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Trout Unlimited Canada - Northern Lights Fly Fishers


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Everything posted by PeterSL

  1. On June 4, 2020 the Federal Government released their proposed Recovery Strategies for Bull Trout, Saskatchewan- Nelson Rivers and Rainbow Trout, Athabasca River population for the sixty-day public review process. https://species-registry.canada.ca/index-en.html#/documents/1414 https://species-registry.canada.ca/index-en.html#/documents/1835 The contact address to provide comments: Director SARA Directorate Department of Fisheries and Oceans 200 Kent St. Ottawa, ON K1A 0E6 SARA/LEP.XNCR@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
  2. Lil Johns Sign Shop can't give me a specific time yet but will post it as soon as I know. Making the two new pedestals to match the existing ones is a complicating factor. Also not sure yet about a ceremony - different work schedules for the families and some health concerns about group gatherings may complicate it
  3. The graphics and art work for the Muir Lake Alberta Angler Walk of Fame have been completed with the voluntary assistance of ACA and the signs are now at Lil Johns Sign Shop awaiting construction and installation. We have reworked the signs for Lloyd Shea and Martin Paetz, added Barry Michell to the sign honouring his parents, George and Joan Michell, and created signs for Don Andersen and for the Edmonton Trout Club nominee, Reg Denny. Family members of the honourees have been involved in the wording and picture selection where possible. The new Welcome sign is also attached Muir Lake_Walk of Fame_PROOFS.pdf
  4. Heard there was some flooding that washed out part of the road in and that the campground was closed. However, that's probably old news now as the website shows the campground open. Suggest a call to Greenview County though. Planning a trip?
  5. Hi Don, It's on tonight 7:00pm May 27 Jim O'Neil, Ken Monk - Arctic Grayling project To join: The zoom meeting ID is : 668 142 7482 The password is 306090.
  6. Received the following message today from Parkland County: "As of right now Muir Lake is scheduled to open as usual, however the situation is fluid and depending on usage and visitors’ ability to follow social distancing protocols, it could change. We will communicate any decisions that are made on the County website and social media pages." Suspect this will be the case with other lakes in Parkland and in other Counties. Please help spread the message so we don't have lakes and boat launches closed off to us all. The new Welcome to Muir Lake sign was installed this week and work on replacing and adding to the Alberta Angler Walk of Fame signs is in progress.
  7. Some good news amid the gloom! Northern Lights Fly Fishers has been successful in securing grant funding from ACA for 3 major projects in 2020: 1. Conserving and Restoring Arctic Grayling in the Upper Pembina River Watershed – Habitat Restoration Planning The project builds upon work done in previous years of the chapter’s Arctic Grayling conservation program and involves: · water temperature monitoring at 20 sites in the Upper Pembina River watershed · aerial videography using a quadcopter to: - assess present habitat suitability in small tributary reaches with previously documented Arctic Grayling spawning, to determine their potential use as re-stocking sites - locate and document OHV damaged sites - locate and document potential sites for additional stream remediation efforts. · installing trail cameras in selected sites to collect data about angling non-compliance or damage to habitat caused by OHV traffic as well as tracking seasonal high-water events. · assisting AEP in identifying young-of-the-year/yearling rearing areas (as surrogates of spawning locations) using backpack electrofishing. · assisting AEP with volunteer angling survey and underwater videography, to evaluate effectiveness of 5-year angling closure on Upper Pembina system. There was hope of evaluating the potential of remote site incubators for future re-stocking purposes with advice from Dr. Magee, U of Montana, but this aspect of the grant proposal was unfortunately not included in the approved funding. 2. Riparian protection on Dogpound Creek Dogpound Creek is recognized as a prime recreational fishery, especially for brown trout, and is visited by anglers from all areas of the province. Essential to its long-term survival is protection of the riparian land along the length of the Creek. Its banks consist of non-cohesive, fine alluvial materials and, especially where frequented by cattle, are subject to devegetation and erosion. Most of the existing fencing, installed over thirty years ago, is broken and flattened. The owners of a large cattle ranching operation along the creek near Carstairs have agreed to the terms of a Riparian Conservation Program with ACA including upkeep of new fencing. With this grant Northern Lights will support that partnership by: · protecting 49 acres of riparian land on the property from degradation by cattle ranching and reduce siltation and effluent introduction into the creek along 3.8 km of Dogpound Creek, by removing damaged fencing and installing new wildlife friendly fencing; · providing alternate watering for the cattle by repairing two off-site watering facilities; · installing 16 access gates to the riparian area and creek for anglers and others. · promoting awareness of the need for and benefits of riparian protection. The goals are to establish conditions for a healthier river, improve habitat for fish and wildlife, and increase recreational opportunity for anglers and those interested in experiencing nature in a more pristine setting. Hopefully the project will also provide a model of effective and achievable riparian protection and increase knowledge of its importance and benefits. 3. Aeration of Hasse Lake Hasse Lake was originally developed as a provincial park and became a popular trout fishery, stocked by AEP with approx. 20,000 rainbow trout annually and producing fish in excess of 3lbs. It is a 90 ha lake with an average depth of 3.5m set in rolling hills with extensive aspen growth. It has a sandy beach, picnic area with fire pits, 3 km of walking trails, a boat launch and angling platform and is a popular birdwatching area. Water quality gradually deteriorated, however, largely due to increasing phosphorous levels. Blue-green algae began to appear. Dissolved oxygen levels decreased and fish began to die. Public Health became involved and closed the beach issuing fecal bacteria warnings. In 2009 AEP stopped stocking trout. Efforts to turn the lake into a walleye, pike and perch fishery in 2012 failed and AEP ceased all stocking that same year. In response to public requests to rehabilitate the lake, in particular from the Northern Lights Chapter and the Edmonton Trout Fishing Club, ACA began in 2015 to collaborate with local community groups and land owners to reduce nutrient loading in Hasse Lake. Improvements to and protection of much of the lake’s riparian area were such that by 2019 ACA assessment recorded DO levels adequate to support trout although thermal stratification remained a concern. E-coli and fecal coliforms were at or slightly below Alberta Health and Safety guidelines. AEP agreed to restock the lake with trout in the spring of 2020 provided that ACA continued to improve the water quality of the lake. Should that prove successful AEP further agreed to add more rainbow trout in the fall and also to diversify the fishery by the addition of tiger trout. The most effective way to continue to improve water quality and enhance conditions for trout survival was clearly identified as intensive lake aeration. This would increase dissolved oxygen, reduce nutrient levels and improve the aquatic environment for the organisms that fish rely on for food. The Northern Lights Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada, based on the success of the aeration program it helped fund and maintain at Muir Lake, will: · purchase five surface aerators and associated cables and assist ACA as needed with their installation and monitoring; · communicate the availability of Hasse Lake as an additional recreational angling opportunity and of the associated social, recreational, health and economic benefits it brings to the community · encourage financial support from local authorities and businesses for the Hasse Lake Reclamation Project and ongoing maintenance of water quality in the lake. Approved Club Funded Projects: · In conjunction with Edmonton Trout Fishing Club and Edmonton Oldtimers Fishing Club we will continue to work on replacing the Welcome signage and educational plaques at Muir Lake that have become weather worn and unreadable. ETFC is installing an additional plaque in the Walk of Fame honouring Reg Denny, and NLFF is adding Don Andersen to the Walk of Fame and rewriting the George and Joan Mitchell plaque as the Mitchell Family to incorporate recognition of the outstanding contributions of Barry Mitchell. · Continue to advocate for additional protection for Arctic Grayling, especially in the upper Pembina, by disseminating information to provincial and federal authorities obtained from the analysis of ARGR DNA by Jessica Reilly and Dr. Josh Miller commissioned by NLFF. · Support the work of TUC in protecting bulltrout spawning areas in MacKenzie Creek with a financial contribution and stream work as and when needed. · Putting $2,500 on hold for exploring the possibility of establishing remote site incubators in the upper Pembina river and/or its tributaries to assist with the reestablishment of Artic Grayling populations in the area. · Assist ACA with the Kids Can Catch programs at Fort Saskatchewan Pond and at Don Sparrow Lake, Beaumont. · Provide fly-tying instruction to school groups and youth organizations when requested and as volunteer time allows. · Assist TUC with running the Edmonton Conservation Dinner and Auction (it's postponed indefinitely right now). All of the above will be done as and when conditions allow. Hopefully we can hold a meeting again soon or better yet, go fishing!!
  8. Just announced: To complement the release of new sport fishing regulations, and in recognition of the fact many Albertans are self-isolating in light of COVID-19, the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association is making its eight-module Alberta Fishing Education Program available online for free. “Many Albertans are practising physical distancing right now, so what better time to learn about our province’s wildlife? Our partners at AHEIA have generously offered to make the new Alberta Fishing Education Program available free of charge, and we hope Albertans – kids and adults – will take advantage of this opportunity. I recently took the course along with my two youngest children, and the three of us learned so much about the aquatic biodiversity of our province!” Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks “Given the current set of circumstances everyone is dealing with, we feel now is the perfect time to release the Alberta Fishing Education Program for free, so that all Albertans – young and old – can take advantage of this extra time they may have found themselves with while they self-isolate or quarantine at home away from school and work.” Robert Gruszecki, Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association The Alberta Fishing Education Program is the only program of its kind offered in North America. Its aim, beyond providing essential education about fishing in Alberta, is to provide confidence through understanding to better enable more people to responsibly spend time in the outdoors and enjoy and preserve our province’s most beautiful wild places and wildlife. AHEIA is a not-for-profit organization that works to educate the public on the importance of protecting the places and wildlife cherished by Albertans. AHEIA is the only registered charity in Alberta that provides this type of conservation and outdoor education to the public and has done so since 1964. Fishing Education Program: https://319.yssecure.com/cart_builde...roductID=60179
  9. An online version is now available https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/dbf392f4-266f-4947-adc0-fa4bdf4e2c9c/resource/7dc7cdc2-0cfb-497e-8b88-174a9800e437/download/alberta-guide-sportfishing-regulations-2020.pdf
  10. If you were unable to attend a Fisheries Open House meeting there is still time to provide your input online. The online survey will close on February 2, 2020. Go to https://talkaep.alberta.ca/aep-fisheries-management and click under “ Opportunities for more recreational fishing” . There is the opportunity to provide comments on issues beyond the focus of “creating angling opportunity” such as habitat, angling education, citizen science and consultation processes and opportunity to make suggestions for other consultation topics.
  11. The provincial government is putting some money into improving the fish hatcheries, esp. the Raven, and looking at raising some Arctic Grayling and Athabasca Cutthroats in them. More at https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=684911A4FB13A-0BE1-042A-9D1A23A8C1C710CB
  12. You may remember Kirby Coderre from Okotoks who made a presentation to us back in April 2018 on his 'Mid-life Flysis'. Came across a short video that he recently posted in which fly tyers and fishers might be interested:
  13. Received today a recently published article "Threats to at-risk salmonids of the Canadian Rocky Mountain region" by R. Niloshini Sinnatamby | Ariane Cantin | John R. Post that reinforces the need for urgent action on a North Central Native Trout Recovery Plan. Believe this may be something you might want to reference if you're providing input to Fisheries Management at the open houses or online on its management plan for the future. The abstract is as follows and the full article is attached: "Trout and charr, members of the salmonid family, have high conservation value but are also susceptible to anthropogenic threats in part due to the specificity of their habitat requirements. Understanding historical and future threats facing these species is necessary to promote their recovery. Of freshwater trout and charr in thCanadian Rocky Mountain region, westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkiilewisi), bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus; a charr species) and Athabasca rainbow trout(Oncorhynchus mykiss) are of conservation concern. And indeed, range contractionsand declining populations are evident throughout much of their ranges. Range contraction was most evident in the southern Alberta designatable unit (DU) of west-slope cutthroat trout. Diminished populations were also evident in the downstream watersheds of the Alberta bull trout range, and throughout the Athabasca rainbow trout range. We assessed historical and future threats to evaluate the relative importance of individual threats to each DU and compare their impact among species. Individual threats fall into the broad categories of angling, non-native species and genes, habitat loss and alteration, and climate change. Severity of each threat varied by DU and reflects the interaction between species’ biology and the location of the DU. Severity of threats facing each DU has changed over time, reflecting extirpation of native populations, changes in management and industry best practices, expansion of non-native species and progressing climate change. The overall threat impact for each DU indicates a high probability of substantial and continuing declines and calls for immediate action." (bolding mine) Sinnatamby et al 2019 EFF.pdf
  14. Feb 26 - Jessica Reillly, AEP biologist, and Dr. Josh Miller, research biologist, U of A will be providiing information on the genetics of Arctic Grayling in the Upper Pembina compared to other populations of the species, on plans for increasing grayling populations and on Jess' trip to Mongolia to fish for the larger grayling in that country. Quote Edit
  15. Feb 19 - Whirling Disease . Clayton James Senior Fisheries Biologist and researcher with AEP will be along with an update and the answer to all your questions
  16. Kayak fishing with Andy Watt from Jackson Adventures. Andy fishes freshwater lakes and rivers anywhere his kayak fits with a preference for walleye, pike and rainbows....especially walleye!
  17. Short Business Meeting and fly tying. Equipment and materials available for anyone without.
  18. All meetings start at 7:00pm at Queen Mary Park Community Hall on 117St and 108 Ave. Everyone welcome. No charge and no membership required to attend meetings. Coffee and timbits provided. Feb 5 - Short Business Meeting and fly tying. Equipment and materials available for anyone without.Feb 12 - Kayak fishing with Andy Watt from Jackson Adventures. Andy fishes feshwater lakes and rivers anywhere his kayak fits with a preference for walleye, pike and rainbows....especially walleye! Feb 19 - Whirling Disease . Clayton James Senior Fisheries Biologist and researcher with AEP will be along with an update and the answer to all your questionsFeb 26 - Grayling - Jessica Reillly,AEP biologist, and Dr. Josh Miller, research biologist. U of A will be proving information on the genetics of Arctic Gralyling in the Upper Pembina compared to other populations of the species, on plans for increasing grayling populations and on Jess' trip to Mongolia to fish for the larger grayling in that country.
  19. MID-WINTER FLY TYING DAY rescheduled from Jan 25th Saturday, Jan 18th at Queen Mary Park Community Hall from 10:00am to 4:00 pm. Open to all. Come for the day or drop in at any time to join others in tying some flies, chewing the fat, and easing the pain of cabin fever. Nothing formal, no requirements and no charge! We'll be ordering in pizza around about 12:30 and paying for it with whatever donation you'd like to make, or bring your own lunch. Complimentary pop and coffee. Tools and materials for those without their own will be available and some members have offered to be available to help new tyers. If you'd like to be a volunteer instructor for an hour or two please let us know what time(s) would suit you. Otherwise just come and restock your fly box in the company of other tyers.
  20. DATE CHANGE UNFORTUNATELY Just heard from QMP that there was a mix up in their booking system and we've agreed to change our Mid-Winter Fly Tying Day to Saturday January 18th. Consolation is that we get the hall for free because of their error so will be able to afford an extra slice of pizza for everyone! Hope you can be there. We'll turn the heat up in the hall as an extra bonus!
  21. Dave Mayhood, president of FWR Freshwater Research, has some comments on that in his email today in support of Carl Hunt's beliefs about the necessary critical actions: "Thanks for this Peter. Carl is right. Most of our streams are effectively catch and release already, with low angling mortality likely. While some of them still may have sufficient pressure that accidental and poaching mortality is still too high (as Mike Sullivan might insist), I’m satisfied that our coldwater fish populations would continue to decline even if there was zero fishing. Here’s why. Fish must have places to live. The better quality that habitat is, the greater the carrying capacity and the more fish and/or the larger the fish will be. Our eastern slope streams have been, and are still being, hammered by industrial development and recreational OHV use. Their watersheds have some of the highest road & OHV trail densities in western North America. That’s a measure of development, because every development requires roads. It’s also a measure of angling pressure potential, and of habitat damage to streams. In one of my study streams (Silvester Creek) there is zero angling, but heavy industrial (logging, gasfield production and maintenance) and OHV recreational use of the watershed. There’s also grazing. Adult cutthroat numbers have declined 74% between 2006 and 2016. Numbers are now so low that this population has an 84% chance of going extinct. It was once the strongest in the region. Work I and my colleagues have done on suspended sediment loading alone suggests that 40-60% mortality of eggs and larvae was caused by suspended sediment loaded into the creek from road and trail runoff and OHV fording. Effects on juveniles and adults were lower, but were not negligible, and include likely lower condition of juvenile trout. Not surprisingly, juvenile condition in this creek is (2005) measurably lower than it was under baseline (1978) conditions. High silt loads aren’t the only problem; there are many others. Huge drifts of road-derived silt clog this stream in places. A known key overwintering site (~20% of the population) was filled in with small gravel and silt from a well access road and pipeline route kept disturbed by heavy illegal OHV use when I examined it in September. This is a cutthroat population and a stream that are supposedly protected by severe sanctions (including jail time) for this kind of behaviour under the Species At Risk Act. I’ve reported several problems to DFO Fisheries Protection (enforcement) people. No fixes yet, and minimal improvement. These fish and the places they live aren’t protected because neither DFO nor AEP as institutions give a flying duck about the fish they’re supposed to be protecting. Among other problems, they don’t fund their operations adequately, and don’t back up their field people when they need it. Their managements are official bum-kissers to the logging and petroleum industries. Those agencies exist only to give the illusion that the federal and provincial governments have, to quote our corrupt premier as accurately as I can recall off the top of my head, “the highest environmental standards in the world.” Bullshit. Unless this colossal habitat problem can be solved, no amount of restraint by anglers, and no amount of ridiculous bully-boy demands by Jason Nixon, can provide anglers with more fish and better fishing. He could make a decent start at improvement by re-establishing the Bighorn Park, eliminating recreational OHV use in the parks, including the 2 Castle parks where he’s determined to again give them access, and dramatically reducing OHV use and linear disturbances throughout the eastern slopes. Or he could just give everybody 20 bucks and tell them to go buy an Alaskan Bristol Bay sockeye at Safeway. That’s just about the only remaining sustainably managed salmonid fishery left in North America. Of course, the US government has just allowed a major stripmine to go ahead and destroy it, so he better hurry. Good luck with your discussions with the government. You can check our website for the reports and publications to support most of what I’ve written above. We have more in the mill. Also feel free to ask me any questions you might have, and to circulate this email if you feel it might do some good." Dave ___________________________ David Mayhood MSc, President FWR Freshwater Research Limited 1213 - 20 Street NW Calgary, Alberta T2N 2K5 Canada 403 283 8865 dmayhood@fwresearch.ca https://www.fwresearch.ca Twitter: @dmayhood Public key at: http://http-keys.gnupg.net/ ___________________________ "
  22. Received the following email from Carl Hunt, fisheries biologist, now retired, based in the Edson region. Dear Anglers (and anyone concerned about watershed protection), The Public information sessions about fisheries management are most welcome and long overdue. https://talkaep.alberta.ca/aep-fisheries-management The government invitation states; "The Alberta government would like your perspectives about fisheries and their management, with a particular focus on increasing recreational fishing opportunities across the province." "Increasing recreational fishing" starts with 'HABITAT PROTECTION' so I encourage anglers to avoid distractions about minor issues like stocked ponds and angling regulations. Most of the East Slopes angling regulations could be summarized as catch & release - no bait, with a few open seasons. Management of local ponds should be discussed with regional managers. The public information sessions are an opportunity to send a strong message to government about the importance of protecting and repairing fish habitat. I haven't seen much discussion from the organizations that represent anglers, so offer a few suggestions about what they might encourage their membership to request from fish managers as priorities for the future. Carl Hunt Edson AB WHAT MUST BE DONE TO RECOVER TROUT POPULATIONS IN THE EAST SLOPES Prevent- Fragmentation. Roads with hanging culverts block spawning migration and fish access to critical winter habitat. Prevent - Sediment, (from all stream crossings) destroys spawning areas, smothers trout eggs and kills the food supply (aquatic insects). Must include ephemerals (temporary, non-fish bearing) to stop human caused sediment, including OHVs, grazing & cultivation near stream banks. Protect - Riparian areas and floodplain, with trees & shrubs with deep roots to stabilize natural flood channel. No mining or gravel pits. Provide - Trout cover, undercut bank, overhead woody material in log jams (replaced by old growth trees that fall into stream), forest canopy for shade, Stop - Floodplain herbicide spraying (by forestry). Aerial spraying of herbicides is legal within 5 meters of fish bearing water. Start - Compulsory angler education, including reasons for regulations, importance of habitat and sources of destruction and fish identification. A fisheries recovery plan depends on educated anglers, responsible (regulated) industries, open dialogue with biologists and informed general public. Government has the mandate to implement compulsory education for anglers so this would be a good place to start (30 years behind Hunter Training). Interesting that hunting popularity has taken an upsurge (despite compulsory education) and angler numbers have been reduced by a third. (1985 to 2015). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Is Mackenzie Creek the "Model for Conservation" we want for fish management in our E/S? Out trout populations are already suffering tremendous loss with Athabasca rainbow trout "Endangered", Westslope cutthroat & bull trout "Threatened" and Arctic grayling a species of 'special concern' but extirpated from many tributaries? https://www.letsgooutdoors.ca/blogs/item/279-mackenzie-creek-a-model-in-conservation-cooperation?fbclid=IwAR2WReb56pegxJlc6kIHILX3OpnYPBNbRsiLLMBofEtAaoSwUqQWUBN0oGk
  23. The text of my post (except for the last two sentences) was taken verbatim from the email from AEP. And you're right, the Roundtable Meetings stopped just over two years ago without any real explaination from AEP. Then AEP decided to set up a Fisheries Advisory Committee whose members were those specifically invited by Fisheries Management. There are some earlier posts on this forum about its makeup and agendas. The committee met about 8 times before being put on hold at the time of the last provincial election. In August I sent the following email to the ADM chair of the committee: "Suggest/request that the current status and plans for a NCNT recovery plan be an agenda topic for the next meeting - it's probably more urgent now than it was a year ago, the 3rd party science review has provided valuable support and direction and federal interest and involvement is also now greater. Would suggest that an update on DFO's recovery strategy plans re westslope cutthroat, bulls and Athabasca rainbows be part of this agenda item as they are directly linked - can't find anything on the SARA Public Registry and I believe the opportunity for public input is now closed. This is a primary interest for the Northern Lights Chapter of TUC. Have spoken with Lesley Peterson and she would second the request on behalf of TUC." I received an "appreciate the suggestion" response but have heard nothing about it since. I phoned Fisheries Operations when I got the email this week about the open house meetings to ask why no meeting in Edmonton and what is happening with the Fisheries Advisory Committee. No one was available to answer, left a message but haven't heard back. Will let you know when I do. I too plan to be at the meeting in St. Albert but am also wondering if it's worth the effort. There is no doubt that there cannot be effective fisheries management without meaningful stakeholder involvement so I hope to see clear evidence that it's listened to and fully considered. Re the timing of the open houses - One of the main criticism's of AEP's Fisheries Management in the 3rd party science review of the NCNT Recovery plan was "there was a general perspective that the consultation (with stakeholders) failed to occur at a time when they had the ability to influence and be a part of the process". Surely they wouldn't repeat the same mistake, would they? Re their format - I hope too that a key recommendation of the 3rd party review team has been incorporated into the planning for the open houses i.e. "Relatedly, it is important to recognize that there is an entire science behind stakeholder engagement. Consider building capacity in that area – people who understand and are trained in knowledge co-production, stakeholder engagement, conflict resolution, and the sociology of knowledge. It may be worthwhile to consider holding training courses and/or workshops on the tenets of stakeholder engagement, co-production, and stewardship to build understanding and capacity within the organization."
  24. The Alberta government would like your perspectives about fisheries and their management, with a particular focus on increasing recreational fishing opportunities across the province. Feedback from Albertans will be reflected in the 2020 Alberta Sportfishing Regulations, which come into effect on April 1st. This feedback will also be considered as part of an updated fisheries management plan. In order to hear from you in person, the province will host 11 open house events in January. For convenience, all sessions are open house format 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. Check the list on this page to find the open house nearest you and mark your calendar! https://talkaep.alberta.ca/aep-fisheries-management/key_dates The closest to Edmonton is on Jan 22 at St. Albert Inn and Suites, 1556 St. Albert Trail, St. Albert, AB T8N 0P5 Everyone is welcome. If you cannot attend and have question(s) to which you would like answers please email them to Communications@nlft.org
  25. Product review with particular mention of Loop rods and reels
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