Out & About

World-record bass caught in Japan

OUTCAST – The world-record largemouth bass that trophy anglers have been stalking for decades from Florida to California apparently has been caught – by a woman in Japan.

On July 2, Manabu Kurita, 32, of Aichi, Japan, landed the huge largemouth – as big around as it was long – in Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake, northeast of Kyoto.

The fish was officially weighed at 22 pounds, 4 ounces. If certified by the International Game Fish Association – a decision is expected within three weeks – it would tie the world record caught 77 years ago in Georgia. That fish was caught by George Perry on Georgia’s Montgomery Lake, June 2, 1932.

Largemouth bass were introduced to Japan, where fisheries officials consider them an invasive species.

Kurita caught the bass while trolling a bluegill as live bait through a canal.

Public TV features national parks

OUTSTANDING – After six years of filming at some of nature’s most spectacular locales, a remarkable series begins at 8 tonight on KSPS TV: “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”

Filmmaker Ken Burns went beyond the scenery and wildlife to get the stories of people instrumental in protecting national parks set against the world’s most breathtaking backdrops.

Idaho missing art of wolf hunt

OUTCRY – With so much emphasis on court cases and quelling the polarized uproar over the first wolf-hunting season in decades, Idaho may have missed a golden opportunity.

Duck-stamp artwork was a huge hit among collectors and galleries when “first of state” stamps and prints were released in the 1980s.

A first-of-state wolf stamp may have been just as appealing.

Idaho Fish and Game Department officials say it’s clear that some of the 15,400 state wolf tags sold so far this fall are being purchased as souvenirs.

“Even people who don’t plan to hunt wolves recognize the historic value in this first hunt and they want the tag as a collector’s item,” said Ed Mitchell, department spokesman in Boise.

Unfortunately, the computer-generated tag is ugly.

The state is trying to catch up by approving an auction for the wolf tags numbered 1 through 100.

Fine. But we repeat. The tags are UGLY.

An appealing art stamp, suitable for framing along with a first-of-state hunting tag – with proceeds earmarked for wolf management – might have helped raise the carnivore’s status from scourge to game.

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