Outposts

Outdoors, action, adventure

Category: Whale-watching

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national survey to begin

Laying the groundwork for a day of duck hunting, Jim Fisher tosses a decoy as his dog, Willow, looks on.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin conducting its national survey of fishing, hunting and wildlife-associated recreation and are requesting that hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts participate if contacted for interviews scheduled to begin April 1.

The information, collected by the U.S. Census Bureau primarily through telephone interviews to be conducted April to June and September to October this year and January to March, 2012, provides the only comprehensive statistical database available on Americans' participation in and spending on hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching in the 50 states.

"We appreciate the anglers, hunters, birdwatchers and other citizens throughout the United States who voluntarily participate in the survey when contacted," said the wildlife service's acting director, Rowan Gould. "The survey results help wildlife and natural resource managers quantify how much Americans value wildlife resources in terms of both participation and expenditures."

The survey, conducted every five years since 1955, will involve 53,000 households from the Census Bureau's master address file. From this information, the bureau will select samples of 19,000 anglers and hunters and 10,000 wildlife watchers and follow up with further detailed questions.

"The last survey published in 2006 revealed 87.5 million Americans enjoyed some form of wildlife-related recreation and spent more than $122.3 billion pursuing their activities," said Hannibal Bolton, assistant director for the service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. "The survey is a critical information resource for federal and state wildlife agencies, outdoor and tourist industries, local governments, planners, conservation groups, journalists and others interested in wildlife and outdoor recreation."

Participation is voluntary and all responses are confidential. Preliminary survey findings will be available in spring 2012 with final reports issued beginning in the fall, to be posted on the restoration program's Web page.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Laying the groundwork for a day of duck hunting, Jim Fisher tosses a decoy as his dog, Willow, looks on. Credit: Fred Greenslade / Reuters

 

John Olguin public memorial service, celebration to be held Saturday at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

John Olguin and his wife, Muriel.

A public memorial service and celebration for John Olguin, director emeritus of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, will be held  Saturday at 1 p.m. at the aquarium, located at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive in San Pedro. Olguin passed away on New Year's Day at the age of 89. A private family burial and funeral service was held earlier this month.

The public service, being coordinated by FRIENDS of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in collaboration with the Olguin family, will be held in a large tent in the aquarium's parking lot.

"People should arrive early for parking and seating inside the tent, or come prepared with their own beach chairs," recommends Paula Moore, FRIENDS executive director. "John was loved by so many in our community; we are anticipating quite a crowd."

The service will be officiated by Olguin's minister, Pastor Neal Neuenschwander of First Presbyterian Church of San Pedro. Speakers include L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Director Mike Schaadt and Stefan Harzen, the author of Olguin's soon-to-be published biography. San Pedro High School's marching band and Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps will also participate.

At the conclusion of the memorial service, guests will move to the nearby inner beach for an L.A. City fireboat water display, a tall ship change-of-watch ceremony complete with cannon shot, and the appearance of the City of L.A. lifeguard boat named the John M. Olguin.

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Whale Watch and Intertidal Life Festival at Cabrillo National Monument

A statue of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo looks out over the San Diego Bay at Cabrillo National Monument.

Cabrillo National Monument is hosting its annual Whale Watch and Intertidal Life Festival on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The 24th annual event celebrates the Pacific gray whales and their return to local waters during their southbound migration to Baja California. The weekend will feature opportunities to watch for the leviathans and the chance to take guided tide-pool walks.

There also will be films; guest speakers sharing their expertise on a variety of marine-related subjects; and exhibitor booths filled with activities and information about whales, tide pools and local oceanic organizations.

All events are included with the regular park entrance fee of $5 per vehicle and $3 for motorcyclists, bicyclists and walk-ins.

Cabrillo National Monument is at the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, just west of the city of San Diego.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: A statue of explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo looks out over the San Diego Bay at Cabrillo National Monument. Credit: New Thanyacheron / National Park Service

Dana Wharf Sportfishing has a couple of options for celebrating Father's Day

A father and son share a day of saltwater fishing.

Dana Wharf Sportfishing is celebrating Father's Day by offering a couple of seaworthy options Sunday aboard the 95-foot Dana Pride.

First up are free half-day passes, for a future trip, to all fathers taking the half-day sportfishing venture from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. aboard the landing's flagship vessel.

"My father started Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whalewatching in 1971, so this is our way of honoring fathers who love fishing," said general manager Donna Kalez.

The special Father’s Day fishing trip will be targeting sand bass and calico bass. There have also been reported sightings of both blue and fin whales, adding a bit more to enjoy along with the day of saltwater angling.

For those looking for something a bit more leisurely, the Dana Pride will be going out for a special Father's Day sunset dinner cruise from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Offering a buffet barbecue dinner, non-alcoholic drinks and live classic rock, this two-hour cruise features indoor and upper deck seating plus a full cash bar, and will take in the views of Laguna Beach from the ocean. The cost is $59 for adults; $29 for children ages 3 to 12; and free for children 2 and younger.

Advance reservations for either or both trips are recommended and can be made via the Dana Wharf website or by calling (949) 496-5794.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Father and son share a day of saltwater fishing. Credit: Dana Wharf Sportfishing

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New eyewear allows for hands-free video recording

50000 ikam Time for a new pair of sunglasses? You might want to check out i-Kam Xtreme eyewear, which allows the wearer to be their own videographer.

That's because each pair features a built-in video recording device, allowing for hands-free recording of your latest outdoor adventure. Be it hunting, fishing, skiing or even a ballgame, outdoor enthusiasts of all types have an easy way to record what they see, and play it back later for future enjoyment.

With no cords or battery packs required, the glasses have a digital camera incorporated into the frame, offering 4GB of built-in memory for up to 3 hours of recording, plus an integral microphone to capture all the sounds to go along with the video. The eyewear  will also accept a Micro SD card for an additional 8 GB of memory. 

The glasses can be hooked directly to a PC or Mac with the supplied USB cable to view video. When using a Micro SD card, it can be inserted into a card reader to watch footage.

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Fred Hall Show opens Wednesday at the Long Beach Convention Center

The 2009 Fred Hall Show in Long Beach was as bustling and popular with outdoor enthusiasts as ever.

The 64th annual Fred Hall Fishing Tackle and Boat Show hits Southern California this week, opening Wednesday at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.

Occupying nearly 750,000 square feet of space, this extravaganza of exhibits and seminars is a must-visit for any outdoor enthusiast.

To refer to the Fred Hall Show as a fishing tackle and boat show seems a misnomer these days. The exhibitor list has grown to include hunting lodges, firearms manufacturers, outdoor adventures, shooting sports and fishing destination resorts worldwide.

But not to worry -- fishing will still be well represented in the approximately 600 vendor booths and 400 seminars taking place over five days. Plus, 16 boat dealers representing 30 watercraft manufacturers will be on site.

"The Fred Hall Shows, both in Long Beach and Del Mar, are the only major boat shows left in California," Bart Hall, Fred's son, told Outposts. "The boating industry in this state has been decimated by the recession -- nearly 50 dealers statewide have gone out of business -- but last year there was no recession at the Fred Hall Shows, and we expect it to be the same this year as well."

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Dana Wharf is now offering sunset whale-watching tours

A gray whale swims past fog-shrouded Santa Catalina Island on its southward migration to warm-water breeding grounds off Baja California.

Dana Wharf in Dana Point is now offering sunset whale-watching tours every Friday and Saturday through April.

Departing at 4 p.m., these two-hour tours aboard the 95-foot Dana Pride offer whale-watchers the opportunity for unique photos, with the colors of sunset providing a different perspective.

Dana Wharf guarantees whale or dolphin sightings; otherwise, everyone aboard receives a voucher to come back for another trip during the current gray whale migration.

The cost for adults is $29, ages 3-12 $19, and seniors $24, and advance tickets are recommended. Reservations can be made online or by calling (800) 979-3370.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A gray whale swims past fog-shrouded Santa Catalina Island on its southward migration to warm-water breeding grounds off Baja California. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

To follow this blog on Twitter, please visit @latimesoutposts.

Whale Watch Weekend and Intertidal Life Festival this weekend at Cabrillo National Monument

A statue of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo looks out over the San Diego Bay.

Cabrillo National Monument is hosting their annual Whale Watch Weekend and Intertidal Life Festival this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The 23rd annual event is being held in celebration of the Pacific gray whales and their return to local waters during their southbound migration to Baja California.

The weekend will feature opportunities to watch for the leviathans as well as guided tidepool walks.

There will also be films, guest speakers sharing their expertise on a variety of marine-related subjects, and exhibitor booths filled with activities and information about whales, tidepools and local oceanic organizations.

All events are included with the regular park entrance fee of $5 per vehicle and $3 for motorcyclists, bicyclists and walk-ins.

Cabrillo National Monument is located at the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, just west of the city of San Diego.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A statue of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo looks out over the San Diego Bay. Credit: New Thanyacheron / National Park Service

To follow this blog on Twitter, please visit @latimesoutposts

Whale Fiesta at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium this Sunday

Whale sculpture created out of sand at a previous Whale Fiesta event.

In celebration of the Pacific gray whales' southbound migration and to herald the beginning of the whale-watching season, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium will be holding its annual Whale Fiesta this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the American Cetacean Society Los Angeles chapter, this educational and fun-filled day should offer something of interest for all ages, and will be held rain or shine.

Over 20 marine-life organizations will be at the 40th annual event, with exhibits and information about whale protection and awareness.

Attendees can take part in myriad activities, including face painting, music, games, contests, origami, and marine mammal-related arts and crafts projects, including helping to build a life-size sand sculpture of a blue whale.

Admission is free and includes access to the Aquarium's Exploration Center, Aquatic Nursery and Marine Research Library.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is located at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive in San Pedro.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Whale sculpture created out of sand at a Whale Fiesta event. Credit: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Note: To follow this blog on Twitter please visit @latimesoutposts

'Tis the season for gray whale-watching excursions

A Pacific gray whale swims past fog-shrouded Santa Catalina Island on its southward migration to warm water breeding grounds in Baja California.

The annual south-bound migration of Pacific gray whales has begun.

Each winter, more than 20,000 of the leviathans pass near the Southern California coast as they travel from the waters of Alaska to Baja California, where the females give birth to calves.

Beginning Saturday and continuing through mid-April, daily whale-watching boats will depart from Redondo Beach and San Pedro landings to see these magnificent mammals.

All boats are staffed with a trained naturalist from Cabrillo Whalewatch, a joint effort of the American Cetacean Society Los Angeles Chapter and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, to help spot whales as well as provide interesting facts and information about the species.

Trips depart from Redondo Beach Sportfishing, (310) 372-2111; Spirit Cruises, San Pedro, (310) 548-8080; and 22nd Street Landing, San Pedro, (310) 832-8304.

Prices and times vary for each tour operator, so call the landing or visit their website (links above) for information and reservations. Group reservations should be made by calling Cabrillo Whalewatch at (310) 548-8397.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A Pacific gray whale swims past fog-shrouded Santa Catalina Island on its southward migration to warm water breeding grounds in Baja California. Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times

Sea Shepherd crew logs season's first clash with Japanese whalers

News_091214_1_3_BV_Shonan_Maru_1065 A prolonged game of cat-and-mouse between the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a vessel from the Japanese whaling fleet today turned into the first clash this season between the adversaries, according to the group that is en route to Antarctic waters to try to disrupt the annual whale hunt.

Sea Shepherd posted on its website a short story stating its flagship vessel, Steve Irwin, after several days of being followed by the Shonan Maru 2, emerged from its hiding place behind an iceberg and crews on both vessels engaged in a brief fight with water cannons.

The Japanese harpoon vessel was placed on an evasive course and Capt. Paul Watson of the Steve Irwin kept up a pursuit for two hours before resuming a course toward Antarctica. Watson believes the harpoon vessel has been following the Steve Irwin in order to keep the rest of the whaling fleet aware of its whereabouts. Watson is hoping to use the thicker bergs ahead, and the shelter they provide, to lose the shadow vessel.

"We will use the icebergs and the ice floes to our advantage," Watson said. "I’ve observed today that I am a more experienced ice navigator than the Japanese captain chasing us. We need to get him to follow us into the ice fields and let the ice work for us."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling vessel, Steve Irwin, with a Japanese whaling ship off its bow. Credit: Barbara Veiga/Sea Shepherd

Japan vows to proceed with controversial whale hunts

Japanwhaling 

So much for recent claims by Greenpeace that an end to Japanese whaling might be in sight because of its high cost in a bad economy.

Japan's foreign minister, Katsuya Okada, this week stated the country's new government will not review its policy on whaling, which has a powerful cultural significance.

Japan's fleet of harpoon and processing vessels is en route to the Antarctic region to participate in an annual hunt that targets 935 non-endangered minke whales and 50 endangered fin whales. "We do not think there is a need for a policy review," Okada told the Australian newspaper. 

Okada added: "It would be a different story if it were an endangered species.... on the verge of extinction. But if not, I think the average Japanese would like to consume whale meat in the future."

Capt. Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which also is en route to the area to try to disrupt the whale hunt, seized the opportunity to point out that Okada made no reference to research Japan supposedly is conducting in association with the hunts.

"He has made it very clear that this is a commercial operation and the objective is to kill whales for consumption and for profit," Watson said in a post on the Sea Shepherd website.

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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.



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