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Daily Dirt: Outdoor News for May 9, 2013

Outdoor news bulletin for May 9, the day L. Ron Hubbard published Dianetics in 1950, launching a religious movement based on, well…we’re not really sure:

Bass and Brews at Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake could be on the verge of blowing up…in a good way…like how the kids’ say it. This 20,000 acre lake with 500 miles of shoreline is the go-to water recreation spot for water-skiers, jet skiers, sailers and basic boating enthusiasts in southern Virginia – the lake resides just southeast of Roanoke – but now it’s making national headlines. Bassmaster Magazine recently ranked Smith Mountain Lake as the number 25 ranked Best Bass Lake in the United States, moving up 38 spots from the 2012 rankings. The lake is best known for its striped bass, but also holds good sized largemouth and smallmouth bass. The top five includes Lake Erie, so this is no small feat for Virginia’s largest lake. Also on the list from Va. are the Potomac River (Lake?), Claytor Lake, and Kerr Lake.

Also worth noting is a new brewery opening on the lake this weekend. Sunken City Brewing is a 25-barrel, four-vessel brewhouse with tasting room, beer garden, and pub located on the north side of the lake and will have 5 beers on tap.

Best Biking States Announced

And you guessed it, the state of Washington takes the title again. This is the sixth straight year Washington State has been ranked the number one Bicycle Friendly State in the annual rankings from The League of American Bicyclists, and its no surprise with cities like Seattle, where bike commuting comes as naturally to the hipster as plaid and coffee. But where do the states of the Blue Ridge rank? Well, the top state is Delaware that checks in at number 5 getting high marks for education and enforcement. Maryland comes in at number 11, with Pennsylvania, Virginia and Tennessee not far behind at numbers 15, 16, and 17 respectively. Georgia checks in at 24, North Carolina at 28, South Carolina at 34, but West Virginia and Kentucky have a ways to go at 44 and 47 respectively.

The full list can be viewed here.

Like Shocking Fish? Volunteer

Our friends at R&R Fly Fishing are getting the word out about Great Smoky Mountains National Park needing volunteers for fisheries projects on the park’s rivers. The park only employs two permanent fisheries staff, with the rest of the work being done by seasonal and volunteer workers, so they need your help. Most of the work involves wading through the rivers and shocking the water with electric units on backpacks. The dazed fish float to the surface, where they are collected, counted, measured, checked for diseases, and then released back from where they came. This is important work and the information gathered helps fisheries biologists determine stocking needs, trout populations and general health of the rivers and steams. It is also a great opportunity to learn about Smoky Mountain trout and give back to the rivers that offer their bounty to anglers from across the country. A full list of work dates, and contact information can be found here.

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