Tour offers close-ups of ospreys

Captain Steve holds a juvenile Osprey that has been banded. (Submitted photo)

Captain Steve holds a juvenile Osprey that has been banded. (Submitted photo)

Well July is here and summer is in full swing. Seems like a week ago we were all complaining about the cold. The fishing has been decent and there are all kinds of things to do if you aren’t into fishing.

Last week I went with the Cape Water Tours and Taxi crew to tag osprey on the Broadkill River. Captain Steve has been banding osprey for a long time and his knowledge is extensive. They have the permits to do this work. You will learn a lot about osprey on these banding tours.

Outdoors column logo by . The kids will love the experience. We cruised up the Broadkill River and visited a osprey nesting platform. There were two baby osprey in there, and they were removed and brought to the boat side to show the passengers how the banding is done.

These are federal tags that are numbered used to track osprey’s movements, and lifespan. Captain Steve has had some of his tags found in some interesting places. Once banded th juveniles are placed back in the nest and once the boat leaves the parents will come back to the nest. None of the animals are harmed.

We had a big problem back in the day with osprey numbers dropping but due to conservation efforts they are now bouncing back and in some cases to the point there are too many of them in some areas. If you get a chance, check out one of the osprey tours or even the sunset or eco-tours. These are all fun for the whole family and very educational.

Floundering

Fishing is decent for flounder finally, not the best, but not bad. You have to put in some time find the fish. The offshore action at the Old Grounds is better than the inshore action. Fourth of July weekend will hinder the fishing a little due to so much traffic on the water. Best to go fish where boats are not racing around all day.

A lot of short striped bass action around Masseys Landing, Lewes Canal, and the upper Delaware Bay tributaries especially near bridges. Bucktails, plugs, even rattle traps work great for the schoolies. Sand fleas are a choice bait as well.

Boating safety

Boating safety is very important. In some cases it can be the difference between life and death. In an effort to promote safe boating Sea Tow is placing life jacket stands at local marinas and possibly state boat ramps soon. These stations are for boaters to borrow a life jacket if they need one for their children or infant.

After you use the jacket just bring it back and hang it back up but clean it first if necessary This service is free of charge, there isn’t a deposit. State representatives Stephen Smyk and Harvey Kenton were at the presentation at Leisure Point in Long Neck, as well as Sargent Troy Trimmer and Seasonal Willam Adkins of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement.

The Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program has 348 life jacket loaner stands at boat ramps, marinas, and parks throughout the United States. Since 2008 more than 35,000 life jackets have been made available to people and program continues to grow year after year.

With over 59,000 boats and water craft registered in the state of Delaware, we only had 25 boating related accidents in 2015 and that’s well below the national average that can only be attributed to the safety checks performed by DNREC and the USCG.

Rich King’s column appears Thursdays in the Delaware State News.

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