No Mouth-Fishing in Pennsylvania, and More

This week, we’ll arm you with science stuff you can use to amaze
your waterfowl hunting friends while you’re looking up at the
duckless sky. But first, a warning for eastern mouth anglers.

No Mouth-Fishing in Pennsylvania

If you’re planning a trip to Pennsylvania to do some angling
using only your mouth, you’d better reconsider. Why? Because
mouth-fishing is strictly verboten in The Keystone State, and
breaking the law could cost you a cool C-note.

You’ve probably read about some of the old, rather
foolish-sounding and outdated laws that remain on the books in
various states, some dating back to colonial times. For example,
there’s a long-standing prohibition of camel hunting in Arizona,
and driving while blindfolded is against the law in Alabama.

Here’s a new one: Among the quirky laws remaining as a statute
in The Keystone State is one that prohibits catching fish using
one’s mouth. In addition to mouth fishing, the same law prohibits
hand-fishing and angling while utilizing the unfair advantage of

Emil Svetahor, law enforcement supervisor for the Pennsylvania
Fish and Boat Commission in the southeastern part of the state,
admits he’s heard of people using their hands to illegally catch

“It’s not used that often,” Svetahor recently told the
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Sometimes people get frustrated trying
to catch them and jump in, start throwing them up on shore.

But Svetahor admits he’s never cited an angler for illegal mouth
fishing. If he ever does, he says it’ll cost the culprit $100.

Wet Dog Physics

If there are any duck hunters sitting on the panel to determine
the next Nobel Prize for Physics, a Georgia scientist and his
partners just may have a shot at the big prize.

Research conducted by Andrew Dickerson and associates at the
Georgia Institute of Technology has determined how fast a wet dog
must oscillate in order to dry its fur.

We’ll bet you have never associated your Lab’s shaking after he
pulls a greenhead from an icy river with quantum physics, have

Filming a variety of soaked pooches, Dickerson and his crew
created a mathematical model of what happens when wet dogs shake.
Scientifically speaking, they reasoned that the water is bound to
the dog by surface tension between the liquid and the hair. When
the dog shakes, centripetal forces pull the water away. For the
water to be ejected from the fur, the centripetal force has to
exceed the surface tension.

For a Labrador retriever, they found the amount of force is 4.3
Hertz. (For those non-geeks in the Outdoor News audience, Hertz
(Hz) is a unit of measure in physics that denotes the number of
times an event occurs in one second. It is commonly used in
measuring the frequency of periodic motion or periodic waves.)

According to the MIT Technology Review, Dickerson took his
findings a step further, determining that the radius (size) of a
shaking wet animal influences the amount of oscillation necessary
to dry itself.

The physicists found that a mouse shakes at 27 Hz, a cat at
about 6 Hz, and a bear at 4Hz.

“Shake frequencies asymptotically approach 4Hz as animals grow
in size,” the research concluded.

Armed with this new and vital information, just think how you
will impress your hunting buddies the next time you’re in a duck

Categories: J.R. Absher

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