According to scientists, after 18 months the newly constructed reef off of Palos Verdes is “going off!” Marine experts are overwhelmed at how fast the constructed habitat has exploded into a productive home for fish and invertebrates.
According to Southern California Marine Institute Director (SCMI), Dan Pondella, the Palos Verdes’ restoration reef is “going off” with exploding fish and invertebrate populations. And there’s nothing artificial about the robust marine flora and fauna on the newly constructed reef. The high relief structure was placed just 18 months ago and is absolutely vibrant today (see: https://youtu.be/UGg0hm06v7c)!
In a day when most news about marine habitat is sad and disconcerting, having a brilliant success story comes as quite a pleasant change. I should add here that along with the team from Vantuna and SCMI, thanks should go out to NOAA and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for their continued support. I would also like to acknowledge Governor Gavin Newsom, who as Lt. Governor while on the State Lands Commission supported the Palos Verdes reefing project. Thank you Gov!
While we’re talking success stories, let me add that the third “Conservancies’ Classic” is coming up quickly on Saturday August 20 in Carpinteria. The Classic is held in conjunction with and supports the Gaviota Coast Conservancy’s mission of coastal restoration and recreational access. Working together we make it happen. Come join the fun and take a shot at winning a Bass pro stand-up paddleboard! Sign up at sportfishingconservancy.org.
Join the Gaviota Coast Conservancy and the Sportfishing Conservancy on Saturday August 20. The 2022 Conservancies’ Classic will benefit marine habitat and give everyone a shot at winning an awesome stand up paddleboard. Pictured right: Janet Koed, Tom Raftican and GCC president, Steve Forsell at 2020 Conservancies Classic proceeds presentation.
There’s no better way to splash into a summer morning than to wade the Pacific, surf fishing the lower Gaviota Coast. On Saturday August 20 the Sportfishing Conservancy and the Gaviota Coast Conservancy will hold our third “Conservancies’ Classic.” The Classic challenges surf fishers (or kayak or other non-motorized fishing craft) to test their fishing skill and at the same time support of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy and its mission that specifically includes recreational access to the coast. As proud partners, the Sportfishing Conservancy looks to grow that relationship while supporting the coastal/marine environment. Enter the Classic for $20, come away with a valuable goody bag and a chance to win an awesome stand-up paddleboard package while helping a great cause. Action kicks off at Ash Avenue in Carpinteria with mandatory check-ins starting at 6:30 and running all morning. This is fishing for glory at its finest and after awards there will be a drawing for a Bass Pro Ascend stand-up paddleboard (Thank you Bass Pro!!). And remember, everyone fishing in the Classic will have a chance to win the SUP along with the satisfaction of knowing that your participation will help a great, fishing friendly future.
Note: for all of those who will be on vacation I late August, our annual “No-Motor Tournament” is scheduled for Saturday October 22. That event will benefit the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and the Carpinteria Salt Marsh and will again be headquartered at Danny’s Deli. Stay tuned for details.
Ray Scott was the father of tournament bass fishing and responsible for establishing its catch and release ethic – a monumental success both for sport fishing and for conservation. Teddy Roosevelt didn’t start off aiming to be America’s conservation hero, it just sort of evolved. He was a hunter who valued and respected his quarry and held in disdain those who killed wildlife just for the sake of it. After his election, President Roosevelt caught wind of men in Florida wantonly killing pelicans just to shoot something. He decided to take action and when advised he could stop this slaughter with a stroke of his pen, he did. He declared Pelican Island, a small mangrove island home to thousands of these awesome birds, a national wildlife refuge and prohibited their slaughter. National Parks and other National Wildlife Refuges would come after, but the die was cast. Thanks to this and his continuing commitment to conservation, today Teddy is universally held in the highest conservation esteem. Ray Scott passed away last week and sport fishing lost a monumental hero. I only met Ray one time. Talking to him was easy - he was a regular guy. Ray was a bass fisherman and promoter who had a vision and was not afraid to pursue it with tenacity and passion. Ray started running bass tournament fishing some 5 decades ago. That vision and tenacity turned the calamity of early bass fishing into what is now a billion dollar showcase of not only NASCAR style boats and outfits, but importantly a deep, lasting conservation ethic that rewards attention to our natural resources and with an adherence that now stretches across the entire angling community. All of this came about thanks to Ray's leadership in establishing the catch and release model as the cornerstone of tournament bass fishing. Ray took bass fishing from a byline in the back of the sports section to the front page and well beyond. Ray scrapped against the odds to pursue his dream and along the way fostered an ethic just as Teddy did. Think about it! This humble, but visionary leader took an infant industry and turned it into an art form. More importantly, today this commitment to conservation has expanded to anglers across our country. Take what you need, then put one back for the next guy – a fish is too valuable to be caught just once. Thank you Ray. Tight lines, Tom
South Coast Habitat Restoration is a local non-profit organization based in Carpinteria that is dedicated to environmental stewardship and habitat enhancement. They focus on steelhead trout recovery through a variety of watershed restoration projects throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Our “Coastal Human Power” fishing tournament is proud to help! This past Saturday our initial “Coastal Human Power” fishing contest got dozens of folks out on the beach to have fun, catch fish (yes, almost no one skunked!) and raise funds for an awesome cause that provides habitat restoration and enhancement for coastal steelhead populations! The tournament kicked off and finished up at Danny’s Deli with kids, men and women all supporting South Coast habitat Restoration. Note: all proceeds from the event will go towards their important work. Special thanks goes out to Bass Pro Shops for their help and to Marco Farrell for sponsoring all the entry fees for kids. Other local support came from Carpinteria Lumber Yard, Carpinteria Sports, Robataille’s Candy, Stardust Sport Fishing/Sea Landing, and of course, Danny’s Deli. Volunteers included Gary Sanchez, Marco Farrell, Kaylan Stedman, Bob and Robin Osborn. None of this would be possible without your help! Looked like everyone had a good time, including the fish, all of which were all released! Tight Lines, Tom
Despite millions of everyday heroes stepping up to the COVID and other challenges, this past year was remarkably devoid of positive projects. Save one… I remember as a young man coming across an interesting looking, finely bound volume while searching through a local bookstore. The book was titled “The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro Agnew.” History tells us that Spiro Agnew had served a single term as Vice President and was quietly retired. Still, the book just screamed open me and I couldn’t resist. I was rewarded with 85 pages that were completely blank. Not a sentence, not a phrase, not a word graced a single page. Nothing. Assuming the copyright expired, the same text seems oh, so fitting for “Good News Highlights of 2020.” Save one item. First of all, despite 2020’s unrelenting carnage, there were winners. 2020 was the year of everyday heroes: just plain folks, folks who did their job, often in the face of incredible challenge and risk. The winners were individuals who not only stood out facing the incredible array of challenges that 2020 provided, they were people like the lady or guy next door who, day after day, showed up and performed in the face of deadly adversity. My hat is off to these true heroes. That being said, looking back through the gloom of this past year, I did come across a unique project that could be reviewed not as a response to a crisis, but as a step forward for marine life and the outdoors community. 2020 marked the completion of the Palos Verdes artificial reef, a prime piece of constructed marine habitat that dramatically improves marine productivity along the California coast. Despite planning and permitting starting in the 1990”s, the Palos Verdes / Montrose Settlement Mitigation Reef placement is no longer “under way,” but is now quite literally under water. A big thank you for completing this effort goes out to Dr. Dan Pondella. Dan heads up the Southern California Marine Institute and is a professor at Occidental. He and his team took up the challenge a few years back and did a stellar job adopting, then shepherding this decades old project through to completion. For those who might want to visit (and fish!) the new reef, the list of GPS coordinates is posted on our sportfishingconservancy.org website. The numbers are compliments of Dan and SCMI. Tight lines, Tom Palos Verdes Artificial Reef GPS Coordinates Name "Centroid/Mid-Point (Degrees)" 4B 33.7215675°, -118.3464353° 4C 33.7211084°, -118.3463911° 4D 33.7219814°, -118.3468575° 5C 33.7204756°, -118.3449100° 5A 33.7215803°, -118.3454689° 5B 33.7210044°, -118.3450552° 8A 33.7190143°, -118.3401493° 8B 33.7185501°, -118.3406224° 8C 33.7180752°, -118.3404578° 7B 33.7199043°, -118.3424517° 7A 33.7203657°, -118.3420577° 7C 33.7193331°, -118.3423194° 6A 33.7210210°, -118.3435318° 6D 33.7205037°, -118.3435636° 6C 33.7199821°, -118.3435258° 2B 33.7228135°, -118.3494304° 2C 33.7225749°, -118.3487502° 2A 33.7231128°, -118.3499290° 3D 33.7223519°, -118.3480178°