LONG FISHING TOURNAMENT: Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota is sponsoring a six-month redfish tournament designed to aid redfish research. The Redfish Roundup is open to anglers who wade or fish from shore, canoe or a pier. The tournament is catch-photo-clip and release, with prizes awarded weekly and a grand prize - a Hurricane Kayak Phoenix 140 - in July. The goal of the tournament is to help the laboratory with Project Tampa Bay, which scientifically tracks redfish restocking efforts in the bay. More than 4-million hatchery fish have been released in Tampa Bay through the project, with 2,800 fin clips returned to the laboratory. The goal is to increase the number of fishermen catching and collecting fin clips to further the laboratory's study. The fin clips are analyzed for DNA to learn whether the fish came from the hatchery, when it was released and its growth since being released. Those anglers who sign up for the tournament are given fin clip kits. The suggested donation for entering the event is $20. For more information, call (941) 388-4441 ext. 417.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The Pier Aquarium in St. Petersburg is looking for volunteers to help with aquarium maintenance, education, fish care, marketing, public relations, special-event staffing, administration and museum store support. The hours available for volunteering are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Volunteers will attend orientation and receive training before working at the second-floor aquarium. For information, contact Karen Henschen at (727) 822-9520.
ENJOY FORT DE SOTO: It's official: Fort De Soto has shelved plans for trolley service and a restaurant among other things after public outcry. This is the perfect time to enjoy the many amenities at the park, which many consider the jewel of Pinellas County. This weekend, the park offers a three-day Florida Gulf Coast International Sea Kayak Symposium sponsored by Sweetbay Kayaks. There is also the seventh annual Battle of Ballast Point Civil War reenactment from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. today, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Sunday. There also is the Arrowhead Nature Walk from 10-11 a.m. at the Arrowhead Trail on Saturday and Sunday. The walk is free, but reservation are required. Call (727) 582-2267.
HAPPY POLAR BEAR DAY: Just so you know, Monday is National Polar Bear Day. That's the day marked to honor the big, furry creatures and to tell your favorite polar bear joke. Like this one: What do you get when you cross a polar bear with a seal? A polar bear. Sorry, that's the best I could come up with.
- RODNEY PAGE,
Times staff writer