|BIG LOBSTER - HUNTINGTON BEACH|
Posted by SDM on December 31, 2013 at 07:43:59:|
Long rant, I often become irritated at the greedy ones
I received a copy of your article complete with pictures from a veteran OC recreational diver in his annual Christmas card.
He questioned the size of the lobster- as I do
There has been a very popular movement with in the SoCal diving community to catch and release any lobsters over 10 pounds
large lobsters are becoming very rare. I would have been very impressed if Mr. Ali would have stated he was going to donate the lobster to the Long Beach Aquarium for all to see for many years to come, or since it is dead donate the the California fish and game or Scrips Institute of Oceanography for further study
I and I suspect most of the serious SoCal divers of the past and present are not impressed with Mr. Ali and your article.
I had the honor of being the first person in the US to have a weekly dedicated diving column. Our local news paper titled the column "Dive Bubbles," which I contributed to for about 5 years.
Long before California Diving News and crew made a plea for restraint in taking of the larger lobsters many of my columns were devoted to restraint in game taking- Both in quanity and size. No longer can WSB be speared at Divers cove in Laguna Beach, or can Abalone, Scallops, Pismo Clams and Oysters be harvested off Laguna Beach, or probably any Southern California beach--they are all gone- a thing of the past --what was then is not now, and never be experienced again on this earth..So with restraint preserve what remains
What follows was from my column and my personal request for restraint in capturing and and especially KEEPING large lobsters
MY NEW DIVING HERO
I have a new diving hero. No, you won't see his picture on the cover of a diving magazine nor will you see him in action in one of the many diving documentaries that grace our TV screens. He’s not even well known for his diving activities.
While many of you were relaxing in the warmth and comfort of your home, he was diving in the water surrounding Santa Rosa Island.
With flashlight in one hand and a lobster bag in the other, he entered the cold of the ocean in search of lobsters.
California Fish and Game laws decree that a lobster must be taken by hand, and must be greater than 3 ¼ inches in length measured from a point behind the horn ridge to the end of the carapace. The mature legal lobster weights less than two pounds, is between four and seven years old. It has the opportunity to mate at least once producing two lobsters that will also reach sexual maturity creating a sustained the yield of the tasty morsels
My diving hero eagerly swam around, over and even into the large caves of the reefs, searching for the carrion of the deep. His first day of hunting produce four legal size bugs including a very presentable six pound seven ounce male.
On the very first dive of the second day he headed underwater towards shore, the conditions weren't ideal, a slight surge was present and visibility was reduced requiring a flashlight in order to see, making swimming difficult. Nevertheless, he continued swimming until he reached an area that looked promising, huge boulders creating large caves in which bugs make their homes. As he was swinging his light from side to side he caught a glimpse of a monster bug sitting regally on top of a ledge out cropping like a mustang over looking his herd. Carefully laying down his light he slowly and methodically approached the bug to do battle. With the experience gained from over thirty years of strong active diving he expertly approached the bug who was also alerted that an intruder was in the area. The bug rose majestically on all ten legs preparing to stand ground and do battle as the antenna, the movement sensing organs, started moving in concentric arcs. Slowly, steadily my hero diver approached monster bug. The bug was also fully aware and alerted that there was a huge intruder steadily approaching. Like two fighters meeting for a championship match, they cautiously sized each other up. Within a split second the battle was over. The bug was expertly pinned. The right hand placed securely around the horns at the base of the antenna and the left grasping and forcing the tail to the reef. No need to measure this one it was unquestionably legal. The bug was given a good shake to disturb its equilibrium and instantaneously thrust tail first into the security of the game bag.
The battle had been decisive Diver 1 Bug 0!
My new diving hero returned to the boat, climbed the swim step to the deck, and unceremoniously emptied his game bag . The enormous lobster weighing in at ten pound eight ounces tumbled to the deck. His fellow divers and the crew gathered around to view close up and personal this gigantic bug from the deep. The dual digit last legs and the large swimmerets under the tail indicated this was a female, a grandmother perhaps even a great grand mother of all the uncaught lobsters still on the reef and the not so quick and certainly not very lucky on the boat.
As he held the 10 ½ pound lobster up for all to see flashes illuminated the diving boat. Other divers not so fortunate held the lobster for documentary photos, like those childhood photos with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland. Soon the excitement settled down and it was back to the task at hand, bug hunting. In buddy pairs the divers once again entered the alluring frigid waters of the Pacific in search of future meals.
My new diving hero, as unceremoniously as he had entered the boat and emptied his game bag, replaced the unfortunate gigantic lobster back into the bag.
With the bag firmly grasped in his hand he boarded the dive boat’s inflatable skiff and headed for an isolated area devoid of lobster traps and seldom visited by divers. My diving hero opened the bag, gave the by then bewildered grand mother lobster a final goodbye pat and released it into the comfort and familiarity of the reef, its home hopefully forever.
My diving hero is most famous for the magnificent food served in massive quantities at his Pismo Beach landmark restaurant, F. Mc lintock’s, his name is Tunny Ortali. Just as there is only one F.Mc Clintocks there is only one Tunny Ortali, my new diving hero! A diver of the new millennium, a diver who voluntarily releases a trophy size lobster back into its natural habitat so that the species will multiply for the future generations to enjoy the exhilaration of a bug hunt.
It should be recognized the lobster population will remain stable if each legal female lobster produced, from the excess of 500, 000 eggs it carries, a minimum of two lobsters that reached maturity with in its life time. As the lobster matures and increases in weight the number of eggs carried also increases. A ten and one half pound lobster, at fifteen to twenty or more years old, could carry in excess of one million eggs; producing at each mating season approximately four lobsters that will reach sexual maturity. This grand mother has probably mated ten or more seasons and could count perhaps thirty mature lobsters as off spring. She can now be expected to produce millions of eggs for many more seasons thanks to Tunny.
Dr. Samuel Miller
This is the last known mounted big bug of an by-gone era.
Practice --Capture... Picture... Release Just may be, Maybe, todays Grand children will be honored to see the same 'ole bug.......
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