Off the wire

Champion duck caller Boyle dies in accident
FORT MADISON, Iowa — Bernard A. Boyle, a nationally known champion duck caller and duck call maker from Danville, died Tuesday morning in a two-vehicle crash north of Fort Madison. Boyle, 47, won the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest in 2002 and 2004 and was won the Champion of Champions Contest in 2005.

Read complete story from the Hawkeye.com.

Hunters prompt Texas weapons plant to shutdown
AMARILLO, Texas — Two goose hunters inadvertently caused a security lock down in Texas at the nation's only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly plant. Carson County Sheriff Tam Terry says the hunters turned out to be Department of Energy employees assigned to the plant. Both were found to be hunting legally in an area and not on plant property.
Read complete story from The Associated Press.

Assessing the damage after freezing weather
While scientists and fisheries managers caution that it remains too early to breathe a complete sigh of relief, preliminary assessments indicate the piercing cold weather that gripped most of the Texas coast did not exact a wide-spread, severe toll on aquatic marine life.
Read complete story from the Houston Chronicle.

Cold snap kills fish at alarming rate
Waters all around Florida are about to get very stinky as hundreds of thousands of fish killed by the extended cold weather begin to decompose and float to the surface. From the Panhandle to the Keys, from the Gold Coast north to the First Coast, anglers and fisheries scientists venturing out into chilly bays, estuaries, rivers, canals, and even the open ocean, are finding dead and stunned fish in a wide range of sizes and species.

Read complete story from the Miami Herald.

Wolves killed stock animal a day in '09, depleting compensation program
BILLINGS — Gray wolves killed livestock in Montana at the rate of an animal per day in 2009, stirring a backlash against the predators in rural areas and depleting a program that compensates ranchers for their losses. The sharp increase over 2008 livestock losses, reported by state officials, was fueled largely by a wolf pack ravaging 148 sheep in southwestern Montana near Dillon in August.
Read complete story from the Missoulian.

Mass. weighs commercial striped bass fishing ban
BOSTON — The feisty and enormously popular striped bass would be off limits to all commercial fishermen in Massachusetts under a proposal being considered by state lawmakers. The bill would ban the commercial catch of striped bass in state waters and limit recreational fishermen to taking home one striped bass per day — down from two — while imposing new size restrictions.
Read complete story from The Associated Press.

Asian carp DNA found closer to Lake Michigan
CHICAGO — DNA from the invasive Asian carp has been found closer to Lake Michigan than ever before, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, renewing fears that the fish have breached an electrical barrier meant to keep them from reaching the Great Lakes and destroying its multi-billion-dollar fishing industry.
Read complete story from The Associated Press.

Pageant queen stands up for sealing after altered photo put online
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — She's 19, has a gun license and is a beauty queen being hailed as an unlikely hero of Canada's fading commercial seal hunt. Miss Newfoundland and Labrador, Sara Green, took to the airwaves in defense of the centuries-old tradition after a gory doctored photo of her was posted online.

Read complete story from The Canadian Press.