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August 22, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 22, 1997

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C G, Fiday, Aus 22.- A.uu 2J8, I%.- 85. Duck, snow goose seasons reflect healthy numoers Scallop restoration eyed for state's Inland Bays The Center for the Inland Bays has received a grant to try to re-es- tablish once common bay scallops in the bays. Bay scallops may still exist in the inland bays, but they are few and far between. Considered a measure of a healthy ecosystem, ClB Executive Director Bruce Richards is excited about the pos- sibility. Richards said plans call for try- ing to establish bay scallops as well as more traditional hard clams. Both are filter feeders which feed on algae and could, at least in a very small way, improve water quality by removing excess algae. The grant proposal says that ex- perts believe bay scallops could make a potential comeback in the area, saying they are rarely seen "but most local scientists believe that these animals can surivive if more animals are introduced and propagated." "This algae robs the water of light, lowers the levels of dis- solved oxygen and thereby re- duces pelagic and benthic (bottom life like clams) species diversity," according to the grant. "Filter feeding clams and scallops can help pull in algae and utilize the material for food, Although the levels of reduced eutrophication may be small, this process does reduce the algae, provides food for the clam, and if expanded in the future could show some im- provement of the water while pro- viding increased economic oppor- tunities for shellfish gathering en- terprises." Plans call for establishing scal- lops and clams (already common in many areas of the inland bays) OVDOORS at the James Farm, a site on Indian River which is now owned by Sussex County. That site will be used for education and outreach by the Center, which has leased the site from Sussex County. Scallops aren't the first species which experts have tried to re-in- troduce. There are also efforts un- derway to return eel grass, consid- ered great habitat for crabs and ju- venile fish. Richards said that the CIB can use volunteers to help re-establish scallops, which are smaller than their ocean-dwelling relatives which are so popular on the dinner table. The grant is for $5,000. "If they are out there now, they are very few...If it catches on, maybe we could restock the bays with bay scallops," said Richards. Great year for ducks Hunting season is just around the comer. Although not official yet, this year's hunting seasons for snow geese and ducks are expect- ed to be expanded with the most liberal duck hunting season in decades. The extra hunting is courtesy of skyrocketing duck numbers and goose populations that continue to TIDES Indian River Inlet Date 8/23 8/24 8/25 Rehoboth Beach Roosevelt Oak Inlet Orchard m 8/26 8/2---- 8/29 rise. In fact, the only bad news in the waterfowl area is that Canada goose numbers continue to be very low. The brant season is also expect- ed to be expanded to 50 days and this year's mild winter even pro- duced good news for Canada geese, a good breeding season at the nesting areas in Quebec. Delaware Wildlife Administra- tor Lloyd Alexander said that the expected snow goose limit is ex- pected to be ten birds per day. "The snow goose population has reached all-time levels all across the country...Often, some of these stories are doom and gloom, but not this year," Alexander said. Expected snow goose seasons (the season for Canadas will be closed this season, just like last year) are Oct. 8 to 11, Oct. 20 to Nov. 13, Nov. 24 to Jan. 17 and Feb. 10 to March I0. But the most dramatic news may be the most liberal duck sea- son on record. This year's season is expected to increase from 50 to 60 days. "The population has re- bounded to record levels," Alexander said. The basic limit will increase to six ducks this year and the expect- ed seasons will be Oct. I to 4, Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 and Nov. 24 to Jan. 17. For the first time ever, Sun- days are not counted against the number of allowed days, meaning this season is actually closer to 70 days long, according to Alexan- der. Some specifics of the proposal include an increase in pintails to two per day and allowing an in- crease in hen mallards, from one to two per day. Brant season will also probably increase this year with the expect- Safety tips for weekend boating BOAT/U.S. (Boat Owners As- sociation of The United States), the nation's largest organization of recreational boaters, has put to- gether some life-saving advice to help boaters steer clear of acci- dents and injury as the summer ed season moving to 50 days long and running Nov. 24 to Jan. 20. The good news, however, is tempered with a rather disappoint- ing fact. Alexander said one reason for allowing greater limits of brant, geese and ducks is that the num- ber of hunters had declined sub- stantially. season winds up. Wear a life jacket. About 80 percent of the victims of fatal boating accidents aren't wearing life jackets. Don't drink and boat. Up to 50 percent of fatal accidents in- volve alcohol use by the boat op- erator or passengers. Don't overload a boat with people or equipment. About 30 percent of the people who die in boating accidents are passengers in overloaded boats. flags & Banners.00 * "A SELECTION ldrd YOU'VE NEVER BEFORE SEEN" Chesapeake Kite-&-Flag Co. CHECK OUT OffR HUGE M-STORE AERIAL DISPLAY! Check out our handmade decorative cotton & artist series flags. New Easstem Shore Ughthouses Flag, American & Historic US Flags, State Flags & Foreign Nations, All Sports Flags 122 REHOBOTH AVENUE * (302) 226-2191 OPEN ALL YEAR SAVE +2,,00 OFF YOIJR IEXT IKIIEHAS[ 01: t KITE Oft FLA6 MTH THIS AD (I0 ran. pua) LOAD On In Stock Gas & Pellet Huge Savings Thru August Only/Pellets DiscotmtedAlso. BLUEWATER POOLS & SPAS 671 Hwy. One (Over the Nassau Bridge) 645-8119