance for Resource Management announced that an initiative to ban gill nets along the California coastline did not reach the 550,000-signature goal required to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot for June of 1988.

This is the second time such an initiative has fallen short of the necessary signatures. The first was sponsored last year by editor Ken Kukuda of South Coast Sportfishing magazine.

The final count is incomplete, but ARM spokesman Larry Earlix estimated the shortfall at 250,000 signatures.

Despite the failure, Earlix said he was optimistic about next year.

"We're already prepared for next time," he said. "We know there is a broad-based general concern and we feel confident that we have the public mandate to take our position to the California state legislature. A whole state-wide organization of activists is now in place."

Should it fail again?

"If there continues to be a lack of commitment by the state in protecting the fragile ocean environment, we're just going back to the people and do it again," Earlix said.

The Department of Fish and Game reports a sad ending to a touching story involving an adult bald eagle found starving in Trinity County in 1980, nursed back to health and released back into the wild.

A fisherman on Shasta Lake reported that in November of 1980 an adult eagle dived at the angler's dog. The fisherman, using his arm, deflected the bird, which then crashed into a running light on the angler's boat.

Knocked unconscious, the eagle was pulled from the water by the angler, who left the dazed bird on his boat. After an hour or so, the eagle took to the air and was last seen clearing the mountains in the direction of Trinity Lake.

According to wildlife biologist Tim Burton, two deer hunters at Trinity Lake's Papoose Creek inlet spotted the eagle along the shore a week later and reported it to the DFG. The eagle was found there, taken in by the DFG and put under the care of a volunteer raptor recovery center in Chico.

The eagle was taken back to Trinity Lake and released in early 1981.

After six years of apparently prospering in the wild, the bird--identified by a leg band--was found dead in the Scott River in Siskiyou County last summer. A recent necropsy report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Wisconsin said the bird had most likely died after making contact with a high-voltage electric line.

Said biologist Ron Jurek: "It's good to know the bird was given a chance and was able to survive another six years in freedom."

Briefly DFG marine biologist Dennis Bedford will speak at the University of San Diego Dec. 16 on what has been learned during a two-year program of following tagged striped marlin. . . . Dr. James Conklin of Pittsburgh was awarded the Weatherby Big Game Trophy at the 31st annual awards dinner Dec. 3 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. . . . George Anderson, owner of a fishing store called the Yellowstone Angler, in Livingston, Mont., will be the featured speaker at the Sespe Flyfishers' meeting Dec. 16 at the Senior Recreation Center in Ventura.

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