In Case You Missed It - March 2, 2015 News

Our weekly coverage of the latest industry news, conservation notices and more


Hobie Announces Top Gun Educational Program

Who said Top Gun is only about Navy Strike Fighter Pilots? Introducing Hobie’s Top Guns: an elite and fiercely driven group of kayak anglers. To support and enhance the increase in popularity of fishing out of Hobie® kayaks, the Top Guns have been tasked to share their species-specific kayak fishing techniques and tactics that have won them titles and admiration. The purpose of this elite group is to educate and share information about catching different species of fish (listed below) from their Hobie kayaks. Each year, Hobie Top Guns will be chosen from across the country based on their latest contributions and performance to the Team as well as their impact on their respective Hobie retail partners and communities. Kayak anglers are invited to get acquainted with the first wave of Top Guns by logging onto, follow the "On The Water" tab and select a Top Gun on the Hobie Fishing Team page. A new article or video will be posted regularly covering tackle tips, particular species, getting the most out of rigging, "fish stories" and much more. Below is a list introducing the 2015 Hobie Top Guns, their home base and the species they have been tasked to cover: From Alabama: Benton Parrott - Speckled Trout From Florida: Brandon Barton – Redfish Ross Gallagher - Tarpon Brian Nelli – Sailfish From Louisiana: Steve Lessard – Redfish From Massachusetts: Eric Harrison – Striped Bass From Michigan: Colin Belle – Salmon From Nebraska: Rafael Vargas – Largemouth Bass From New York: Tom Michael – Fluke From Ontario, Canada: Richard Ofner – Muskie From Oregon: Michael Rischer From Texas: Rob Milam – Largemouth Bass

Reports of Solid Sub-Adult Salmon Returns in 2014 Should Bode Well For California Salmon Fishing in 2015

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife held its annual Salmon Information Meeting today in Santa Rosa, California. Abundance forecasts announced at this meeting point to mostly positive news for the state’s salmon anglers in 2015. This important meeting was a key first step in establishing coastal salmon fishing seasons and regulations for this year, which are expected to be finalized and announced by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the California Fish and Game Commission in April. Pending these decisions, the 2015 recreational salmon season is on track to open in most of California on Saturday, April 4. Coastside Fishing Club President and Science Director Dan Wolford is a voting member of the PFMC , and therefore plays an integral and continuing role in the development of regulations that should balance robust salmon fishing opportunities with healthy, sustainable salmon populations. Coastside Director Marc Gorelnik serves on the PFMC Salmon Advisory Subpanel, the body charged with developing season options for adoption. “When it came to salmon projections for the state and anticipated ocean fishing opportunities during 2015, the mood at the meeting could be best described as cautiously optimistic,” said Wolford. “About 212,000 adult salmon returned to spawn in California’s Sacramento River and tributaries in 2014 — well above the 180,000 escapement objective previously set by fishery managers,” Wolford reported. Another positive note was the solid number of returning two-year old fish, commonly referred to as jacks. Included in the overall returns for 2014 were 25,359 jacks — about 25-percent more than returned in 2013. Since the majority of these sub-adult salmon tend to stay out in the ocean for another year before returning, this is another positive sign for ocean salmon numbers and solid fishing opportunities in 2015. At this time last year, scientists estimated an abundance of about 600,000 three-year old Sacramento River salmon; initial estimates for 2015 put the forecasted number of adults a bit higher than last year, at 650,000. Wolford went on to say that “the 2014 returns are a pleasant surprise and point to the success of the extraordinary efforts of the Department to truck juvenile hatchery fish around the deadly conditions encountered in the rivers and bay-delta system.” Returning adult salmon numbers on the Klamath River were also stronger in 2014 than in the previous year — with the 95,330 natural adult spawners more than doubling the established minimum of 40,700 fish. An additional 31,000 adult salmon also returned to the Klamath Basin hatcheries. “We face many challenges in California, not the least of which is our continuing drought. Still, the positive salmon return numbers from 2014 and the forecast for the coming season gives us reason to be hopeful,” added Wolford. The PFMC will weigh these projections and take into account a wide range of considerations as it develops regulations that will ultimately decide when, where and how anglers can fish for salmon in the state. Involvement with the PFMC is just one of many initiatives this volunteer-driven organization undertakes to benefit anglers and fish alike, including the construction, operation and maintenance of salmon acclimation pens located in Pillar Point Harbor. Over the past three years, Coastside volunteers have received, fed, vaccinated and released nearly one million juvenile salmon into area waters, each sporting a coded wire tag that allows fishery managers to track movements of these hatchery fish — as well as the program’s overall success — through the eventual capture of returning fish. Fishermen who want to stay on top of developing news and regulations are encouraged to visit the Coastside Fishing Club website at There, they can also learn about the organization's many ongoing fisheries and conservation-oriented activities and its continuing efforts to ensure great fishing opportunities for future generations.

FishAmerica Foundation Receives $125,000 Donation

The FishAmerica Foundation (FAF) is, once again, the recipient of a generous donation from the American Snuff Company (ASC). For the second year, the company has made a generous donation to the foundation to further the foundation's mission of fisheries conservation and habitat restoration. This year, ASC selected and featured twelve habitat and restoration projects funded by the FishAmerica Foundation in communities across the U.S., along with those of another organization. Individuals viewed the foundation’s projects more than 30,000 times to show their interest and support for their favorite projects. Among the most viewed projects were the foundation's partnership projects with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to remove six obstructive dams throughout the Little Lehigh Watershed in Emmaus, Pa. “We are honored that the FishAmerica Foundation was chosen by the American Snuff Company to receive such a significant contribution” said American Sportfishing Association (ASA) President and CEO Mike Nussman. “To be selected as a recipient two years in a row is a testament to the important work the foundation does to help conserve our nation’s fisheries and their habitats. We sincerely appreciate the American Snuff Company’s generosity.” As ASA’s research and conservation foundation, the FishAmerica Foundation provides funding to help empower local communities to invest in improving sportfishing opportunities and habitat conservation through matching funding and volunteer support. Since 1983, the foundation has invested in more than 900 projects to enhance fish populations, restore fisheries habitat, improve water quality and advance fisheries research to improve sportfishing opportunities and help ensure fishing’s future.
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AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings has announced an extension and expansion of the warranty program for its Awlgrip®, Interlux® and International® premium yacht paint systems. With the warranty upgrade, coverage has been extended to 18 months covering professionally applied coatings on all newly built or refitted vessels. “In all our years providing high-performance coatings solutions to beautify and protect yachts, the AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings Warranty has offered professionals a solid promise that we back our products long after they leave the shop,” said AkzoNobel yacht segment manager Chris Toole. “Now, to reflect the performance advances we’ve achieved in our premium ranges, we are upgrading our warranty program to cover more for longer,” he added. “We are able to offer the improved warranty with confidence, because of the care we take in the development and production processes to ensure that every tin of paint we manufacture is formulated using the highest quality standards and best performing ingredients in the industry, and because after we make a sale, we support our customers with industry-leading service,” Toole said. The upgraded warranty offer is available globally. Customers can register for the extended and expanded coverage on the professional sections of the or web sites. Further information is also available by contacting Yacht Coatings local service and support representatives.

Simrad Forwardscan™ Sonar Honored with Industry Award For Product Innovation

Simrad Yachting announced that ForwardScan™ Sonar has been awarded the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Innovation Award in the Consumer Safety Equipment category at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show. The Innovation Awards program, organized by the NMMA and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), recognizes exceptionally innovative new consumer marine products that best meet the criteria of “Having innovative distinction from other products currently manufactured in the marine industry; providing benefit to the marine industry and/or consumer; providing practicality of use; and are cost-effective.” Unlike traditional sonar that will only show boaters where they have been, the ForwardScan echosounder transducer provides a clear forward-looking view of the water column and ocean floor — at a distance up to eight times the current depth. Compatible as an optional add-on for Simrad NSS evo2 and NSO evo2 multi-function displays, the ForwardScan Sonar user interface alerts boaters to potential dangers — offering complete navigation confidence and added peace of mind in unfamiliar waters. “We are deeply honored that the BWI judges selected ForwardScan Sonar for the NMMA Innovation Award,” said Leif Ottosson, CEO of Navico. “Since its release, ForwardScan Sonar has received such strong support from the industry. It reinforces our commitment to provide cost-effective, innovative electronics that improve the overall boating experience as well as on-the-water safety.” The NMMA Innovation Award adds to the growing list of honors for ForwardScan Sonar since its launch in September 2014. ForwardScan Sonar also recently received the Pittman Innovation Award as well as the Best New Navigation Product Award at the Newport International Boat Show.