Prowling the shallow Florida Keys flats seeking silvery permit, anglers can vie for elite titles during the 2015 March Merkin Permit Tournament. The fly-only challenge is scheduled Monday through Thursday, March 16-19.

The angler who catches the most inches of permit earns the title of tournament grand champion. The tournament also is to recognize the grand champion guide, first runner-up angler and guide, second runner-up angler and guide, and angler and guide who score the longest permit.

Participants wishing to hone their skills and knowledge of Keys waters can arrive early and scout the area Sunday and Monday, March 15 and 16. For early arrivals, the Fly Fishing Film Tour is set for Sunday at Key West’s Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St.

The tournament is to begin with a kick-off reception and dinner at 6 p.m. Monday at Key West Harbour Yacht Club, 6000 Peninsular Ave. on Stock Island. The club serves as tournament headquarters.

Lines are to be in the water from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, March 17-19. Anglers with fish to score must check in at the scorekeeper table by 6 p.m. each day.

To count for points, fish must be boated, measured, tagged and photographed on the measuring device provided and released alive.

Appetizers and a cash bar await anglers each evening at Key West Harbour Yacht Club. Awards are to be presented following the final day’s fishing.

The entry fee is $850 per angler. Licensed guides are allowed to fish as anglers in the permit challenge.

Tournament information and registration: www.marchmerkin.com

Subways Dumped In The Ocean

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For more than a decade, decommissioned New York City subway cars have quietly been shipped out to the Atlantic Ocean where they’re dumped into the ocean as part of an environmental effort to build an artificial habitat for coral reefs. Photographer Stephen Mallon has documented the process.

Over the years Mallon has photographed four “drops” and two “load-ups” as part of a series called Next Stop Atlantic, which chronicles the trains as they’re stripped of toxic materials, loaded up, shipped and then deposited into the ocean — where the instantly recognizable cars eventually become a new home and breeding ground to coral, crustaceans and fish that have attached themselves to the hard surfaces.

It’s just one of many solutions researchers have come up with to protect coral. Many species are in decline due to rising ocean temperatures, disease and a spike in recreational and commercial fishing activities.

In December 2012, NOAA proposed listing 66 coral species on the Endangered Species Act in an effort to save a resource that generates approximately $1.1 billion and thousands of jobs worldwide.

The proposal made headlines at the time, while sparking a conversation about an important cause.





A 28-pound rainbow trout was caught in a northern Idaho river last week—which would have been the largest in state history– but it had to be released due to state laws protecting the threatened species.

“It’s the biggest rainbow trout I’ve seen,” Steve Liebenthal, the public information specialist from Idaho Fish and Game, told FoxNews.com.

The fish was hauled in on Jan. 8 by angler Larry Warren on the idyllic Clearwater River.

The catch was remarkable. Biologists took a look at the photo and confirmed that the fish did appear to weigh around 28 pounds and guessed that it was somewhere around seven years old.

“We have no reason to believe this fish weighed any less than reported,” Liebenthal said.

Warren caught the fish using a six-pound test line, OutDoorHub.com reported.

The largest rainbow trout in the state was recorded in 2009 and weighed 20 pounds, KBOI2.com reported. This fish would demolish the record, but was not weighed on a state-certified scale.

A steelhead trout is a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches. These fish with a clipped adipose fin– which is located behind its dorsal fin– may be kept in other waters in the state. This particular fish’s adipose fin was intact so it was required to be set free. The fish was also protected because it was caught on a river that mandated throwing the species back. Steelheads, indeed, are considered to be “threatened,” under the Endangered Species Act.

“That’s probably why it grew so large,” Liebenthal said.

Source: www.foxnews.com

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