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Alabama Record for Blue Catfish Shattered
The Alabama record for blue catfish was recently eclipsed by more than 9 pounds on Friday March 9, 2012, when John Nichols of Tuscaloosa hauled in a 120-pound, 5-ounce giant from Holt Reservoir in Tuscaloosa County. The huge blue was caught using a rod and reel with chicken gizzard on a big circle hook and 40-pound line. Jay Haffner, District Three Fisheries Supervisor for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, certified the new record on Saturday March 10, 2012. The previous blue catfish record of 111 pounds was caught from Wheeler Reservoir in 1996. More

White-Nose Syndrome of
Bats Confirmed in Alabama
White-nose syndrome (WNS), the disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America, has been confirmed in bats in the Russell Cave complex in Jackson County, marking the arrival of the disease in Alabama. Although scientists have yet to fully understand white-nose syndrome, research has demonstrated the disease is caused by a newly discovered fungus, Geomyces destructans, which often grows into white tufts on the muzzles of infected bats, giving the disease its name. White-nose syndrome was first detected in New York state in 2006 and has killed more than 5.5 million cave dwelling bats in eastern North America. Mortality rates of bats have reached almost 100 percent in multi-year infected caves. More

NASP State Championship
Held in Birmingham April 5
Alabama’s National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) State Championship was held Thursday, April 5, 2012, in Birmingham. More than 1,000 students from across the state, grades four through 12, competed for the title of state champion and the opportunity to advance to the national championship in May. When the shooting was over, nine middle school, 12 elementary, and 15 high school teams from Alabama earned a berth in the NASP National Tournament on May 11-12, 2012, in Louisville, Kentucky. Complete results for the 2012 NASP State Championship are available on the ADCNR website.

2012 Geocaching Challenge
Kickoff to be Held at Lakepoint
On Friday, April 13, Alabama State Parks will kickoff its 2012 Geocaching Challenge at Lakepoint Resort State Park in Eufaula, Ala. The event will begin at 7 p.m. with a reception in the Magnolia room at the park lodge. The event continues Saturday morning, April 14, at 9 a.m. with Geocaching activities planned at pavilions two and four in the campground day use area. Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game in which players hunt for hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and can share their experiences online. All 22 Alabama State Parks will be participating. More

Snake-proofing Your Home
Spring is in full swing and unless your home is in the middle of a paved parking lot that is surrounded by an impenetrable snake-proof fence, you will eventually encounter a snake or two over time. While snakes are reclusive by nature and seek available hiding places, they sometime show up in shrubbery, woodpiles and thick plantings around the outside of your home. The best deterrent in combating snakes in and around your house is to keep a neat, trim yard and reduce the landscaping next to your house. In this article, wildlife biologist Roger Clay offers some tips to help minimize an unwanted encounter with one of Alabama’s most fascinating animals. More
Purchase Your Licenses Online

Web chat Answers
Backyard Birding
and other Wildlife Questions
Join the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) for an hour-long web chat on Friday, April 20, 2012, at noon to have those questions answered. The next Conservation Q&A web chat will feature birding expert and wildlife biologist Carrie Johnson. However, we’ll still be taking all of your other wildlife and fishing questions. You can also send yourself an email reminder about the chat so you don't forget about it. More

WFF now on Facebook
The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) invites you to “like” its Facebook page at www.facebook.com.  

Cathedral Caverns to Improve Lighting
Cathedral Caverns State Park is receiving a grant from the National Park Foundation to support renovations of the cave’s lighting system. The $9,625 grant will be used to purchase LED lighting to replace older incandescent lights in the cave. “We will now be able to make necessary renovations inside the cave and finish a project we started last year,” said Park Manager Lamar Pendergrass. More

CAB Meets May 19
in Spanish Fort
The Alabama Conservation Advisory Board (CAB) will hold its third scheduled meeting of 2012 on Saturday, May 19, at the Five Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort, Ala., 36527. Registration for those wishing to address the board will be from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and the meeting will begin promptly at 9 a.m. Five Rivers is located off the Mobile Causeway across from Meaher State Park. More

Support Alabama Wildlife
The “Alabama Nongame Wildlife Fund” check-off box on the state income tax form provides citizens a way to donate all or a portion of their state tax refunds for the benefit of nongame wildlife. Past donations to the Nongame Wildlife Program helped bring back bald eagles, ospreys and bluebirds to Alabama, but many other nongame wildlife species still need help. More

Outdoor Alabama — Something for Everyone
Whether you enjoy birdwatching, bass fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, or just reading about our state’s natural resources, you’ll find it in Outdoor Alabama magazine. Each subscription also includes the beautiful calendar issue in December and the photo contest issue in February.
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Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
64 North Union Street, Suite 468
Montgomery, Alabama 36130

 Outdoor Alabama April 2012 E-Newsletter