One of the sure signs of spring each year is the annual migration south by area anglers who fish for shad in the Delaware River. With the sound of snow blowers filling the air, spring may seem a long way off, but now is the time for some shad anglers to begin preparation for the season.

In a joint announcement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is reminding anglers that a new federal law requires those who target these species from the Delaware River below Trenton Falls or in the Delaware Estuary to register with the National Saltwater Angler Registry. This is a free, one-time registration, and can be down on the Web at www.countmyfish.noaa.gov [1] by clicking on the "Angler Registry" link or by calling the toll-free registration line at 1 (888) 674-7411.

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Anglers will be asked to provide their name, date of birth, address and telephone number and will immediately receive a registration number, which they must carry when fishing until receiving a registration card by mail in approximately 30 days of registering. This card is to be carried in addition to a valid state fishing license.

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There are some exemptions, including anglers younger than 16 years old and all anglers who fish on licensed charter, party or guide boats. Those who fish in a private boat, or from shore, however, must register.

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Promoter Jonathan Sauers of the Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sport Show is today's guests of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience the Outdoors," from 7:30-8 a.m. on Oldies 1410-AM, Lansford. A rebroadcast will be heard Sunday from 9:30-10 a.m. on WMGH, 105.5-FM, Tamaqua, and is available on the Web at www.wmgh.com [2] by clicking on the "Experience the Outdoors" link.

According to the PFBC, the registry is an important tool to help anglers and federal policy makers work together to better account for the contributions and impacts of saltwater anglers on ocean ecosystems and coastal economies. It is part of a national overhaul of the way NOAA collects and reports recreational fishing data.

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It is the goal of this initiative, known as the Marine Recreational Information Program, to provide the most accurate information possible that can be used to determine the health of fish stocks. Reliable, universally trusted data will in turn aid anglers, fisheries managers, and other stakeholders in their combined efforts to effectively and fairly set the rules that will ensure the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing

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A new law on firearms in national parks takes effect Monday that repeals a National Park Service rule that has long prohibited Americans from lawfully possessing firearms in national parks for self-defense. Passed last spring by an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate, the law will allow people to possess, carry and transport firearms in national parks, in accordance with state law.

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Details, however, remain to be worked out, as National Park Service officials are reportedly debating issues. These include the definition of "federal facilities," where firearms will remain prohibited under a different federal law.

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Sweet Arrow Bass Anglers is conducting its 2010 membership drive for this year's tournament schedule. Membership is open to both owners and non-owners of boats.

This year, the club will fish a 10-tournament schedule in the Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland, and the club will conduct its annual youth fishing derby.

For information, call Greg Raudenbush at (570) 385-1442, or access the Web site at www.sweetarrowanglers.com [3].

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Here is the schedule of upcoming sports and outdoors shows:

Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sport Show: Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 25-28, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks. Show hours: Thursday and Friday, 12:30-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 610-431-4315 or access on the Web at www.sportshows.com [4].

"Wildlife Art Expo," Saturday, March 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Environmental Education Center, Montour Preserve, Washingtonville. For information, call Jon Beam at 570-437-3131.

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A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, Feb. 25, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail jafone@comcast.net [5].

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Pheasants Forever Schuylkill Chapter will hold its annual banquet, Saturday, Feb. 27, beginning at 4:30 p.m., at Community Fire Company, Landingville. For information, call Lou Dallatore at 570-345-4337.