Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Boy Scouts rescue Ann Curry

        Had to post this story about the Boy Scouts.  Seems lots of people want to "knock" this wonderful organization today.
        Up front, I'm pro Scouts. I was a Cub, Boy Scout, and Sea Scout. Mother was a den mother. Wife was a den mother. I was a Cub leader, and Boy Scout Neighborhood commissioner. So, the following story caught my eye.

        According to Scouting Magazine, a troop of New Jersey Boy Scouts on a Philmont camp training exercise through Harriman State Park in New York last month rescued NBC journalist Ann Curry after she broke her ankle while hiking. 
Scoutmaster Rick Jurgens, a firefighter and EMT, double-checked their work and found they made a textbook splint. The young men of Troop 368 then built a makeshift stretcher and carried the Emmy Award-winning newswoman out of the woods.
        Good going guys!

Thousands of dead Asian carp may have died from "the bends"

When hundreds of thousands of Asian carp died last month below dams in two western Kentucky rivers, most people probably thought it was a good thing. And, it probably was, but there remains the question, why?
These non-native carp have little commercial or culinary value. They become sizable and jump, and as a result have damaged boats and injured people. They have spread throughout most rivers in the Midwest and much of the south.
The why the carp recently died is important because the answer might impact fish other than the disdained carp. Biologists think they may have an answer.
The die-off of invasive silver carp happened in the Cumberland River below Lake Barkley dam and Tennessee River below Kentucky Lake dam.
“Preliminary results show they’ve got bubbles in the gills,” said Aquatic Nuisance Species Biologist Paul Wilkes of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. 
“You can see it very clearly,” reported Wilkes in a KDFWR news release.
Gas bubble disease can occur in water supersaturated with dissolved gases, and biologists believe it is a contributing factor in this case.
“Gas super saturation is something that can happen below dams,” Wilkes said. “When a fish is breathing this water with gas super saturation it essentially causes an air embolism in the gill, which is similar to a diver getting the bends. A gas bubble will get trapped in the gill tissue of a fish and prevent blood circulation.”
Biologists returned to the impacted areas May 8 to collect dying silver carp, a non-native species that threatens the well-being of native fish and mussels by over-harvesting plankton.
Tissue samples taken from those fish are being processed by staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Warm Springs Fish Health Center in Warm Springs, Ga. and the U.S. Geological Survey. 
Researchers are looking for evidence of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Kentucky State University previously conducted disease testing on specimens collected after the fish kill was first discovered April 23.
“When I say that gas super saturation played a role, it was likely causing some of the scarring and open wounds we’ve seen on the fish,” Wilkes said. “It’s also likely that secondary infections were setting in and causing a lot of the ulcerations and other tissue erosion that you’re seeing on the fish.”
Multiple agencies are assisting the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife with the investigation, including the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Carterville Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in Marion, Ill. and Warm Springs Fish Health Center. Purdue University also has been involved.
“There’s national interest in Asian carp for obvious reasons and these agencies jumped on board,” Wilkes said. “This is a big team effort. We needed help and people from other agencies were ready to pitch in and give us a hand.”
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has created a web page devoted to the Asian carp fish kill. It can be found online at Click on the “Fish” tab, choose “More” from the dropdown menu, and then “Kentucky and Barkley Lake Asian Carp Fish Kill.” The page will be updated as test results become available.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Gregory Johnson selected new commissioner for KDFWR

Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has a new commissioner, Gregory Johnson.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources unanimously selected selected Johnson of Lexington , a retired Natural Resources Commission Service executive, to lead the KDFWR.
Since last September, the commissioner’s job has been vacant, when former commissioner Jon Gassett resigned while the game and fish organization was under investigation by the office of the Office of Inspector General.
When the Inspector General’s office released its report in December, it listed a number of significant violations by several high-ranking agency officials.
The unfortunate blemish comes to an agency and fish and wildlife program considered by many to be one of the best in the country.
According to a news release from the Commission, “Johnson, 58, will begin work May 16. A lifetime hunter, angler and outdoorsman, he will become only the eighth commissioner in the department’s 70-year history.
        “A 1979 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in wildlife management and minors in fisheries biology and chemistry, Johnson retired in 2011 after more than 30 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  
“NRCS assists farmers and other land owners, including governments and other federal agencies, in maintaining healthy and productive working landscapes.
        “We are extremely pleased to offer Greg this opportunity and that he has accepted,” said Commission Chairman Stuart Ray. “The Commission conducted an exhaustive and thorough six-month-long nationwide search to find the right person to head one of this country’s premier fish and wildlife agencies.  And that is precisely what we accomplished.
“Greg comes to us with a unique combination of a solid resource professional background, years of successful executive leadership experience, and is a lifetime hunter, angler and outdoorsman,” Ray said.
        “Johnson grew up farming in the northern Illinois community of Wasco. He graduated St. Charles High School and became a fishing guide in northern Wisconsin helping clients pursue northern pike and walleye.  A client from Eastern Kentucky University suggested Johnson come to Kentucky to pursue his education.
        “He began his career with the U.S. Forest Service research station in Berea working with Kentucky and Appalachia coal companies researching effective and efficient methods of reclaiming strip mines.
“He soon moved to the USDA’s Soil Conservation Service, the predecessor to today’s NRCS, as district conservationist for Wayne, McCreary and Russell counties. In 1990, he assumed area conservationist duties for 28 counties and administrative responsibilities for 27 field offices. He supervised a diverse staff of program and technical experts, and 17 district conservationists. Subsequently, he would serve as the NRCS State Resource Specialist for Kentucky and then another eight years in the same capacity for the eight-state Midwest region.
His selection to USDA’s Senior Executive Development Program took him to Washington D.C. in 2004. He retired in 2011.
“Kentucky’s hunting and fishing heritage is among the richest anywhere,” said Johnson, “I am excited to become a part of that. This agency’s wildlife and fisheries successes are well recognized among professionals everywhere, and I am looking forward to continuing and building upon those traditions.
“This is not just work or a job for me,” he said. “Fish and wildlife conservation is what I have been committed to my whole life. It is what I do. It is who I am.”

Monday, May 12, 2014

Grandma turned dandelion leaves into a tasty salad fit for a king or grandkid

“Philip, I want you to go out and pick some dandelions,” said my Grandmother. “I’m fixing salad for supper,” she explained, although it didn’t make much sense to a youngster nine or 10 years old.
I stayed overnight with grandma and grandpa, and grandma went on to explain  she really didn’t want me to pick dandelion blossoms. She wanted me to pick the leaves.
“Here, take this bowl. You probably can find all we need on the way over to Aunt Florence’s house.”
Supper was simple. Really simple, but one of my all-time favorite meals. I would give a lot for it today. More than any streak dinner in a top restaurant.
Supper was fried bacon from a hog butchered on the little farm, wilted dandelion salad, homemade bread and butter, followed by another piece of homemade bread with strawberry jam.
I’m not for sure how grandma made the wilted dandelion salad. I know the mixture had vinegar, crumbled bacon, sugar and cut up eggs.
On the internet, I found a recipe for salad, and the internet search also reminded me that my friend Bill Scifres made very good dandelion wine.
Dandelion Salad with Cooked Dressing

4 slices bacon, cut in small pieces
approximately 2 c. chopped new dandelion leaves
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. cream or milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/4 c. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
Toss together chopped dandelion, chopped onion and fried bacon pieces. Set aside. In skillet warm butter and cream until butter melts. Beat egg and then add salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar and flour.  Blend the egg mixture into the slightly warm cream mixture. Increase heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. 
Pour hot dressing over the greens and toss gently. Add eggs before tossing. Serve at once. Gather the dandelion leaves early in the spring before the plants flower or they will be bitter.
My wife, Phyllis says she never heard of a similar cooked dressing with milk or cream, but including it would give it an interesting aspect.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Huge Asian carp kill reported below Barkley Dam; biologist seek cause

Jumping silver carp have been known to injure boaters.

There’s the old saying, “I've got good news and I’ve got bad news. Which do you want first?”
Well, the word from the Cumberland River below Lake Barkley is, “I ‘I've got some good news and some news with questions.” 
The good news that what probably is the greatest Asian Carp fish kill in U.S. history has just taken place below the Lake Barkley Dam. There may not be any bad news, but the question remains as to what caused the kill. And some folks in a somewhat joking matter are wondering if the kill could be duplicated elsewhere.
The Asian carp is an invasive species apparently accidentally released in this country that is not only causing problems for sports fish, but also in some cases are dangerous to human boaters as well. Very little commercial use has been found for these fish.
Numerous reports of the fish jumping and hitting boaters and causing injury have been made in recent years, including several from the Ohio River and Perry County’s Oil Creek in Indiana.
It is believed that somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 of the carp died below the dam. and it is believed the die-off has peaked and may be over.
According to information from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, on Friday, April 25, KDFWR fisheries biologists returned to the area as the focus shifted to learning what might have caused the considerable die-off of invasive silver carp.
“Anglers were seeing dead fish a week ago, some two weeks ago, which is very typical of a fish kill caused by some type of viral pathogen,” said Paul Rister, western fisheries district biologist with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “It’s kind of a bell-shaped curve. You start seeing a few die, and a few more die, and then you reach the peak of the massive die-off. I think we’re on that downhill side now.”
After conferring with Asian carp researchers from around the country, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Director Ron Brooks said the belief among experts is that the fish kill found below Barkley Dam to the Cumberland River’s confluence with the Ohio River is the largest ever involving Asian carp in the United States.
Silver carp, which are not native to the United States, appear to be the only fish affected. 
To help move the mass of fish downriver, the U.S. Corps of Engineers opened three gates at Barkley Dam to flush dead fish downstream.
“I don’t think people have to worry about those pathogens affecting native species,” Brooks said. “That’s probably the best news of all.”
While the cause has not been confirmed, possibilities include overstress from spawning or the presence of a pathogen that disrupts brain function in the fish, Brooks said.
“Any time you have an event where there are a lot of fish congregating, it’s just like any other animal, the chance for a pathogen to spread increases,” he said. “Whether it’s that pathogen or some other stressor, no one will know until we get word from the researchers.”
Dying silver carp collected from the area by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will undergo disease testing at Kentucky State University. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife also is working the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as agencies from bordering states, including Indiana’s Purdue University.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Henderson and Ohio River will again host Big Cabela's King Cat tourney

Big catfish can be viewed at the Cabela's King Kat tourney.

Henderson, KY, and the Ohio River again will host the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail where local anglers can compete with tournament catfishers from across the Midwest.
The Henderson tournament is scheduled for May 10, and is an opportunity for Kentuckiana catfish anglers to compete for cash, prizes and a chance to advance to the Cabela’s King Kat East and West Championship. 
This year's West Championship will be held September 19-20 on the Mississippi and Rock Rivers at Quad Cities, IA, and the East Championship will be Oct, 3-4 on Lake Wateree at Camden, S,C.. 
         To pre-register for the Henderson tourney and for additional information check the King Kat website at or call 270-395-6774.
Late registration will be held at the Super 8, 2030 Hwy 41 North in Henderson, the day before competition from 5-7 p.m. Captains Meeting/Seminar will follow at 7 p.m. 
Legal waters for the event will be: The Ohio River from the Cannelton Dam to the Smithland Dam.
Spectators are welcome to view big catfish at the weigh-in conducted at the Water Street Boat Ramp in Henderson. Tournament hours are 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. . All anglers must be in weigh-in line by 4 p.m. 
Each team will have a five fish limit. To help preserve the sport only live fish will be weighed in and all fish will be released after the tournament.  
       The Henderson County Tourist Commission will serve as local sponsor for the event.        
            In conjunction with the tournament the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail will host a Cabela’s King Kat Kids event at the weigh in site. 
The kid event is free of charge and open to all youth 12 and younger. Sign up is from 8-9 a.m with the Kid Fishing event running from 9-11 a.m.. All children will receive a prize just for entering. 
Children are asked to bring a rod, reel and bait. All children must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Prizes for winners will be given in two age groups, 0-7 and 8-12. 
All participants are eligible for a chance to win one of the six, Outdoor Promotions $1,000 scholarships to be awarded in October.
  For entry forms or information on Cabela’s King Kat Trail phone 270-395-6774, fax 270-395-4381 or visit the organization;s website at