Off the wire

Record bear's 'friends' sad over killing
Almost a week after a 17-year-old black bear, known as Bozo, was legally killed by hunters, people who knew the bear -- it would allow people to pet it -- said that the animal's death marked the end of a unique era and that Bozo's death was not only a blow to the man who tamed and befriended it, but also to them.

Read the complete story from The Pocono Record.

Groups sue EPA over lead ammo, tackle
WASHINGTON -- Three environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to force it to prevent lead poisoning of wildlife from spent ammunition and lost fishing tackle. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by the Center for Biological Diversity, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the hunters group Project Gutpile. It comes after the EPA denied their petition to ban lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle, which the groups say kills 10 million to 20 million birds and other animals a year by lead poisoning.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Court halts sea lion killing at Columbia River dam
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A federal appeals court has halted the killing of sea lions who make fast food of endangered salmon and steelhead at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that federal agencies haven't adequately explained how they reached inconsistent conclusions about the issue.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Experts demand better protection for sharks
PARIS -- With their pointy teeth and fearsome reputations, sharks may not be the best poster child for species in danger, but environmentalists say the predators are in dire need of protection. Marine experts and conservation groups hope an Atlantic conservation conference in Paris this week will bolster what they say are disastrously inadequate rules on shark capture.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Crab catch reignites trap limits debate in Calif.
ON THE PACIFIC OCEAN, Calif. -- Dungeness crab fishermen for the first time this season hauled in pot after pot of writhing crustaceans here in a rush to fill up boats and get the valuable catch to shore before the market floods and prices fall.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Bonefish census sounds warning bell
MIAMI -- This October more than 60 guides and anglers in the Florida Keys poled across the flats from Biscayne Bay to the Marquesas, assisting in the annual bonefish census. This year's count, held in extremely difficult weather with lowered visibility, was down by 25-percent from an 8-year mean estimate of 316,805 bonefish to a new low of about 240,000 bonefish, according to Professor Jerry Ault, a fisheries scientist with the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.
Read the complete story from EurekAlert.