Outdoors Notebook: Conservation award for Cal U prof

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The Delmarva fox squirrel, a silver-grey rodent that can reach 28 inches and weigh up to 3 pounds, was considered endangered in 1967.

Today, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates more than 20,000 of the squirrels inhabit parts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, and plans are underway to remove the animal from the endangered list.

Some of the credit goes to Carol Bocetti, an associate professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at California University of Pennsylvania, who has been working on the Delmarva project since 1995. Last week, Fish and Wildlife announced that Bocetti would receive its 2013 Recovery Champion Award.

Bocetti was previously given the award in 2011 for her leadership of a team working to de-list the Kirtland's warbler songbird.

"I am not aware of a Recovery Champion chosen with so few years between the awards," said Ann Haas of the Fish and Wildlife Service in a written statement. "[Bocetti] deserves applause for sharing her expertise for the benefit of another species in another region."

Lake Erie buoy

At meeting of the Pittsburgh Downriggers Club at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jeannette Schnars of the Regional Science Consortium will talk about a new electronic information buoy recently placed in Lake Erie off Presque Isle.

The free meeting will be held at Coraopolis District Sportsmen's Association, 106 Coketown Road, Coraopolis. For information, call 412-417-0581.

Fish for fee

Today is the first of Pennsylvania's 2014 Fish-for-Free Days. On this Memorial Day throughout the state, residents and non-residents can legally fish without a fishing license from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. All other fishing regulations apply.

The next Fish for Free Day is July 4.

High-tech tournament

With 48.5 inches of bass, Bill DeJoseph of Wampum, Pa., took first place in the May 18 Western Pennsylvania Kayak Anglers tournament at Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park.

To prevent tournament mortality, anglers used smartphones to photograph their fish on the water, immediately releasing them.

The group's next events: Kiski River June 14, Lake Wilhelm June 28. Details at 724-989-1630, www.kayak-anglers.com.

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