Nenendez to return to tournament trail; West Boggs rehab underway
One of professional bass fishing’s good guys plans to return to the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail next spring.
Mark Menendez of Paducah, a top angler, unfortunately had to take a leave from the tournament trail after his wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
After initially thinking she had beaten the disease, it returned and she lost her battle with the disease this past spring.
Although times have been difficult for Mark, he plans to return to tournament fishing early next year. He says he is confident he still has the physical skills and know-how, but figures mental concentration may be his biggest challenge.
Fellow outdoor writer Gary Garth recently wrote and interesting column about Mark in the Louisville Courier-Journal. It is a good read and can be accessed at the CourierJournal.com.
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WEST BOGGS REHAB -- The renovation of West Boggs Lake in Loogootee hopefully will not only improve fishing, but help the local economy.
West Boggs Lake was once a premier bluegill and bass fishing lake, drawing anglers from 81 Indiana counties, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. Anglers spent an estimated $1.1 million in the local community in 1999, according to a DNR survey.
The quality of the fishery declined when populations of undesirable fish increased. From 2004 to 2010, the DNR survey found that recreational boating decreased by 11 percent and the number of angler visits decreased by 63 percent.
The once million-dollar fishery now contributes about $326,000 annually to the economy.
“Anglers buy bait, food, gas, and lodging in the area, bringing economic gain and tourism to the community,” DNR fisheries supervisor Brian Schoenung said. “In a small town, the nearly $800,000 dollars lost annually can have a big impact.”
The fisheries renovation at West Boggs was scheduled for this fall, beginning with the removal of adult bass and catfish that later will be returned to the lake.
Trained DNR staff will apply rotenone in the West Boggs watershed to eradicate remaining fish in the lake. Rotenone is a naturally occurring substance in several plant seeds and stems and is an EPA-regulated chemical. Rotenone quickly detoxifies in the environment and has virtually no effect on mammals and birds.
After the fish eradication, the lake will be allowed to refill. It will be stocked with hatchery-raised game fish and fish salvaged from the lake before the renovation.
A similar renovation in 1994 increased the number of angler visits to the lake annually by 71 percent.
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LIFE JACKETS -- As the weather cools, wearing an overcoat becomes a nearly automatic equipment choice for enjoying the outdoors.
At the same time, many people recreating around water seem to forget about wearing another, more vital type of jacket—a life jacket, according the the Indiana DNR.
That’s a mistake that can be life threatening during a season when many enjoy kayaking or canoeing, duck hunting from a jonboat, or taking a late-winter ice-fishing trip.
Water temperatures plummet, increasing the chance of hypothermia and the risk of drowning, particularly if a person goes overboard while not wearing a life jacket.
Indiana law requires all vessels to carry one wearable U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD (personal floatation device) for each person on board. In addition, vessels 16 feet in length or longer (except a canoe or kayak) must have one USCG-approved PFD on board and readily accessible.
“Cold water brings additional concerns to the recreating public,” said Indiana Boating Law administrator Lt. Kenton Turner. “Life jackets are a yearlong priority and should be the first thought on everyone’s mind when enjoying Indiana’s waterways.”