Daily Dirt: Beer City to Gear City, Snakeheads, and Fish Photos

12 Jun 13
Daily Dirt: Beer City to Gear City, Snakeheads, and Fish Photos
Caleb Newton with his (possible) world record. Notice the mucus drip.

Your outdoor news bulletin for June 12, the day Bryan Allen flew the human-powered Gossamer Albatross aircraft across the English Channel, proving that human-powered aircraft can, indeed, have silly names:

Asheville, N.C.: Beer City to Gear City?

That’s the goal of the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, a newly formed organization of WNC gear manufacturers led by SylvanSport and Eagles Nest Outfitters, and they have a plan to do it. SylvanSport worked with Prestige Subaru of Asheville to convert their former Suzuki building into the Prestige Adventure Center, a showroom for local outdoor companies to display their wares and services. Over 30 outdoor companies have signed and the Adventure Center will be the exclusive downtown showroom for OGBWNC brands including Navitat, Bellyak, Outrider, USA, and more. Of course, SylvanSport and their GO tow-behind pop-up camper will take center stage as both the lead organizer and the largest physical piece of gear being showcased. Having such a large space will allow for more robust community events like live music, special presentations, and promotions. SylvanSport Director of Marketing and New Product Development: “The Prestige Adventure Center will be a lot like a community center. This will be a place where local outdoor gear builders, retailers like Diamond Brand, REI, and Black Dome, and adventure companies like NOC, Navitat, and others, can all get together, have their products on display, and help promote each other.” The Prestige Adventure Center is slated to open mid-July.

Cool idea. Check out more details here.

World Record Snakehead Caught…maybe

A couple of fishing buddies may have set a world record over the weekend…and this ain’t no fish story (HA!). Caleb Newton held the rod while Phil Wilcox held the net as they landed the possible world recored Northern Snakehead out of Aquia Creek in Stafford, Virginia Saturday. The (ugly-as-sin) fish weighed in at 17.6 pounds, topping the previous record – caught in Japan in 2004 – by a couple of ounces. The northern snake head is, in a word, gross: they can live for days out of the water, can move on land, excrete mucus, smell terrible, have sharp teeth, are as hard to kill as the Terminator (T-850, not the T-1000) and are just plain ugly. They are also an invasive species, and if caught in Virginia are required by law to be, well, terminated. Newton has submitted paperwork to the International Fish Game Association and expects to hear back about the world record by August.

Underwater Film Crew in Southern Appalachians

Speaking of invasive species, a crew from the Oregon-based Freshwaters Illustrated spent last week in the waters of the Southern Appalachians taking photos and video of the underwater lives of the fish that reside there. Jeremy Monroe and David Herasimtschuk explored the underwater world of Abrams Creek, the Little River, the Conasauga River, and the Hiwassee River among others filming brook trout, mussels, hellbenders, chubs, and darters. Founded by Monroe in 2003, the purpose of Freshwaters Illustrated is to bring attention to the beauty and fragility of freshwater ecosystems through the U.S. through underwater still photography and video. They are currently working on a full-length film project focused on the rivers and conservation efforts in the Southeast.

Get the full story, and some beautiful underwater photos, here.

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Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine

Your guide to hiking in the Southeast, biking in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian adventures from the Highlands to the Piedmont.