Outdoors notebook



•  The International Game Fish Association is testing a new app for iPhone that enables anglers to collect fisheries data for research, or just store their own catch information for themselves. A unique feature of IGFACatchLog is visual recognition software developed by scientists at Columbia University to help anglers identify unknown fish by snapping an iPhone photo. The record-keeping and conservation organization is seeking angler volunteers to field-test the new app in the nearshore waters of Everglades National Park between now and December. Prizes and other incentives will be offered. To apply, go to www.igfacatchlog.or or call Leah Baumwell at 954-924-4317.

Researchers at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School are using larval cobia spawned at the experimental hatchery on Virginia Key as lab rats for testing the effects of ocean acidification. As ocean waters are overloaded with carbon dioxide, they become more acidic which weakens the hard structures of corals, mollusks and other marine creatures, according to recent studies. The UM research, published in Global Change Biology, is believed to be the first to report the impacts of ocean acidification on a large, pelagic, tropical fish species. Scientists Sean Bignami, Su Sponaugle and Robert Cowen found that baby cobia were resistant to acidic ocean conditions. But at extreme levels, larval size was reduced and development delayed. The researchers say their findings show an optimistic outlook for cobia, but raise questions about the effects on other commercially important fish species.

•  If you haven’t yet weighed in on Everglades National Park’s proposed general management plan to guide activities in the park for the next 20-30 years, you have plenty more opportunities before the comment period closes on May 12. Public hearings are scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on April 8 at the IGFA Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach; April 10 at the Monroe County Government Center in Key Largo; April 11 at the FIU Stadium Club, 11310 SW 17 St., Miami; April 16 at the Monroe County Government Center in Marathon; and April 17 at the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary Eco-Discovery Center in Key West.

•  Three South Florida Olympic hopefuls scored strong finishes in Saturday’s finale of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. David Hughes of Miami finished seventh with skipper Stuart McNay of Providence, R.I. in the men’s 470 fleet. Fort Lauderdale Olympian Sarah Lihan was ninth in women’s 470 with teammate Sydney Bolger of Long Beach, Calif. Miami skipper Sarah Newberry came in 10th in Nacra 17 — the new multihull class — with crew John Casey of Longwood.

Susan Cocking

•  Entering today’s final of fishing, 4Aces, owned by Miamian Pedro Adrian, has a one fish lead in the Pro Division at the inaugural Key West Sailfish Championship.

Adrian, along with Miami angler Robbie Ramirez, Ignacio Quintana, Jeffrey Lieberman, Alex Castellanos and Captain John Dudas tallied a total of nine releases during fishing action Thursday and Friday. Saturday, the 60 participants had the day off during a scheduled lay day.

In the Non-Pro Division, SeaHunter and Boss Man each have three releases. SeaHunter is skippered by Ralph Montalvo with Charlie Schiffer of Homestead as the registered angler. Key Wester Carl Masiello is fishing aboard Boss Man, skippered by Roger Corliss.

Andy Newman

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