Do be careful out there

Dave
Dave White
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The magnificient Victoria Day weekend weather stirred quite a bit of activity around the McIvers Island tickle and into the wild gulf reaches beyond.

The Blanchard’s Cove boat launch got its fair share of users as fun-loving family and friends from around the area and from further afield set out for daily excursions and weekend jaunts to cabins they own and share in the outer Bay of Islands on North Arm, Penguin Arm and Goose Arm.

The May long weekend marks the start of outdoor adventure time for many resident cottagers and destination-minded tourists who come to avail the whims of nature the season long. Having a plan can usually work well.

Experienced and impromptu weekend adventurers taking to the waters and woods ought firstly and always stand alert to the risks that go along with the pleasure found in the great outdoors.

Proceeding in a safe and sane manner on the water and on the trails, being prepared in case of emergency, and consenting to share all useful knowledge with like-minded others so seeking uncomplicated rest and deserved relaxation, makes for a good start.

Do be careful out there.

Nature’s way  

In the tickle and around the McIvers islet, frenzies of stearns, shags and saltwater ducks swarm to feed in the occasioned presence of bait fish.

The underwater migrations of sea lance and other small plankton feeders on Humber Arm this month, along with the observed presence of whales in Middle Arm last weekend, typically signal the first seasonal arrivals of ocean-going trout, Atlantic salmon, Northern cod and other recreationally and commercially valuable species.

Area lobster catches are reported down and commercial prices are seen in decline again this year, while results in the crab harvest show a strong rebound from recent seasons.

The spring herring fishery and June’s caplin run, along with limited ground fisheries also come figuring into the economic fortunes of Bay of Islands during the allowable seasonal harvests. Mackerel and other sustainable federal quotas come tagged with total allowable catches later on.

Dozens of fishing enterprises and assorted transport companies, as well as hundreds of local and area process workers ashore and abroad, depend on nature’s bountiful harvest to sustain livelihoods and to help feed the masses.

On the post office wall

Among the written public interests adorning the rural postal shelter wall in McIvers these last few months stands a wanted poster issued from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and seeking the whereabouts of North Atlantic right whales in Canadian waters.

In support of conservation, let it be known that right whales can be recognized by a broad back with no dorsal fin, characteristic white patterns on the head, by its broad paddle-shaped flipper, y-shaped tail fluke and a v-shaped blow hole, as the poster describes.

Those who have correctly identified right whales in local areas are asked to record the date, location and number of animals observed. Observers, as possible, are asked to provide photographs, and to email any personal reports to xmarwhalesightings@dfo-mpo.gc.ca. A telephone report may be made to (506) 529-5838.

 The Department of Fisheries and Oceans wanted poster also provides toll-free service at 1-888-895-3003 for emergency reporting of entangled, trapped, stranded or discovery of dead Right whales in Canadian waters.

Of the 13 species of whales — among 80 varieties worldwide — known to migrate to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the population of right whales in the North Atlantic is considered to be about 300.

Benefit for Peter

A community prize bingo is being held in benefit of Peter Ellsworth who required travel and accommodation to sustain continued medical treatments in Halifax.  

Some 30 games of bingo will take place at the Summerside Lions Hall, beginning 1 p.m. on Sunday. Queries and contributions are being handled by Jocelyn Wheeler (783-2222), Willie Loder (783-2524) and Rhona Parsons (783-2599).

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at  688-2003, or email at: davidjwhite@columnist.com.

Organizations: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Geographic location: Bay of Islands, North Arm, North Atlantic Middle Arm Halifax

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