Marine Protected Areas to go into effect soon
The Sportsmenís Report
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By Bill Hanson  December 7, 2012 12:00 am

New Marine Protected Areas are set to go in effect weeks earlier than anticipated. It has been a long, long process, the end result being more targeted management of our ocean resources. Unfortunately we are one of the few countries in the world that use this valuable tool.

To learn more go to the Department of Fish and Game Web site 
Then scroll down to get the .JPEG or .PDF files to view the appropriate maps. I hate regulations because they should only apply to people other than myself. Since I lost the election for King of the World, again, I will have to take the new regulations to heart.

Mushrooms in full swing
Mushrooms in the heart of the coastal redwoods are popping up everywhere. The problem is getting to them through the flood waters. One very strong piece of advice I can give you is to avoid going on a foray when high winds are forecast.

It only takes a branch the diameter of your thumb to spear you like a pickle. If you are able to make it into the woods, bring a change of clothes, a towel, rain pants, hat and boots. It is too early for the mid-winter mushrooms but spot-on for Coccora (not a beginner mushroom) Candy Caps.

If you are not sure on the identification, dry them in the dehydrator then sniff each one. If it does not smell like maple syrup, throw it out. If you are comfortable in identifying, eat some fresh in a nice sauté.

Reports of Matsutake are coming in. Look under Madrone/Oak mix, the lookalike is usually a white Russula. Pick one and sniff under the cap. If you smell cinnamon oil, you are good to go. If not, put it back down carefully. Although the Russula are not poisonous, they are inedible. To properly identify them, go to one of the best local resources for mushroom identification (Mykoweb): To appreciate the delicate taste, I like to shave Matsutake super thin and add the slices to Miso soup. You will better understand the Japanese craving for this mushroom.

Fishing, hunting report

The fishing report is bleak.
The ocean is rough, the rivers are high and muddy, and the bay is silted with run-off. So, the best bet is to stay by the fire.
Hunting is also slow, as even duck hunters have trouble getting to their blinds in heavy storms. I like to eat duck, but for all the discomfort of hunting in a storm, I would rather drive to Vietnam Town in the Sunset district and eat their delightful smoked duck.

The deli calls them Chinese guitars – too funny. The only bright wet spot in hunting is wild boar. They wake up and start plowing the ground like crazy after a storm. They are well fattened on acorns and wild food, including mushrooms. If you can make it out into the wild between storms, take chains for your rig, shovels, a good Come-Along and cable. You may thank me if you bog down in the mud in the middle of nowhere.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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