Nature Notes: Maverick's, paddle trip and more

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Big-wave riders face enormous swells When I lived north of San Diego, in a tiny beach hamlet called Cardiff-by-the-Sea, I surfed every day. The ocean was my life: I was sleeping on a friend's futon, doing whatever I wanted and living in the water. In the morning, I'd take a long walk on the beach, eat breakfast and go surf. The rest of the day would include napping, surfing, snorkeling, catching lobsters for dinner and fishing. It was great. I got to be decent, handling the four- to five-foot swells that came regularly, and gliding on a long board on slower days.

Nothing I ever did comes anywhere close to what pro surfers do each year during the Maverick's Surf Contest, an annual big-wave event near San Francisco. Maverick's can get to 50 feet, and the stretch is infamous for rocky landings and great whites. Totally rad. This year, riders scored on huge, thick swells. Check them out.

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Columbus Outdoor Pursuits: Paddle trip to hit Ohio scenic river Little Beaver Creek was the first waterway in the state to be designated a Wild River, and the adventure group will head there from March 21-23. The trip likely will include a 10-mile padle on Saturday and a 14-mile excursion to the Ohio River on Sunday.

"The paddling is mostly flat water with the occasional riffle and perhaps a Class II if the water level is right (nothing really challenging)," said the recent post. "The scenery is unbelievable, the camping fun, the camaraderie plentiful."

Paddlers will camp at the state park Friday and Saturday nights, so you won't have to carry gear on board (except dry clothes). The destination is about 3.5 hours from Columbus. Contact Walt Taylor at 614-519-8633 or at

ODNR: Spring trout releases coming soon! Public fishing opportunities will be enhanced this spring when more than 80,000 rainbow trout, each measuring 10 to 13-inches long, are released into 45 Ohio lakes and ponds, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The releases will take place between mid March and mid-May; anglers are reminded that the daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.

Call 800-WILDLIFE or click here.