Archive for » February 22nd, 2012«

Flood’s Impact On Boating, Recreation

Nearly five months after the historic flooding along the Missouri River was declared over, the recovery lingers along the banks. And the river, itself, has changed dramatically.

As exhibitors set up at the CenturyLink Center for the Omaha Boat, Sports and Travel Show, opening Thursday, they’re optimistic this season will breathe new life into their industries. Although John Lawlor, of Omaha Marine Center, said last year wasn’t too bad. “Surprisingly, our business was up,” he said. “We thought it would be down. We’re not sure why it was up. It could have just been different elements of the economy.”

Lawlor suspects many of the boat buyers were among consumers who’d been holding back on such a major purchases. He said most of the sales came in advance of the summer’s flood.

Omaha Marine Center has reserved more space at this year’s Boat, Sports and Travel Show, expecting big crowds. Lawlor said, “Going into next season, everybody’s trying to be optimistic, but there’s four of the five marinas that have flood damage that may or may not recover.”

Brook Bench, who manages Omaha’s Parks Maintenance Division, assures the city’s marinas are making great strides toward recovery. He anticipates opening Lewis and Clark landing and N.P. Dodge Park to boaters by Memorial Day.

“We have a large crew in here,” Bench said just outside of N.P. Dodge Park, “and we also have a number of contracts here that will be starting within a couple of weeks, so it will be a lot more progress happening.”

However, not all areas of that park will rebound as quickly as the marina. The city does not plan to reopen the soccer or ball fields until next year. “We’re going to reseed this spring and it will take a year to come back,” Bench said.

Bellevue’s Haworth Park was harder hit. A spokesman for the city told Channel 6 News the clean-up and repair work is continuing, and they anticipate opening for public boating by late spring or early summer. Some limited campsite openings should come in time for Labor Day.

Lawlor has been staying in the loop on other area marinas, though, which could be questionable. “Castaway point in Plattsmouth got bad news from the Corps of Engineers about being declared a ‘flood plain,’ so we’re waiting to see what will happen with that. Then you’ve got the Cottonwood Marina in Blair is heavily damaged.”

Wherever boaters find their piece of the river, Nebraska Game and Parks’ Greg Wagner said they should exercise more caution this season. “Folks are going to see a changed river,” he said. “The sandbars they were accustomed to recreating on are not there… there’s more debris.” Some of that debris, he said, is substantial considering the flood uprooted hundred-year-old Cottonwood trees.

“There will be dramatic changes in places,” he said. “The channel may have changed.” Wagner recommends boaters do a “reconnaissance mission” of sorts, taking a slow trip up and down the river to get to know it post-flood.

He added, “If ever there was a year to prepare for the onslaught of insects, it’s this one. There are lots of backwater pools that exist with the river receding.” Those pools make perfect breeding grounds.

But he also said the flood created, “the perfect storm for fishing … organic food washing into the water, more hiding places.” He said many fish have washed downstream from the Dakotas. Salmon has been caught in northeast Nebraska below the Gavin’s Point Dam. And Walleye and Catfish are plentiful, he said, even fishing off the banks.

While Lawlor hopes that translates into boat sales, he suspects the trend toward fuel efficiency will grow with smaller boats and pontoons being the big sellers this year.

Outdoor enthusiasts can learn more at the Omaha, Sports and Travel Show. Doors open at 5 p.m. Thursday at the CenturyLink Center, and the show runs through 5 p.m. Sunday. Saturday is Kids’ Day. For more information, visit the show website by clicking here.

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Boater gets stuck in the Napa River mud

Planning to go boating on the Napa River? Experts recommend
staying in the marked navigable channel to avoid getting stuck in
the mud.

On Saturday, Rick Gudgel left Cuttings Wharf in his fishing boat
with his 

fiancee and a 2-year-old granddaughter to go fishing and
crabbing in the San Francisco Bay. Near Hercules, Gudgel’s boat
started acting up, so the Napa area contractor decided to head back
up the Napa River to Cuttings Wharf. 

Then things got worse. Around 4 p.m., Gudgel’s 17-foot boat got
stuck in the mud in the Napa River about a mile north of Highway
37, the contractor recalled Tuesday. He had strayed from the
channel and ended up in a slough during low tide, he said.

“I just got too far to the right,” Gudgel said sheepishly.

After Gudgel called for help, the U.S. Coast Guard and CalFire,
with the assistance of a California Highway Patrol helicopter,
figured the boat’s exact location.

In the end, all the parties involved decided to wait for the
tide to turn as no one was in danger. So for the next 4 1/2 hours,
Gudgel and his fiancee waited in the cold on the boat, which does
not have a cabin, as the toddler slept under a blanket. Flocks of
birds flew by as Vallejo’s city lights sparkled in the

Around 9 p.m., the tide turned, and Gudgel’s boat finally moved.
Gudgel decided to head back toward Vallejo to the Ferry building
where a daughter picked them up. 

“It was an experience,” said Gudgel, 39. 

But it’s also a common experience, according to the U.S. Coast
Guard station in Vallejo, which responds to incidents on the Napa

People call for help once or twice a month after they run
aground in the area, Coast Guard Petty Officer Ryan Anderson said

Probably more boats get stranded. “The vast majority do not call
us,” Anderson said.

Typically, the U.S. Coast Guard does not pull boats out unless
there is a medical problem, Anderson said.

Rick Thein, a longtime American Canyon resident, enjoys kayaking
on the Napa River in south Napa County.

Thein recommends boaters pay attention to the tides there and
locate the mudflats to avoid getting stranded. 

“It just drops,” he said, referring to the tide change. “But the
tide will come in and you will float again.” 

People should make sure to brink plenty of water and food. Just
in case, he said.

A friend of Gudgel’s, Pete Peralta, grew up fishing in the area.
He, too, got stuck in the mud near Mare Island a few years ago, he

“It’s shallow everywhere out there,” the Napa resident said. “If
you don’t stay in the channel, you’re going to get stuck,” he

On Sunday, Gudgel took his boat again on the Napa River. This
time he made it back to Napa. 

He does plan to take his boat to San Francisco Bay to go
crabbing again. “We’ll stay away from the slough,” Gudgel said.

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Volvo boats dodge 'black tide'

British police, fire and ambulance staff held a huge pre-Olympics security exercise Wednesday centering on a mock terrorist attack on the London subway system.

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Boat sales show bounce in January

Boat sales show bounce in January

Posted on 22 February 2012

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The U.S. boatbuilding industry began 2012 much the way it ended the previous year, with strong sales gains in two aluminum boat categories and the largest category of fiberglass boats.

January sales in the high-volume 11- to 40-foot outboard fiberglass segment were up 14.4 percent, to 1,064 boats, from the same month in 2011, according to figures compiled by Aarn Rosen, national sales manager at Statistical Surveys Inc.

Sales of aluminum fishing boats rose 17.3 percent in January, to 861 boats, and sales of aluminum pontoons rose 20.6 percent, to 263 boats.

The double-digit increases helped to lift sales in the industry’s main powerboat segments by 10.5 percent for the month, to 2,599 boats, from January 2011. Those segments consist of aluminum fishing and pontoon boats, plus fiberglass boats in five segments that range from 11 to 99 feet.

Industrywide, sales for the month were up 8.4 percent, to 3,756 boats.

The January results were tempered by the fact that the month traditionally produces the second-lowest sales volume of the year. January sales are just 2.6 to 3.5 percent of annual retail activity, but Rosen said the significance of the gains industrywide and in the main powerboat segments shouldn’t be discounted as the spring selling season — February through May — gets going.

“At least we’re seeing positive trends,” he said. “What we’re coming from is double-digit declines. The overall picture is a lot brighter than it has been.”

The sales information for January is based on registration data from 31 early reporting states that represent about 65 percent of the U.S. market. Rosen said reports of sales of documented vessels were complete only through Dec. 13 because of data entry delays at the Coast Guard. For that reason, he said, sales figures for boats 30 feet and larger are significantly understated in the data.

Sales in the core 14- to 30-foot fiberglass category fell 8.8 percent for the month, to 301 boats, sales in the 31- to 40-foot cruiser category dropped 18.7 percent, to 61 boats, and sales of 41- to 62-foot yachts declined 28.8 percent, to 42 boats.

“The fiberglass sterndrive business remains softer than all of the aluminum segments, but it’s better than last month,” Rosen said.

Sales of personal watercraft rose 1.7 percent in January, to 361 units. Sales of jet boats rose 37.5 percent, to 55 units, but sales of ski boats dropped 15.9 percent, to 69 units.

Sales of sailboats fell 6 percent, to 78.

Click here for January sales figures.

— Jack Atzinger

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Inflatable Fishing Boat Survives Great White Attack

–Chad Love

Great white shark. Inflatable fishing boat. Yeah, you know where this one’s headed…

From this story on the IOL News website:

An inflatable fishing boat has survived an attack by a great white shark off Strandfontein. The boat was anchored two miles out to sea when the shark attacked. Its crew was fishing for smooth hound sharks, which are preyed upon by great whites. One of the passengers had just pulled a smooth hound on to the boat when a great white stuck its head out of the water and took hold of the side of the boat. The shark bit down, puncturing the boat, held on and thrashed for over a minute. The boat, 8m long and 3m wide, was carrying five passengers and its two owners, Kevin Overmeyer and Chad Battle.

Graham Classen, one of the passengers, said: “I was less than an arm’s length away from the shark and all I could see were its giant rows of teeth. When it thrashed back and forth it shook the boat.” Classen said he was still shaken. “It was horrific. I thought the boat would sink. A nearby vessel radioed to see if we were going to need to bale. “It is only because of the owners, Kevin and Chad, that everyone made it back to land. They had the anchor up and us off to safer waters in minutes.” The attack left a gash about half a metre long as well as a number of the shark’s teeth in the boat’s hull, which workers in Kalk Bay harbour admired on Monday.

Hmmm, what’s the obvious takeway from this story?


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Wal-Mart sales bump comes on strength of national brand sales


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Wal-Mart has regained its footing by turning back the clock.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer reported a 5.8% increase in net sales in the fourth quarter 2012 and a similar gain for the entire fiscal year ending Jan. 31.

Dick Spezzano, president of Monrovia, Calif.-based Spezzano Consulting Inc., said Wal-Mart has re-established itself as an “everyday low price” leader of national brands after dabbling with a private-label approach.

“Wal-Mart is known for national brands at the lowest possible price,” Spezzano said. “It wasn’t known for the lowest price on private labels,” he said.

Net sales for 2012 were $443.9 billion, up 5.9% over fiscal year 2011, according to a Feb. 21 news release from Wal-Mart. The chain reported comparable store sales were up 1.5% in the 13-week period ending Jan. 27, compared with a 1.8% decline for the same period last year.

Along with an improving economy, Spezzano said food inflation may have helped the chain boost sales.

“We are pleased with Wal-Mart’s earnings performance for both the fourth quarter and the full year,” Mike Duke, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. president and chief executive officer, said in the release. “Today, every segment of our business is stronger than it was a year ago, and we’re in a great position for fiscal year 2013.”

Duke said Wal-Mart has enjoyed two consecutive quarters of positive comparable stores sales. “Our price leadership is making a difference across the United States, as many families are settling into a new normal,” Duke said in the release.

Charles Holley, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in the release that first quarter 2013 earnings per share could range from $1.01 to $1.06, up from 98 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

For the entire year, Wal-Mart’s earnings per share for fiscal year 2013 is projected between $4.72 and $4.92, which is up from the $4.54 per share reported for the fiscal year 2012.

After food prices rose about 4% last year, escalating gas prices could contribute to food inflation again in 2012, Spezzano said.

“More than likely, we are going to see food inflation in that 2% to 4% range,” Spezzano said.



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Two fishermen rescued as ship sinks off Kennebunkport

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Two fishermen were rescued Tuesday before their fishing boat sank about 8 miles off the coast.

The captain of Plan B called the Coast Guard around 7:30 a.m. and said his 81-foot boat was taking on water and that his pumps could not keep up. He reported that he and his crew member were donning survival suits.

The Plan B is a herring boat that works out of the municipal fish pier in Rockland during the summer but is based out of Gloucester, Mass., according to Al Gourde, who oversees Rockland’s fish pier.

Plan B is one of four fishing boats that are part of Western Sea Fishing Co. of Gloucester. The others are the Challenger, Voyager and Endeavor. Telephone messages were left with the company.

When the captain of the fishing vessel Cameran Lee heard the emergency radio transmission, he headed toward the vessel in distress and rescued the two men before the boat sank in about 286 feet of water about 8 miles west of Kennebunkport.

The Tahoma, a cutter boat, and Station South Portland also arrived on scene and recovered the boat’s emergency beacon, life raft and several pieces of large debris, the Coast Guard said in a press release. No injuries were reported.

After the emergency call, the Coast Guard launched an Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew; a Station Portsmouth Harbor, N.H., rescue boat crew; and a Station South Portland, Maine, rescue boat crew; and diverted the crew of the cutter Tahoma. The Coast Guard also issued an urgent marine information broadcast asking boaters in the area to assist the fishermen.

Weather on scene was 10- to 15-knot winds and 2-foot seas.

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MBIAs 54th Annual Detroit Boat Show brings happy customers, vendors and sales

As this past weekend was the last of the Michigan Boating Industries Association 54th Annual Detroit Boat Show, a journey to Cobo Center to check out the newest addtions was definitely in order.

Entering Cobo Center, we found the mood of the arena very upbeat.  Everyone was smiling and the crowds were steadily making their way through the many fantastic sights.

Because of scheduling, our first stop was to see Jeremy VanSchoonhoven.  What a treat that turned out to be be.  Jeremy’s talent is awesome and, apparently, a lot of people felt the same as they gathered around all sides of his arena to watch him perform.

Jeremy’a talent is that of a cyclist so atuned to his machine that he has mastered the ability to make his bike jump, twist, climb and balance precariously on one wheel, and he uses  his bike as a form of entertainment.   For a long shot comparison, think skateboarding in a pipeline.


To become this proficient, and eventually be a 5 time National Champion Bike Trials rider along with a finalist on NBC‘s “America’s Got Talent!,”  Jeremy shares that he practiced every day at least 2-3 hours per day.  One year when he was competing, he took one day off in the whole year.  Talk about dedication to your sport, Jeremy was certainly “all in.”

People were mesmerized as Jeremy climbed a series of wooden boxes, flew through the air, and performed a series of jumps over a willing participant, Dylyn Nichols.   Dylyn laid perfectly still on the groud as Jeremy “walked” and jumped his bike over her.  A very brave lady, for sure.

And, Sabrina Dungan was the actress/model who helped Jeremy with introductions, explanations and encouraged crowd participation.  Once the crowd was encouraged, the noise level definitely moved up.

Moving on, our path took us over to the technical side of boating.  The United States Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security-U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of State, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Power Squadron and the Macomb County Sheriff Marine Division were all very well represented as we progressed through the Boat Show.  Each of the representatives in the displays were knowledgeable and friendly.  All were more than helpful in their explanations and very proud of their service.

Proud was exactly the word to describe the feelings expressed by the vendors we encountered.  They were proud to be a part of the MBIA’s 54th Annual Detroit Boat Show, proud of their particular product or service, and proud to be a part of the continuing uptick in the local economy.

Speaking of the local economy, it definitely must be improving as Jibber Waters of Lands’ End Yacht Sales shared with us that they had sold a “couple of them here at the Boat Show.”  A couple of them were those fabulous Monterey yachts.  Talk about state of the art and uptown lixury, those Montereys could be your answer.

Jibber went on explaining, “The Show has really been great and there has been a lot of traffic.  You can definitely tell the economy is making a change.” 

If six figures is past what you were thinking of spending, the Monterey Sports Boats are “our most popular,” according to Rick Wilson, who was there on behalf of Wonderland Marine West.  He also told us they had “sold a couple today.” 

Sales seemed to be going well at the Colony Marine Sales as Lori Beauregard paused for a few moments to chat with us.  She shared that, “Colony is a family business and has been in business 52 years.  With my nephew coming on board, it will be the fourth generation to become involved, as my grandfather, Hector, started the business.” 

Father, Pete Sr., who Lori refers to as “the best father and very down to earth,” and brother, Pete Beauregard Jr. continued on in Hector’s footsteps. 

Lori reminisces that, “My first job was sweeping showroom floors.”  From sweeping them to presenting and selling fantastic boats on top of them, Lori has really moved along in her career.

The next career paths we crossed were those of Ed Zaborowski of Performance Fiberglass Services LLC, and Nick Finazzo of Pier 500 Marina in Wyandotte.  Nick commented that it was “a nice show and it feels good.  There is a different energy from the people.  And the traffic is good.” 

Ed continued saying, “There has not been this type of feeling here in the last six years.  I’m glad I came.  It’s been a good show.”

And if you have considered reversing the trend in rising energy bills and possibly earning some income, or eliminating your shore power charges or land power charges and corresponding costs, or powering your golf carts with state of the art renewable technologies then Unconquered Sun has your answers.

Ryan Nygaard and David Binder spent a few minutes sharing the facts and benefits of  solar technologies.  “No plugging in; no energy bills,” says David.  Of course that is after the initial design and set up.  But there could be a way that your energy company would send you money for use of your energy.  It is a thought that could turn into a plan.

Additionally, Ryan tells us that, “Sailboats are perfect applications for our kits.  No plugging in on the shore.”

Binder went on to say that, “It is very worthwhile to be here (at the show).  Three other companies have come in and wanted to sign up as distributors.”

Silver Spray Sports has lined themselves up to be in position to distribute the new Air Nautique 230E, after it moves from prototype into production.  Sales Consultant, Adam Wensink, feels that will take a few more years, “as battery type technologyimproves, that’s when the prototype will become a production model.”

Already out of production and on their shelves in the Silver Spray Sports Store, where they specialize in Water Ski/Wakeboard Equipment abnd Accessories, were hundreds of items to assist with these sports. 

Whitney Burnash, Erin Benge and Hannah Lord were available to assist with the sales and questions from customers.  Their set up is eye catching and makes you long for an 80 degree day. 

And what 80 degree day is complete without a new pair of shoes.  Wolf’s Marine, Inc., the Midwest’s Largest Marine Accessory Store according to their card, undoubtedly had plenty of examples of fabulous footwear, which first caught our eye.

Fabulous footwear in boat shoes, you wonder.  Oh yes, definitely.  From color, to design, to sizes, Wolf’s had many, many, amazing answers.

Warren Wolf tells us that, “Traffic seems to be up.  There are more boats and vendors and customers coming in.  There is a great mood and a lot of joking.  We’ve done the show for 20 years and it has always been a good show.  That still is the case this year.” 

Echoing those words, Chris Rising, Sales Manager of Devil’s Lake Water Sports, remarks that, “This has been the best traffic of true buyers in the last five years.  We have already outsold the previous two years and hope the buyers take advantage of the Boat Show’s incentives.”

Winding our way towards the exit, we ran into Nicki Polan, MBIA Director of Communications Promotions, who confirmed what we had heard from the exhibitors.  “We are happy when are exhibitors are happy.  The consumers are in a better frame of mind.  We have sold out our bulk space and space sales (booths) are up 25%.”

Concluding, Polan said, “We have 3 times as many boats in the 30 foot and up category from last year.  And our ‘Queen of the Show’ is a 45 foot Sea Ray, which is 3 foot larger than last year.”

Lastly, doing a little Monday afternoon quarterbacking today after the Show with MBIA Immediate Past President, Steve Remias of MacRay Harbor, he shared that, “The MBIA did a good job.  The Show had good attendance, which was clearly evident in juat walking around.  The people were very interested in all aspects of boating.”

Finishing, he siad, “A lot of the dealers that I saw told me the Show was good to great.  And some of the people that have been out of the Show for a few years are back in.  It’s been a good experience, with definite energy.  And whether buying or looking, the people felt a bit better about life.”

What a positive ending for a great Boat Show.  Stay tuned as the MBIA’s 20th Annual Spring Boating Expo will be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace March 15 through March 18, 2012.

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UPDATED: State Fish and Wildlife boat ramp and creel fish checks


Salmon and saltwater

Shilshole Bay ramp — Feb. 15: One boat with one angler caught one chinook.

Edmonds Marina– Feb. 15: Five boats with eight anglers caught one chinook.

Everett ramp — Feb. 15: Nine boats with 17 anglers caught no fish; Feb. 19: Nine boats with 22 anglers caught one chinook.

Kingston ramp — Feb. 15: Two boats with three anglers caught two chinook; Feb. 19: Four boats with eight anglers caught no fish.

Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina ramp — Feb. 13: Two boats with three anglers caught no fish; Feb. 18: 22 boats with 42 anglers caught seven chinook; Feb. 19: 36 boats with 80 anglers caught 14 chinook.

Hadlock ramp — Feb. 13: Two boats with two anglers caught no fish.

Ediz Hook ramp, Port Angeles — Feb. 16: 35 boats with 62 anglers caught 27 chinook; Feb. 17: 32 boats with 52 anglers caught 19 chinook; Feb. 18: 69 boats with 169 anglers caught 33 chinook; Feb. 19: 54 boats with 122 anglers caught 34 chinook.

John Wayne Marina, Sequim– Feb. 18: 17 boats with 48 anglers caught 11 chinook; Feb. 19: 23 boats with 61 anglers caught 26 chinook.

Freshwater Bay ramp — Feb. 16: Four boats with seven anglers caught no fish.

Glenn Street ramp, Bellingham — Feb. 15: Two boats with four anglers caught one chinook; Feb. 19: Six boats with 13 anglers caught one chinook.

Camano Island State Park ramp — Feb. 15: Five boats with nine anglers caught no fish; Feb. 19: 14 boats with 24 anglers caught four chinook.

Maple Grove ramp, Camano Island — Feb. 15: One boat with two anglers caught no fish.

Friday Harbor Marina, San Juan Island — Feb. 14: Two boats with three anglers caught two chinook; Feb. 15: One boat with two anglers caught no fish; Feb. 18: One boat with one angler caught no fish; Feb. 19: Six boats with 11 anglers caught one chinook.

Washington Park ramp, Anacortes — Feb. 15: Six boats with eight anglers caught two chinook; Feb. 17: Six boats withnine anglers caught one chinook; Feb. 19: 14 boats with 28 anglers caught three chinook.

Cornet Bay ramp, North Whidbey Island — Feb. 15: Two boats with two anglers caught no fish; Feb. 19: Two boats with four anglers caught no fish.

Saltwater State Park ramp, Hood Canal — Feb. 15: One boat with one angler caught no fish.

Misery Point ramp, Hood Canal — Feb. 16: One boat with two anglers caught two chinook; Feb. 18: 34 boats with 75 anglers caught 12 chinook; Feb. 19: Nine boats with 15 anglers caught one chinook.

Point Defiance Park Boathouse and ramp, Tacoma — Feb. 14: Two boats with four anglers caught no fish; Feb. 15: 12 boats with 17 anglers caught two chinook; Feb. 16: One boat with one angler caught no fish; Feb. 18: Six boats with 12 anglers caught no fish; Feb. 19: Three boats with four anglers caught no fish.

Narrows Properties Park Pier — Feb. 18: Three anglers caught no fish.

Gig Harbor ramp — Feb. 19: One boat with two anglers caught one chinook.

Allyn shoreline– Feb. 19: One angler caught no fish.

Rivers and lakes

Bogachiel/Quillayute River — Feb. 13-16: 12 boat anglers caught two steelhead and released nine for a total of 68.0 hours fished; Feb. 17-19: 29 bank anglers and 17 boat anglers caught six steelhead and released five for a total of 229.0 hours fished.

Calawah River — Feb. 13-16: Two boat anglers released one steelhead for a total of 9.0 hours fished; Feb. 17-19: One bank angler and six boat anglers released five steelhead for a total of 41.0 hours fished.

Sol Duc River — Feb. 13-16: 29 boat anglers caught 10 steelhead and released 47 for a total of 186.5 hours fished; Feb. 17-19: 11 bank anglers and 108 boat anglers caught 26 steelhead, one cutthroat trout and one hatchery chinook, and released 65 steelhead and two cutthroat trout for a total of 746.0 hours fished.

Lower Hoh River from Oxbow Campground to Barlow’s — Feb. 13-16: 23 bank anglers and 35 boat anglers caught seven steelhead, and released 27 steelhead and one whitefish for a total of 242.5 hours fished; Feb. 17-19: 30 bank anglers and 32 boat anglers caught seven steelhead, and released 43 steelhead, two bull trout and two whitefish for a total of 291.5 hours fished.

Upper Hoh River from Oxbow Campground to Olympic National Park Boundary — Feb. 13-16: 12 bank anglers and 20 boat anglers released 19 steelhead, 11 whitefish abd two cutthroat trout for a total of 168.0 hours fished; Feb. 17-19: 24 bank anglers and 27 boat anglers released 18 steelhead, two bull trout and four whitefish for a total of 280.5 hours fished.

Washougal River — Last week: 20 bank anglers released two steelhead; 11 boat anglers caught one steelhead and released nine.

Klineline Pond — Last week: 45 bank anglers caught 58 rainbow trout.

Columbia River below Bonneville Dam — Last week: 84 bank anglers caught one steelhead; 31 boats with 58 anglers caught no fish; 24 bank anglers caught one sturgeon and released eight; 14 boats with 36 anglers caught eight surgeon and released 41.

Columbia River in Bonneville Pool — Last week: Four bank anglers released one sturgeon; 10 boats with 20 anglers caught three sturgeon and released 15.

Columbia River in The Dalles Pool — Last week: 39 bank anglers released one sturgeon; two boats with five anglers released two sturgeon; 16 bank anglers caught one steelhead and released two; three boats with seven anglers released two steelhead; one boat with three anglers caught one walleye.

Columbia River in John Day Pool — Last week: 21 bank anglers caught no sturgeon; 12 boats with 28 released two sturgeon; five bank anglers released one steelhead; five boats with eight anglers released four steelhead; 23 boats with 44 anglers caught 15 walleye and released three.

(Checks provided by state Fish and Wildlife are taken randomly and do not reflect all fish caught during that period. Photo courtesy of the Gardiner Bay Salmon Derby Association.)

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London 2012 Olympics: Britain's sailors will be under same scrutiny as footballers during Games, warns Sir Keith Mills

“Our job here and the team at Locog (the London 2012 organisers) who will be
officiating the competition is to make sure that those athletes who compete
are doing so on as level a field as possible and that media boats and other
things that could interfere with their competition are kept at bay.”

A relieved Ainslie has been cleared to fight for his fourth consecutive
Olympic gold.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) confirmed this month he will face no
further punishment after he boarded a media boat to confront the crew at
December’s World Championships.

The RYA ruled that Ainslie’s behaviour had amounted to a gross breach of good
manners and conduct that brought the sport into disrepute.

Ainslie, who was leading the Finn race, had just crossed the finish line in
second place when he believed a media boat passed too close, creating a big

A furious Ainslie lost his temper and let the media boat know it.

With sailing’s attempts to make the open water sport accessible to a wider
audience, the incident has renewed talk about the impact of the official
television boat or helicopters with massive low-level drowndraft.

Sir Keith said: “Media boats getting too close to the race course should not
happen. The marshals on the race course should not have allowed that to

“Ben has gone on record apologising for what he did, as he should because he
over-reacted, but the media boat should not have been where it was. Creating
a wake for a dinghy is unacceptable when you are competing in a world
championship – completely unacceptable.

“I think that the marshalling here (at London 2012) will be just excellent.

“We have got a great team of officials who, I think, will keep the race course
as level and as fair for all the athletes as possible.”

Sir Keith is a keen sailor and principal of Team Origin, Britain’s
now-mothballed attempt to win the America’s Cup.

Ainslie and fellow British Olympic champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson
were part of the Team Origin challenge.

British sailors won six medals – four golds, one silver and one bronze – in
Beijing in 2008 to top the sailing medals table. This added to the clutch of
five medals at the Athens 2004 Games.

New technology is being used to try to make the sport exciting viewing but a
balance with getting the fairest possible racing has to be struck.

Land-based cameras or filming from a fixed location on the water could be used
to help bridge potential gaps in coverage, it has been suggested.

Cameras can be set onboard to provide images as mast cams, bow cams and stern
cams. They can possibly even be slung under helium balloons above the course
as the innovative RS:X class has been trialling.

Sir Keith said: “I think that is coming. How far we will get this summer is an
issue for ISAF (the International Sailing Federation) but certainly in other
sailing competitions there are lots of technology on the boats.

“Some international races have included sailors wired up so that you can hear
what they are saying – unfortunately you hear the odd swear word.

“There are fibre-optic cameras on the boats and GPS – that is where sailing is
going, there is definitely no question about it.”

Monitors can also be attached so listeners can hear competitors’ heartbeats.

Questions raised in the aftermath of the Ainslie incident include whether the
official media boat covering medal races should be a wave-piercing
catamaran, which produces minimum wake.

Having an international juror on the media boat or in contact with the cameras
to help avoid potential flashpoints is another suggestion.

In the meantime Sir Keith is hoping that London 2012 will produce a “pretty
revolutionary” way of bringing sailing to the public.

The boats will have GPS systems so they can be tracked on a computer allowing
people to see where everyone is on the course.

Sir Keith said: “It has never been done before in any major sailing

He added that the Nothe Gardens peninsula at the mouth of the River Wey will
have 4,700 people every day “in an amphitheatre, cheering the athletes with
the finishes as close as we can get to the Nothe”.

“The atmosphere is going to be amazing and that is something that sailors have
never experienced before. Most athletes compete in a stadium with thousands
of spectators – that does not happen in sailing.”

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