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Local Family Fishing… is the best. It’s even better when it introduces our young anglers to the George Carl Kids Fishing Derby. Here’s Marko Karakasevic looking over a bunch of winners. They are Eden Castle, Miles Karakasevic and Carrera Castle. Prizes and participation certificates abound. Smiles, too. They’ll be old pros by the 2020 fishing derby.

Eric Sklar On A Busman’s Holiday… Eric is the President of the California Fish and Game Commission. So it’s good to see him out fishing on his holiday. Eric and his wife, Erica scored a mix of fresh wild protein from the sea up on Vancouver Island. They fished a couple of days in early July out of the Quatsino Lodge (find out more at quatsinolodge.com/fishing). Their pro guide, Mike Wadsworth, took them to the inlet to the Quatsino Sound and Grants Bay just north of the inlet.

Check their scorecard: King and Coho salmon and halibut were trolled up with hochies on downriggers — ling cod and rockfish were jigged at about 140-175 feet. As a perfect example of how good the fishing was, one day they caught their king salmon limits by 6:00 a.m!

Vancouver Island is one of my favorite places on Earth, and that area is “salmon central.” Don’t miss it.

Plan enough time to visit the island’s capital city, Victoria, to have high tea at the historic Empress Hotel. I know you will enjoy it. In preparation for your visit, they have been serving high tea daily ever since 1908. It’s one of my favorite things to do when I visit Canada. Just look at a couple of the tea service menu items to bring back fond memories of “the good old days.” Clotted cream, smoked salmon, Scottish shortbread, cucumber on dark rye, raisin scones — all topped off with Maple pecan financiers. Be sure to go hungry.

The Napa Wildlife Rescue Team… is one of my favorite local groups. They take in and rehab hurt and wounded wildlife and release them back into the wild whole again. We have no more dedicated citizens than those on their team. I met them when I was a member of the Napa County Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Look at this marvelous new program they have developed that can let every citizen participate in a natural way to reduce the use of rodenticides and other dangerous chemicals right here in our own home towns. It’s called BOMP, “Barn Owl Maintenance Program.”

I’m going to invest in one of their Barn Owl Boxes that encourage barn owl families to come and live with us. Why? A barn owl family (three to four birds) can eat 1,000-3,000 rodents a year. A natural method of wild life balancing — and the beginning of the end of the use of dangerous chemicals that kill everything they touch, not just the targeted pests.

Will you join me? Use your own family BOMP project to teach your children how to grow up to contribute to our common good. In fact, ask them to help fund your family’s barn owl box by contributing some of their own money every month. Remember, your barn owls have mated for life so they will bring their kids in to work — a couple of new ones every year

The beauty of this Napa Wildlife Barn Owl Maintenance Program is that it is professionally developed and maintained for you. Of course, farmers and wineries will see these benefits quickly.

BOMP Will Install A Box… with its pole (one to six boxes) for $450 each. There are some preliminary steps that will insure success — like Consultation ($200) — and you are going to want the BOMP team to perform an annual fall box inspection and cleaning ($125). That’s $775 for my year one — and just $235 in following years.

Too much? Not really. I’m going to fund my box by skipping a couple of guided Clear Lake fishing trips this year. Golfers, skip a couple of golf matches this year — and your BOMP box is paid for.

More information and order your box at napawildliferescue.org/bomp

Better Still… invite your close neighbors to your initial BOMP consultation to get them on board, and committed to share the costs and the benefits. Nice way to build community.

What’s this got to do with fishing? Everything. Those dangerous chemicals build up quickly and get washed down into our favorite local fishing holes like the Napa River, Hennessey Berryessa and Clear Lake to kill the fish that live in them. Let’s save a bunch of fish so our kids — and their kids — can enjoy fishing for them.

Worth doing? You bet. Bassmaster Magazine just released its 2019 Top 100 Bass Lakes in America, including the Top 25 in the West. Clear Lake is the top bass lake in the Western 25 – and Berryessa ranks seventh. By the way, still nearby, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta is the West’s fourth-best bass water.

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