HOOK AND FUR
By Bob Brown
A new era is beginning for salmon and steelhead anglers on the Cowlitz River. Beginning May 1, anglers fishing for salmon and steelhead will be required to use barbless hooks.
Barbless hooks are also required when fishing for salmon and steelhead on the White Salmon, Klickitat and Snake rivers, plus the Yakima and Okanogan rivers and the Columbia. Use of single, double-point or treble hooks will be allowed so long as the barbs have been filed off or pinched down.
Jim Scott, assistant director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) gist program, said the new rule will contribute to ongoing efforts to minimize impacts on wild stocks while maintaining opportunities for anglers to harvest hatchery fish.
Scott also said, “Anyone who has ever fished with barbless hooks knows they are easier to remove from a fish’s mouth than a barbed hook. That is important in fisheries where anglers are required to release wild fish unharmed. The requirement to release wild fish is common in the Columbia River basin and other Washington waters, especially in areas where they are protected by state and federal laws. Angler fishing for salmon and steelhead in Puget Sound and ocean waters has been required to use barbless hooks for years.”
Before taking action on barbless hook usage, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission held a series of public hearings in the winter of 2012. WDFW also conducted public meetings on barbless hooks during the 2013 North of Falcon process, where statewide salmon fishing seasons were set earlier this month.
With only a few exceptions, the rule requiring the use of barbless hooks will be in effect on rivers and streams where a Columbia River salmon and steelhead endorsement is required in addition to a current fishing license. Those waters are clearly marked in WDFW’s 2013-14 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet and online.
Go bananas on mosquito bites
When we eat a banana, we typically throw the peel away, and don’t give it a backward glance, but maybe we ought to take another look at that operation. Known for its antifungal and antibiotic properties and loaded with vitamins such as minerals and fiber, banana peels have been used in rural America for years to treat a variety of ailments, such as allergies, skin irritations, mosquito bites and bruises.
Columnist Nora Dunn said in her article “Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels”, (Wise Bread, 1/7/2011), “Since banana peels aren’t a particularly hot commodity, being able to put them to good use adds value to any household and saves money on alternative treatments. Banana peels are loaded with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, so they’re a natural cure for many ailments and an aid for cell regeneration. Rubbing a banana peel on bug bites will soothe the skin and reduce itching. Also with its restorative properties, banana peels can speed up the healing of bruises. They have been known to help eliminate warts and prevent their return. Simply tape a piece of banana peel to a wart overnight for about a week or you can just rub the peel on the affected area daily. This will also work for planar warts on the sole of the foot.”
Banana peels have been used to soothe the inflammation and irritation of acne and reduce outbreaks. They have also been used on psoriasis to reduce itchiness and on poison ivy to do the same thing. Dunn said the most bizarre use of banana peels is to remove splinters. Peel enzymes actually help dislodge the splinter and start the healing process when a piece of peel is tapped over the splinter.
Banana peels have been used to polish a variety of leather goods, including shoes and leather jackets. They have been used to polish silver and a cure for hangovers. For dehydration and replenishment of nutrients, have a banana milkshake after a big night out.
Dunn said she couldn’t personally attest to all of those banana peel applications, so if in doubt, do a small test first.
I couldn’t attest to any of them, either, but they sound good.