The ammo shortage that followed the newest gun control debate in Washington has affected almost everyone – from shooting clubs to law enforcement agencies.
Even the Boy Scouts are running low on bullets, jeopardizing the opportunity for local youngsters to earn rifle merit badges at camp this summer.
Augusta businessman Donnie Thompson came to the rescue last week with a donation of 5,000 rounds of .22 long rifle ammo for use at the Robert E. Knox Scout Reservation.
Thompson, president of Southeastern Armory and Friedman’s Jewelers, acquired the ammunition from a source located through the Friends of the National Rifle Association.
The rounds were then handed off to the Boy Scouts’ Georgia-Carolina Council, which requires scouts to pass a safety course before pursuing their merit badge.
TROUT TRYOUT: A specially designed underwater cage was submerged in the Augusta Canal last week as part of an ongoing study to determine if trout can survive the warmest months of the year.
Inside, protected from predators by a steel mesh, were several hundred two-inch rainbow trout that will serve as aquatic guinea pigs in the coming months.
The experiment is the latest phase of a study launched by Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School teacher Carl Hammond-Beyer and his students, who monitored water quality in the canal throughout 2012.
Their findings show trout can survive just fine most months out of the year, but the period from June to late August warms the water to levels considered only marginal for trout.
Students will feed the fish twice a day and monitor changes in water temperature and any subsequent fish mortality.
The objective, Hammond-Beyer said, is to collect data to prove to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources that the canal could support trout sufficiently to allow a recreational fishery.
“What I’d like to see happen is for DNR to see this as stockable for a put-and-take fishery,” he said.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
WILDLIFE TAGS: Three new wildlife license plate designs are now available in local tag offices, reflecting the choices of species and artwork chosen by about 18,000 Georgians who participated in a statewide vote.
The winning designs, with more colorful graphics than past plates, include the soaring bald eagle; the bobwhite quail; deer and wild turkey; and a brook trout rising to a fly.
The plates help support Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division and may be purchased for a fee of $60 ($25 manufacturing fee and a $35 plate fee) plus the normal $20 annual registration fee and ad valorem tax - if required. Annual renewal is available for a fee of $35 plus the normal $20 registration fee and ad valorem tax – if required.
BOATING TIPS: A boating safety course will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Station No. 1 classroom, No. 1 Broad St.
Sponsored by the Savannah River Sail & Power Squadron, the course costs $25 and includes course materials.
Topics covered include nautical terms, required safety equipment, navigation rules, lights and sound signals, nautical charts and electronic navigation, trailering, fueling, anchoring, knots & lines, emergency navigation and other matters.
To register or for more details, contact Paulette Harris-Holmes, (706) 737-8113, or via e-mail to: email@example.com.