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OUTDOOR NOTES : DFG Set to Wing It as Dove Season Gets Under Way

When California’s dove hunters open fire Sunday, the Department of Fish and Game won’t be far behind.

Wildlife biologists and game wardens will contact as many successful hunters as possible to request one wing from each bird bagged. The samples will provide age, harvest and productivity information to help determine population trends.

John Massie, associate wildlife biologist, said: “In the long run, it will be very beneficial in setting bag and possession limits.”

Quail Unlimited members will assist DFG personnel in the field. Dove hunters not contacted may submit wings to the DFG. Details: (213) 590-5126.

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The DFG said the March rains probably boosted numbers, but recent storms may have scattered the birds. The split season runs Sept. 1-15 and Nov. 9-Dec. 23. Limits are 10 per day, 20 in possession.

Some area reports, with emphasis that owner’s permission is required on private property:

Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties--Lots of doves in the Cuyama Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and southern Ventura County. Northern Los Angeles County--Concentrations at Avenue A and 150th Street West and at the aqueduct and 190th Street West (aqueduct off-limits). Imperial County--Warden Carol Sassie said: “We have a lot of birds, just not large concentrations.” She suggested the Highline and Westside Main Canals and along the New and Alamo Rivers. Whitewing doves are in good numbers around Niland. East of San Diego, Capt. Bill Powell suggests looking for fields with seed-producing crops. Riverside County--A fair number, especially in the Winchester area. Hunting in the Lake Perris Recreation Area opens on Sept. 7.

South of the border, whitewing hunting opened Aug. 2, and mourning dove season will start Friday.

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The California Fish and Game Commission--still a member short at four--will hold its monthly meetings this week at the Long Beach City Council chambers, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., starting at 10 a.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. Friday. The meetings are open to the public.

Kern River interests will pursue their request for year-round fishing from Lake Isabella through Kernville to the Johnsondale Bridge, backed by more than a thousand signatures on petitions.

John T. (Jack) Dempsey of Sierra Sporting Goods in Kernville points out that his store alone has sold $34,322.50 worth of fishing licenses so far this year and that “closing the river during the winter months will deny many people a chance to use this fishery.” He reminded the commission of “the hardship a winter closing would make for the merchants and businesses . . . who depend on the tourist trade for their existence.”

Briefly

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SHARK--A great white shark, estimated to be 20 feet and 3,000 pounds, was sighted several miles off the Dana Point coast Monday by a commercial swordfish spotter plane and later by marlin fishermen who tried unsuccessfully to bait the fish. Late last month, three Orange County fishermen fought with a large great white for several hours before losing the fish. Biologists say increased sightings may be due to the growing population of seals and sea lions, primary food of the great white.

SALTWATER--Tuna remain out of reach of the desperate San Diego overnight fleet, though some are starting to venture north. The best catches are coming from an area 150 miles south of Pt. Loma. The Vagabond returned from a three-day trip Sunday with 126 bluefin, 110 skipjack, 13 yellowfin and three bigeye. The largest was a 66 1/2-pound bluefin.

Hawaii: In a dramatic finish of the 33rd annual Hawaiian International Billfish tournament, Bill Holt of Sunnyvale, Calif., captain of the Lahaina Yacht Club of Maui, landed a 672 1/2-pound marlin on the final day to win the championship. The Lahaina club won the event with 1,173, Hawaii Kai Yacht Club of Oahu finished second with 999, and Whakatane of New Zealand finished third with 988. There were 74 teams from 16 countries competing, and Lahaina’s victory marked the first time in 10 years that a Hawaiian club had won.

Central Coast: Bat Batsford, president of the San Francisco Bay Tuna Club, said albacore in the 18-pound class have been located 35 miles off Pt. Sur, within range of the Morro Bay and Avila Beach fleets, but “strong winds keep blowing the boats off the fish.” Batsford said boats from San Diego, Oxnard and San Francisco are docked at Central Coast ports, taking a “wait and see” attitude. “When the moon goes away and conditions improve, I think we’ll see some real good fishing,” he said.

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Cabo San Lucas: Fishing has slowed some, but boats are still averaging more than a billfish a day, according to Darrell Primrose of the Finnesterra Tortuga Fleet. Dorado fishing is rated fair, with fish averaging 25 to 60 pounds; tuna fishing is steady with fish up to 200 pounds. Blue marlin continue to show at the scales, averaging between 300 and 500 pounds.

Loreto: Dorado fishing has slowed because of giant squid moving into the area, making the catching of mackerel for bait difficult, said Gordon Prentice of Baja Fishing Adventures. Squid are averaging 16 pounds. Yellowtail are active at north San Bruno’s Reef. Yellowfin tuna are showing occasionally, averaging 30 pounds.

HUNTING--The Southern Council of Conservation Clubs will celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day Saturday, Sept. 28 with a buffalo barbecue, sporting clays tournament, swap meet, falconry demonstration and aqueduct fishing at the Antelope Valley Sportsman’s Club. Proceeds will go to the California Wildlife Conservation Committee’s Political Action Committee. Details: (818) 797-1287.

CARTOGRAPHY--Sidekick Off Road Maps’ newest addition is for the Big Bear Lake area. Information: (714) 628-7227. . . . Winchester’s second Goose Harvest Map of the Lower 48 states locates 2,000 hunting areas, clubs and guides.

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FLY-FISHING--At Bob Marriott’s store in Fullerton, Charlene Hanson will teach basic fly tying each Monday night in September; a 1 1/2-day weekend fly-fishing and casting class will be given throughout September starting Saturday, and Hal Patterson and Mark Walpin will teach a four-night rod-building class each Tuesday starting Sept. 10. Details: (714) 525-1827.


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