Weather and water conditions permitting, hundreds of Southland anglers will be fishing for the future Friday through Sunday.
White Seabass Weekend, as the event is being called, is aimed at catching enough of the popular game fish to supply Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute with more breeding-size fish for future use in a hatchery under construction in Carlsbad.
United Anglers of Southern California, spearheading the three-day event, says it needs more volunteers because catching more fish for brood-stock is necessary to ensure adequate genetic diversity within the hatchery stock and fry produced by the stock.
The group hopes to catch 100 fish this weekend and another 100 at a similar event in the near future. Any fish caught will be held at Hubbs-Sea World until the hatchery opens in early July. It is hoped the hatchery will supplement a fishery that has suffered declines over the years because of overfishing and loss of estuarine habitat in which the fish spawn.
To register a boat and qualify for a batch of live squid--the favorite food of the seabass--anglers can call Jock Albright at (714) 722-7274.
There still is space available on 11 boats participating in the event. The boats will be running out of Helgren's Sportfishing in Oceanside, Dana Wharf Sportfishing in Dana Point, Davy's Locker in Newport Beach, 22nd St. Landing and Long Beach Sportfishing in Long Beach, and L.A. Harbor Sportfishing in San Pedro.
Those contributing legal-size white seabass--those 28 inches or larger--during or even after the event will have their names displayed on the tiles at the new hatchery.
Albright said there are about 125 boats registered for this weekend's event, but added that it may not go off as planned. "The water has been murky and there is the threat of rain," he said. "People who have registered can call the number (listed above) Thursday afternoon and they'll be told whether it's a go or no-go."
At least one hiker will think twice before snoozing again in the Montana wilderness.
Bill Gustafson, napping on the banks of the state's Flathead River, was oblivious to the fact that a garter snake had crawled onto his chest.
As is nature's way, the snake attracted a circling hawk, which dove for the kill.
Backpacker Magazine, quoting Montana's High Country News, said Gustafson awoke "just in time to see the hawk diving straight toward him."
It snatched the snake cleanly, leaving only small scratches in Gustafson's chest.
The incident was witnessed by two nearby fishermen, Backpacker said.
BAJA FISHING--Striped marlin flags continue to fly as boats are reporting multiple catches with surprising regularity. The fish in the last two days have moved from the Gordo Banks on the gulf side of the Baja California peninsula to the Golden Gate area on the Pacific side. Yellowfin tuna, some pushing 100 pounds, and dorado are abundant enough to provide anglers with an occasional change of pace. Weather and water conditions have been ideal.
La Paz: Yellowfin tuna bite remains outstanding, with fish to 125 pounds biting at the Embudo Bank. Most fish, however, are in the 30- to 80-pound range. Large pargo are still being taken at Cerralvo Island.
Loreto: Strong winds have kept the fleet for the most part at bay, and those getting out are finding the fishing extremely tough, with only an occasional yellowtail taking the bait, or in most instances, the iron lures.
Note: Neil Kelly, co-author of The Baja Catch, will give a seminar on spring fishing in Baja on March 30 from 7-10 p.m. at Discover Baja Travel Club in San Diego. Details: (800) 727-2252.
FLY FISHING--The Southwest Council Federation of Fly Fishers' annual conclave--featuring new product displays, auctions and clinics--will be held April 8-9 at the Newport-Irvine Radisson Hotel. Details: (818) 349-2649. . . . A three-week introductory course taught by Dennis Komatsu and Dave Shaffer will be held April 11, 18 and 25 at Fisherman's Spot in Van Nuys. Details: (818) 785-7306.
MISCELLANY--Conejo Valley Archers is holding its annual Pacific Coast Traditional Challenge, a jamboree and several contests, April 8-9 at its range in Thousand Oaks. Details: (805) 376-8183. . . . A bird dog training seminar by Bill West will be held April 8-9 near Redlands. Details: (909) 793-7798.