The AuCoin Report

News Briefs from the Great Outdoors

December 2010

Asian carp update: Lake Gates Stay Open

U. S. District Judge Robert Dow ruled that Asian carp are not an imminent threat to the Great Lakes and, anyway, closing the shipping locks in Chicago might not stop them from invading Lake Michigan. On the losing side, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said he will continue to fight to block the spread of Asian carp populations and called on President Obama to issue a presidential order to stop rapidly expanding carp populations before they overwhelm native fishes. (Chicago Tribune)

Mexican Wolves Versus American Cattle

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Agricultural Department's geospatial information showing where wolves have killed cattle is protected by the Freedom of Information Act. The federal appeals court rules the Wildlife Services branch of the Department of Agriculture does need not to share this information with Defenders of Wildlife. The decision overrules a district court judgment stemming from wolves attacking cattle on ranches in Arizona and New Mexico. (, Arizona Daily Sun)

Florida Panthers Versus Calves

Florida panthers are attacking calves in south Florida. One suspect, a male panther, was captured, vaccinated and released with a GPS collar that transmits its location to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (Fort Myers News Press)

Missouri Confirms 12th Mountain Lion

The Missouri Department of Conservation said that of 1,500 mountain lion sightings since 1994, only 11 have been confirmed. Make that 12. The MDC's Mountain Lion Response Team said a landowner near the Missouri River took a picture of a mountain lion in a tree on his property Nov. 26. It's for real. Bill Graham of the MDC said most are young males wandering in from Western states looking for their own territories. (KTCV-5)

EPA: Lead in Fishing Tackle is Okay

The Environmental Protection Agency will be able to stick by its decision to allow lead in fishing tackle. A lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups sought to reverse that decision, claiming lead in fishing tackle hurts birds, mammals and other aquatic creatures. The claim was denied, citing a lack of scientific evidence. (Maryland Coast Dispatch)

America's Cup Races May Cost San Francisco

San Francisco may host the America's Cup races in 2013 but it probably will cost the city plenty. Bloomberg Magazine reported that cup winner BMW/Oracle Racing wants the city to give it control of 35 acres of waterfront real estate, rent free, for 75 years. In return the sailing syndicate would manage the regatta and develop an area of San Francisco that other developers have avoided. (Bloomberg)

Economic Indicator: Mega yacht Orders

The worldwide economic decline is ending according to the mega yacht indicator. A report in Showboats International Magazine showed that orders for yachts 80 feet or longer was level with the beginning of the previous year, 2010. That's a good sign because mega-yacht orders from 2009 to 2010 were down more than 20 percent. Another positive sign was that orders for very large yachts – those more than 250 feet long – was larger than in previous years. (Trade Only Today, Showboats International Magazine)

Coast Guard Saves Builder, Not His Schooner

Amateur boatbuilder George McKay and an assistant were rescued by the Coast Guard after they abandoned McKay's 100-foot three-masted schooner in heavy seas off Cape Cod. The vessel sank in 6,000 feet of water. McKay named the vessel Raw Faith in honor of his daughter Elizabeth who has Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. (Soundings)

Fourteener Deaths Declining?

Ten people died climbing Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks this year but accidental death trend may be declining, according to a group that attempts to track such fatalities. But Lloyd Athearn of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative said it's hard to know exactly how much deaths were trending down because climbers are not required to register before their climbing attempts. (Denver Post)

Dexter's Wisconsin Bear: 711 pounds

In Wisconsin Dexter McKittrick, 17, finished his morning chores on the family farm, went to school and attended classes, practiced with his high school football team, and returned home to tend to the dairy cattle. Then, he went bear hunting with his dad. At 6:45 p.m., from their tree stand, they spotted a huge bear. The younger McKittrick squeezed off a round. Done. The massive bear, possibly 20 years old, weighed 711 pounds. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Chad's Wisconsin Bear: 736 Pounds

Chad Maves is planning a full-body mount of his trophy, a 736-pound bear that he shot in September in Wisconsin's Shawano County. A full body mount is very do-able for Maves. He's a taxidermist. (WSAU)


Comedian Jeff Foxworthy will entertain at the State of the Industry dinner at the 2011 Shot Show in Las Vegas Jan. 18-21. The annual trade show is one of the largest in the U.S., attracting buyers for shooting and hunting gear, garments, and accessories from more than 100 countries. (Shot Show)

Bifocal Sunglasses or not

Ono's Trading Company almost doubled the number of styles in its growing collection of sunglasses which now include models with and without bifocal "readers" for close-up work. Both styles feature full UVA-UVB protection. Models with bifocal readers are especially popular with outdoor recreation and travel enthusiasts who need low-profile magnification for close-up tasks like following hiking trail maps, tying fishing knots, reading menus at outdoor cafés or reading articles and books at the beach. (The Outdoor Wire, Ono's Trading Company, Ono's Eyewear on Facebook)

Whooping crane migration school

Going to migration school behind an ultra-light aircraft, ten young whooping cranes are learning the 1300-mile migration route from Wisconsin to Florida. These birds summered in Wisconsin's Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. They will spend their winter in Florida at St. Marks and Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuges on Florida's Gulf Coast. (Orlando Sentinel, Operation Migration)

Dolphin Tale

Clearwater Marine Aquarium has agreed to adopt and raise another baby dolphin even as it awaits the release of Dolphin Tale, a major movie about its famous dolphin, Winter. Winter is the adopted dolphin that it taught to swim with a prosthetic tail. The newly adopted dolphin, as yet unnamed, was found recently circling its dead mother not far from where Winter was found five years ago. It arrived at the aquarium as producers, actors and crew members ended filming for Dolphin Tale, a movie starring Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick, Jr. (St. Petersburg Times)

Midwest's Loss is Florida's Gain

Hundreds of white pelicans escaping the blizzards and iced-over lakes and chill of the upper Midwest have landed in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area for the winter, gliding in with a massive weather system to one of their favorite hangouts, Fort De Soto Park at the mouth of Tampa Bay. The tourism bureau reports that their human counterparts are also on their way to Florida. (Facebook)

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