Outdoor NebraskaApril 1927
OUTDOOR NEBRASKAOfficial Bulletin Nebraska Bureau Game and Fish Vol. II APRIL, 1927 No. 2 CONTENTS A Blue River Valley Canyon, by Margaret Diemer Frontispiece Many Changes in Nebraska Game and Fish Laws 3 Modern Propagation of Game Fish, by M. E. O'Brien 4 Second Great Planting of Pheasants 5 Editorial 6 Muskrat Farming in Nebraska 8 Fish Culture on the Farm 9 Departmental Activities 10
Have you purchased your 1927 hunting and fishing license?
The annual hunting and fishing license which costs a dollar, is the means of support for the Bureau of Game and Fish.
It is your dollar that trapped and distributed 30,000 pheasants recently. It is your dollar which supports the four state fish hatcheries, keeps the fish car running, buys and maintains recreation grounds, keeps game wardens in the field to protect your fish and game.
If you have not purchased your license, do so today. The earlier in the year you buy the more value it is to you.
A Blue River Valley Canyon. This canyon is ninety feet in depth, and makes a picturesque break in the rolling prairie land. This picture was taken on the C. W. Wilson farm, in southern Adams County .
Many Changes in Nebraska's Game and Fish LawsAppropriates All Fees
All license and other fees received by the Bureau were appropriated to the Bureau for its work during the next two years, as well as all unexpended money that may be on hand June 30, 1927, at. the end of the present biennium. This makes it possible for all money paid in for hunting, fish'ng, trapping ard ether licenses to be spent for the protection, propagation and upbuilding of game and fish.
The Legislature decided to do away with licenses and to authorize the Bureau to issue permits. Next January, when old 1927 licenses are no longer effective, a new form will be issued. This will provide for each hunter, fisherman, trapper, etc., to receive a permit from the Bureau for the taking of game and fish, etc.
The Legislature appropriated not to exceed $25,000 for the purchase and development of a Game Preserve in western Nebraska. This will be for the purpose of preserving natural life of Nebraska.Waterfoul
A bill was introduced and passed by the House which would provide for a daily bag of 15, possession 25 for ducks.
This was amended in the Senate and a conference committee finally fixed the daily bag at 20 and the possession at 40. The new daily bag for geese is 5, and possession is 5.Prairie Chickens
No new legislation was provided for prairie chickens, The House passed a bill which would open the season during alternate years from October 1 to October 15, and cut the bag down to 5. This was amended by the Senate to open the season every year from September 16 to October 1, with the bag and possession the same as in the old law. A conference committee tried until the end of the session to get the two branches together but it was impossible. The House refused to confer in the early dates and the Senate refused to give in on these dates. Hence there will be no new legislation for prairie chickens and the old law will stand. The old law calls for an open season from October 1 to October 30 each year, with a daily bag of 10 and a possession of 10.Shipping and Cold Storage
A New system of shipping and storing, game was provided in a Senate bill which passed both houses. The old law provided for an affidavit to be attached to all game shipped. The new law provides for a tag system to be used, part of which goes to the state for its records. The railroads, express companies and automobile drivers under the hew law are, also held responsible for the shipping of game. All game how placed in cold storage must be put there by person killing same. and only in hjs name. All game placed in cold storage must be tagged. Cold storage plant operators are held responsible under heavy fines for the proper tagging of such game.No Hunting from Cars
The new law prohibits hunting from an automobile under heavy penalty. A car can be used to go to and from hunting fields, but it is unlawful under the new law to shoot from a car or to use the car in approaching game in the field.Set Lines Limited
Under the new law a person is limited to use five set lines or twenty-five hooks. So-called "bottle" or "jug" fishing is prohibited, as the new law reads: "Lines. must be fastened at one end only to a pole or to the bank of the pond, lake or stream".
Bull frogs are protected the year around in the new law. Grass frogs may be taken for bait only. No frogs can be shot under any circumstances. A bill was introduced to prohibit the use of minnow seines but this failed to be enacted into law, hence the old law stands and minnow seines can be used.Stiff Fine for Devices
The new law provides a heavy penalty for the use of traps, seines or nets. The Bureau is no longer authorized to issue permits to seine in the Missouri River and it will be unlawful for a person to have any net, seine or trap, (except for minnows) in his possession.Cuts Bag for Fish
The season on black bass is closed under the new law from May 1 to June 10, and on pickerel from January 1 to May 1. The bag for game fish, except perch and bullheads is cut to fifteen a day, with a possession limit of twenty-five. It is lawful under the new legislation to take twenty-five perch or bullheads a day. The size limit on bass was raised to 9 inches, trout to 8 inches and bullheads to 5 inches. Heretofore there was no limit on size for bullheads.Prohibited Sale Bass
Under the new act it will be unlawful to sell black bass in Nebraska, whether taken in the state or shipped into the state. This legislation connects up with the federal(Continued on Page 16)
NEW BAG LIMITS(Effective July 1927) DUCKS—bag 20, possession 40. GEESE—bag 5, possession 5. GAME FISH—bag 15, possession 25 NEW SIZE LIMITS TROUT—not under 8 inches. BASS—not under 9 inches. BULLHEADS—not under 5 inches. NEW OPEN SEASONS BASS—closes season May 1 to June 10. PICKEREL—closes season January 1 to May 1. GRASS FROGS—allows to be taken any time for bait. MINK—allows to be taken any time.
Modern Propagation of Game FishBy Mr, M. E. O'Brien, Superintendent State Fish Hatchery, Valentine, Nebraska
THERE are two methods of fish culture in operation in this country today; one known as artificial fish culture and the other known as pond culture. In artificial fish culture, the eggs are stripped from the female fish, while the fish is alive, and the eggs are made fertile by stripping the male fish in a similiar manner. The eggs are then taken to the hatcheries and placed on wire trays in the hatching troughs, or in glass incubating jars, as the case may be. The period of incubation varies greatly. The black bass will hatch in fifteen to twenty days; the trout in seventy to eighty days. As soon as the young fish are hatched and able to swim, they are taken from the hatchery and deposited in the lakes or streams. At this stage they are known to fish culturists as young "fry".
I was at one time employed in a fish hatchery where the output of fish (Lake Whitefish and Wall-eyed Pike) was forty millions a year. A large number on paper. However, when you take into consideration the fact that culturists claim that not more than 5% of the fish deposited in the fry stage survive and live to maturity, it reduces the number materially. Five per cent of forty millions equals two hundred thousand fish. I mention this fact to illustrate the difference, or apparent disparity in the figures between artificial culture and pond culture.
In the pond system, the parent fish prepare their nests, deposit their eggs, and the young fish are hatched out naturally. They are kept in the ponds and fed during the summer and are taken out and distributed in the Fall, when they are about three inches long. When fish of this size are deposited in our waters 95% will live to maturity.
The output of fish from the pond system at the Valentine hatchery last year was about 300,000. Figuring the difference in the mortality between the two systems, the output of fish from the pond system at Valentine last year would equal about fifty nine millions of artificially hatched fish.
In addition to the fish raised in ponds we distributed five hundred and sixty thousand trout fry, the distribution being made in March and April. A large portion of those were placed in nursery ponds.
Although the number of fish caught by anglers does not figure in statistics of the catch made for market, they are not without economic values. They bring many tourists to our State who are interested in angling. Railways carry many fishermen to our lake regions, and the trade in angling equipment alone is extensive. Who can measure the health and recreation values attendant upon the angling idea? It is asserted that the fishing habit is conducive to long life. Beginning with Izaak Walton, who is said to have lived to be ninety, we have a long list of celebrated fishermen who lived to a ripe age; many of them prominent in American life.Brook Trout
The brook trout is the favorite game fish of America. Originally found only in the Eastern States, it has been carried by fish-culturists to all parts of the country, and will thrive wherever rapid streams of a suitable temperature does not reach higher than 70 degrees.
Trout culture in America dates back to the sixties, and the first, experiments in fish culture were made with trout. Great numbers of trout are raised in private hatcheries and sold in the open markets, while others strip the fish and sell the eggs, for which there is a constant demand. They are purchased by both Federal and State Hatcheries, and also for private preserves. The vitality of the artificially fertilized trout eggs has made it possible to ship them long distances in a half incubated condition, after which the hatching process can be completed by ordinary fish hatchery methods. In its natural environment, the trout is one of the wildest fish in fresh waters, and yet it is one of the most easily domesticated. When fed regularly in the ponds at the hatcheries, it has been known to become so tame as to take its food out of the hand of the caretakers.
In the spring of 1925 the first experiment was made in raising trout in nursery ponds. This is a small spring fed pond of one half acre or less built on the border of a natural trout stream. Nursery ponds were built on streams near Johnstown, Valentine, Rushville and Chadron. Each of these ponds were stocked with baby trout, an din each instance the experiment was a success. I was present when the pond was drawn off at Johnstown last fall and(Continued on Page 14)
Second Great Planting of Pheasants Finished in Record Time
THIRTY thousand Chinese Ring-Neck Pheasants were trapped and distributed throughout Nebraska during the first ten days of March, this spring.
This is probably one of the biggest plantings of game birds undertaken by any state. Counting the breeding stock distributed last spring, nearly fifty thousand of these birds have been liberated in Nebraska during the past two years.
It was planned this year to handle about fifteen or twenty thousand pheasants during the thirty days in March. However, trapping started off with such a bang that the Bureau had received thirty thousand birds by the 10th of the month. Inasmuch as it was not deemed advisable to spend too much money in one season on any particular phase of propagation, the trapping was discontinued when thirty thousand birds had been liberated.
Both the trapping and distribution of birds was handled in better shape this year than last year. No person was allowed to trap over fifty birds, and birds had to be delivered in pairs. No person was allowed to trap on the land of another without written permission to do so. This was necessary to protect property and to stop breaking down of fences and like depredations. Permits were issued to sixteen hundred trappers in three counties—Howard, Sherman and Valley—where trapping was allowed. Nearly a thousand of these licensed delivered birds to the Bureau.
(Upper) A group of Nebraska City "Ikes" releasing: pheasants.
(Lower) This truck contained 2100 birds and took them from St. Paul to Eastern Nebraska.
All birds this year were shipped direct from St. Paul, the center of the trapping activities, to the points of liberation. By doing this the birds were on the road just half the time and the transportation charges were greatly reduced. New crates were built and put into use, but the number was inadequate to handle the birds after the second day and old-style crates used last year were pressed into service. Even with these crates it was impossible to handle the birds as fast as they came in. Several times it was necessary to put trucks into service and over six thousand! were handled in this manner. Some ten or fifteen chapters of the Izaak Walton League responded to a call for trucks and sent them to St. Paul without expense to the Bureau.
Pheasants handled this year cost approximately $1.20 each. Of this amount the trapper was paid $1.00 and twenty cents was expended for labor in handling, crates, transportation, etc. It is believed that this method of stocking pheasants is the lowest in cost of any method in use. It certainly is far cheaper than raising the birds on game farms. Comparison has been made with the farms operating in sister states and according to figures furnished by these farms they are unable to produce birds for anything near the low figure being paid by the Nebraska bureau.
The following list shows the various counties which were stocked this year and the number of birds liberated.PHEASANT DISTRIBUTION FOR 1927 COUNTY NO. BIRDS Adams 138 Antelope 480 Boone 20 Box Butte 270 Boyd 500 Brown 148 Buffalo 10 Burt 530 Butler 278 COUNTY NO. BIRDS Gage 818 Gosper 100 Grant 20 Hamilton 10 Harlan 390 Hitchcock 200 Holt 760 Jefferson 350 Johnson 550 (Continued on Page 13)
OUTDOOR NEBRASKAPublished by Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fish and Game. Editorial Office, State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska FRANK B. O'CONNELL Editor DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Adam McMullen Governor H. J. McLaughlin Secretary Prank B. O'Connell Warden Vol. II. Lincoln, April, 1927 No. 2
EDITORIALCROW STILL THRIVES
Drives against crows which have recently been organized in New Jersey and Connecticut, although resulting in limited reduction of the crow population, again stirred up the old controversy between sportsmen and naturalists as to the. moral character of "corvus brachyrhynchos" and his many relatives.
To the sportsman the crow has few redeeming traits, and he is equally persona non grata to the farmer. To them his bug-eating characteristics do not offset his fondness for the eggs and fledglings of game and song birds, eggs and young of domestic poultry and the sprouting corn and other grain.
Classed as an outlaw, the crow appears to maintain his numerical status in spite of all attempts to put him out of existence. Apparently he is even increasing in numbers, and consequently there would seem to be no occasion for any alarm on the part of bird lovers that he is in immediate danger of extermination.
The much heralded crow campaigns are usually attended with much beating of tomtoms, hullabaloo, excitement and high expectations but usually result in much disappointment and slight crow mortality. If the participants were compelled to "eat crow" literally they would fare slimly. The reason for this is the inexperience and poor marksmanship of many of the crow hunters and the.uncanny wariness of the birds. Old crow is well able to take care of himself.
Most sound observers agree that the crow population ought to be reduced. If the much discussed crow hunts accomplish this in any small degree they will have served a good purpose.DUCKS SCARCE IN NORTH DAKOTA
A recent game survey made by the North TJakota Game and Fish Department supplied encouraging facts as to the status of prairie chicken, sharp-tail grouse, ruffed grouse and pheasants in that state., They were found either plentiful or in satisfactory numbers in many parts of the state, but breeding ducks were found to be extremely scarce.
Large areas of the state have become literally bone dry. Sloughs have dried up and crops were raised this year in many places that were formerly the beds of lakes, such as Lake Irwin, north of Church's Ferry, Lake Henry and Smoky Lake in McHenry county and many others. The result has been that the local breeding ducks have been congested in a few regions where water is still available. In the Turtle Mountains, for example, every lake and pond has been fairly swarming with ducks and ducklings, mallards, redheads, canvasbacks, pintails, green-winged teal, and other varieties, during the summer and fall.
The situation is not peculiar to North Dakota, but is characteristic of many other parts of the north, where ducks have been wont to breed. It only serves to emphasize the need for conserving every bit of water and marsh suitable for duck breeding in the north Mississippi valley, either by the states, the federal government or by sportsmen's clubs. The Migratory Bird Refuge and Marsh Land Conservation bill pending in congress would help greatly in doing this, if promptly enacted.GAME CAN BE SAVED
Conservationists are winning out in the fight to conserve and perpetuate America's game life, says Col. H. P. Sheldon, recently appointed chief United States game warden.
There is, however, a pressing need for antipollution laws, the training and employment of an adequate force of game protectors, provision for expanding the areas needed for the care and feeding of the increased stock of game, reduction of vermin and control of disease. But even with these needs there is no reason for sharing the pessimistic views which have become so common and which forecast certain disappearance of game in this country.
"The melancholy atmosphere that some adopt when speaking of game conservation is an inheritance from that dark period in American game history when destruction was the rule," said Mr. Sheldon, "and when scattered unorganized: sportsmen had not yet found the weapon with which to check it. That distressing period is definitely concluded and I sincerely believe that we are well forward in a new advance which will be marked by a constant increase in the number of our valuable species of fish, birds and animals."
"Never before have the sportsmen and conservvationists been so strongly and effectively organized," declared Mr. Sheldon. "Never before have the official agencies of conservation found such large sums of money at their disposal for advancing their work, and never before have we seen game and fish laws and regulations more generally supported by public approval than at the present time."
The destruction of game witnessed in the last century has been effectually checked. Most species now show an increase.
According to Dr. E. W. Nelson, Chief of the U. S. Bureau of Biological Survey, the most serious menace to the water fowl of the western states is the annual recurrence of alkali poisoning which, in the last few years has caused the death of millions of wild ducks and porportionate losses of other species of waterfowl.
Under the direction of Dr. Nelson, the bureau has been carrying on an intensive study of the whole problem this fall with a view of ascertaining definitely the cause of duck sickness in each instance and of determining what the remedy may be so that effective action may be taken to reduce the loss to a minimum.
The localities where such losses have occurred most heavily in the past including the present season, are the Bear River marshes in Utah, Malheur! Lake in Oregon, Lower Klamath and Tule Lakes which lie on the Oregon-California line, and certain lakes in Montana and elsewhere, in arid or semi-arid localities of the west.
Last year at least 100,000 ducks died in the Tule Lake district, 60,000 in Malheur Lake, and similarly large numbers in other lakes. The Utah State Game Commissioner declares that losses have reached as high as a million ducks in one season in that state from this cause.
The United States game warden investigating conditions at Malheur Lake reported that sick ducks invariably recovered when placed in contact with fresh running water. This lake is one of the largest and most important waterfowl resorts on the continent, but a succession of years of excessive evaporation has resulted in charging its waters very heavily with alkaline salts. It has been suggested that the sinking of large artesian wells might supply sufficient fresh water to neutralize the poison and prevent its destroying the birds. In other places it is proposed to construct dykes and dams as has been done by the state at the Bear River marshes in Utah and impound the fresh water and raise the level of affected lakes and marshes. Some parts of the west have been wet the past season.
The result of the inquiry of the Bureau of Biological Survey will be awaited with much interest by bird conservationists and sportsmen of the entire country.
Preserve Our Wild Life!
Will the presence of another five hundred million people in the world compensate us for the loss of all the wild life in the world?
That is more than an academic problem. For we are warned by those who are familiar with conditions in Africa that the elephant and the rhinocerous, the zebra and antelopes and giraffes are rapidly being killed out because there is no longer any range for them. Even where they are protected by law, they die out because they are deprived of food or water.
We are perhaps quite pleased with the total character of the billion and a half people that inhabit the world. But do we need another half billion so bad that we can afford to make the whole world just a place for human beings and those animals that they use for food or clothing or service?
Can we afford to have no more elephants or giraffes in the world because we are breaking Africa up into farms to produce more human beings?
Can we wipe out our national parks, in the United States, just because we want to produce more food in the mountains?
Ought we not to force ourselves to make a little more effort, and produce more food on the plains of central California, rather than to mar the beauty spots of the mountains for the sake of a little cheaper food production?
We sacrifice money to theaters and dance halls and other forms of amusement. We can afford to reserve some public resources to the cleaner, more inspiring amusement that is afforded by preserving our wild parks, and our wild animals.
FEES FOR 1926
Fees received during 1926 for hunting, fishing, trapping and other licenses amounted to $175,469.95. These fees were received for the following:Resident Hunt and Fish $150,278.00 Non-Resident Hunt and Fish 5,472.00 Non-Resident Fish only 5,268.00 Trapping Licenses 11,391.00 Missouri River Licenses 1,079.00 Miscellaneous 1,981.15
Muskrat Farming in Nebraska
ONE of the new industries rapidly coming to the front in Nebraska is muskrat farming.
At the present time Nebraska is producing something like a million dollars worth of muskrat pelts each year. Most of these pelts come from northwestern Nebraska where the rats are taken from lakes and marshes. These rats are mostly the natural stock and are allowed to live in their natural condition. Care is taken to see that the rats are not trapped too closely, but other than that, little attention is given to these fur-bearers.
However, it is realized that this method of fur farming cannot long continue without adequate re-stocking. Each year more and more marsh land is being drained and each year more and more rats are taken. The time is not far distant when lakes and marshes will have to be re-stocked occasionally with breeders. Far-sighted ranchers are already studying the muskrat situation and making plans to meet the changing conditions.
While most of the muskrats in Nebraska today are the natural stock taken from lakes and marshes, there has recently been several fur-farmers enter the business who are raising rats by what is known as the "dry pen system". Mr. James McReynolds, of Omaha, is one of the pioneers in this method of raising rats. He has been carrying on experimental work for four years and is firmly convinced after thorough investigation that rats can profitably be raised in this way.
Small pens, made of cement, about four feet square, with a small den about eighteen inches square and a small water tank, are used for each of the females. Mr. McReynolds has found that rats require very little sunlight and that they must be protected from the sun. For that reason his pens are covered with a broad top, so that the pen can be kept in semi-darkness. Owing to the small pens, a large number of rats can be raised on a small space. Mr. McReynold expects to raise 500 rats this season on two city lots.
According to Mr. McReynolds, he can raise rats at a cost of forty cents each a year. Inasmuch as practically all his stock is sold for breeding purposes at a price considerably higher than the fur value, it would seem that there is considerable profit in the dry-pen system of muskrat farming at the present time.
During the season of 1926, Mr. McReynolds averaged three litters from each of his females. He got from twenty to twenty-five rats during the season. The young rats thrived in the pens and the fur remained in excellent condition. Breeding began around March 15 and continued to August 15. The males are kept with the females during the time of breeding only.
Two important features of the dry-pen system is sanitation and food. Mr. McReynolds has all of his pens constructed so that they can be flushed out with clean water each day. The tank is refilled daily. Care must be taken in handling the young rats to see that the dens are kept clean and wholesome so that maggots do not collect.
Cracked corn, soaked in water, willow twigs, grass, alfalfa mash, carrots, parsnips and various green vegetables are fed the rats. They are fed daily, preferably at noon. Food is kept before them at all times.
Nebraska's Greatest Raw Fur Producer
For two years the Nebraska Bureau of Game and Fish have been after pike eggs to stock the Platte and Blue Rivers, both of which were excellent pike streams at one time. This spring two million eggs were secured from Ohio and released in these rivers after hatching. Next spring it is planned to get ten million eggs from this source.
Close to a million trout are now growing in nurseries scattered throughout Nebraska. Nurseries are in operation at Chadron, Gordon, Rushville, Johnstown, Page, Niabrara Game Reserve, Riverton, Rock Creek and Long Pine.
According to experience of fish culturists, fifty percent or more of these fish should reach maturity and become potential catches. If so this number would provide for 500,000 for release in trout streams this fall.
Under the old system of trout culture where the fry were released into the open waters; it would have taken ten million fry to equal the number of fingerlings that are now in nurseries, as no more than five percent of fry reach maturity when released in open waters.
Several more trout nurseries are being constructed as well as more nursery ponds at the Rock Creek Hatchery. When this plant is fully developed, Nebraska should have nursery capacity for two million trout. That would mean the release of a million fingerling a year.
The Game Laws, as amended by the session of the Legislature which recently adjourned will be ready for distribution by June 1. They are now on the press and same can be obtained on or after June 1.
The new laws go into effect July 24, 1927. Until that time the old laws are in effect and are being followed.
A 4-inch live fish recently caused the death of Peter Paaina, a fisherman of Wa'iluku, Mani.
Paaina held the fish in his mouth while he removed a hook. As he was about to put his catch into a basket the fish gave a convulsive flip and slipped down Paaina's throat, lodging in his windpipe and suffocating him.
Fish Culture on the Farm
THE advantage of having a fish pond on the farm is becoming more apparent to the farmer every day.
The ideal fish pond is one about one acre in area with a minimum depth of 1 foot at the shore line, gradually sloping to a kettle at least 6 feet deep. If 8 feet deep so much the better. It should be provided with an overflow and drain in the deepest part, so that it can be completely drained. The water supply should be from springs, or a spring fed brook, and located so that the water is obtained by gravity flow. A pond of this kind can be kept under complete control. It can thus be cleaned occasionally, and the natural enemies of the fish removed.Types of Ponds
Two general types of ponds are to be considered, namely, the pond made by damning a ravine, and the excavated pond. The pond in a ravine is made by constructing a levee at some suitable point, preferably where the ravine is narrow. A tile or piece of iron pipe should be laid before the levee is built so as to completely drain the pond when desired. A spillway built of concrete or wood should be built at the height the water in the pond is to be carried. This should be of sufficient width to accommodate flood water during heavy rain. It should also be provided with a screen to prevent the escape of the fish during such times.
The second kind of pond is made by excavating below the surface and using the earth to make an embankment or levee. This style of pond can be made on a fairly level piece of ground or at the foot of a hill where the hillside will serve as one of the sides of the pond.
In locating the pond several things should be considered:
1st. The level of land must be low enough to permit the water supply to enter the pond by gravity flow.
2nd. The lowest point in the pond should be high enough to permit complete drainage.
3rd. The ponds should be located or protected from excessive flood waters.
4th. The soil should be of such nature as to retain the water.
While the above features are requisite for the ideal fish pond, there are swampy and boggy places on some farms where ponds can be built that are incapable of complete drainage. Such ponds can also be made to furnish a good crop of fish.Water Supply
The water supply is the first consideration in building a fish pond.
Springs and flowing wells are the best sources of water supply. They are as a rule easily controlled and are usually clear and of a temperature showing little variation in winter or summer. Spring water should be tested, however, before it is used for a fish pond. It sometimes contains minerals that are injurious to fish life. This can be readily determined by placing a few fish in it. If, after a week or two, the fish are still alive, it may be considered suitable.
Water from a spring fed brook is the second choice. In some respects it is better than water directly from a spring, as it contains many of the minute organisms that comprise the food of young fishes. When brook water is used the intake should be arranged, however, so as to exclude the water from the pond during freshets when it is extremely roily. Such water is dangerous during the spawning season and undesirable at all times.
Water from this source will necessarily be carried some distance unless there is considerable fall to the brook. A short dam can be thrown across the brook and the water led from back of it through a pipe line properly screened. This will exclude undesirable fish.
In soil that retains water very readily, surface drainage might be used to fill a pond. Unless this supply is augmented in some manner, however, it is very probable that the pond will stagnate in dry times. A windmill might be used for this purpose.
The size and shape of the pond will necessarily depend on the available land area. As previously stated a pond of about one acre or even one-third of an acre, if properly managed, will produce enough fish for the average family.
A considerable shallow area is desired, for it is in the shallows that the fish do most of their feeding and spawning. This will provide plenty of feeding and spawning space for the fish, and deep water for their seclusion in summer, and hibernation in winter.CONSTRUCTION OF POND
In starting the construction of a pond, the sod should be plowed up where the levees are to be located, and care taken that no substances such as roots, sods and pieces of wood are put into the levee, as they will later decay and cause leakage.
The height and crown of the levee should be the same and the base of the levee five times th height. This givs a slope of two feet in width to one in height. If possible, the work should be done with teams and scrapers. This will tend to pack firmly the earth in the levee(Continued on Page 13)
Diagram of System Used to Drain Fish Ponds
Departmental ActivitiesSAVING FISH
Practically all Nebraska lakes came through the winter with a.very small loss of fish. In some cases a few fish were lost where they were caught in pockets, but generally speaking, the losses were small.
Five wardens were busy keeping the ice cut on northern and western lakes. A number of ranchers and others cooperated with the Bureau in the work.
Another great help in saving fish was due to the new ventilator devised by Mr. M. E. O'Brien, Superintendent of the Valentine Hatchery. This ventilator was installed on many lakes and proved highly successful. A number of other states are adopting this means of saving fish.
Development work is now under way at Goose Lake and Wallgreen Lake recreation grounds. Development work will start shortly at the Fremont Sand Pits.
Five thousand trees are being planted at Goose and Wallgreen lakes. A large amount of aquatic vegetation was also planted at Goose Lake. Members of the Izaak Walton League and interested citizens assisted in the planting.
The Wallgreen Lake project is being fenced. Auto gates will be constructed at both Goose and Wallgreen.
It is expected to start breaking down the sand banks at Fremont early in May. Machinery has been ordered and arrangements made to handle the work as fast as possible.
During the first four months of 1927 a total of 71 arrests were made. This is considerably more than was made during the corresponding four months in 1926, when a total of 59 arrests were made. However, game wardens have been greatly hampered this spring because of bad roads. Many of the roads along rivers and swamps were nearly impassable.
A seining crew has been on the job since early in March and will continue throughout the year. Quite a number of ponds and lakes have already been seined and coarse fish removed. This crew will seine ponds where is is believed that coarse fish are a menace to game fish and where conditions are such that seining can be done. Later in the season overflows and dry ponds will be seined so that any fish therein can be conserved.
Beginning in the fall of 1927 a crew will seine coarse fish from the larger lakes. This work will continue through the winter and seining will be done through the ice. This method of coarse fish removal is in use in several other states with good results. A better market for coarse fish is secured in the winter than during the warm months.
One of the few remaining rail fences to be found in Nebraska
Over 600 " jacks " taken by the Shickley " Ikes " and given io the Omaha Elks for the needy
Two new nursery ponds are in the course of construction. One of these is located near Chadron and one near Long Pine. A small nursery near Gordon was recently completed.
Construction work at the Rock Creek Hatchery is going along nicely. New ponds have been built, an ice house constructed and a new road built. All buildings are being painted. A new pipe line will be laid at the Valentine Hatchery shortly. This will be about a half mile in length and will tap the spring water so that it can be run directly to the hatching-house.
Through a tip received from the game offices in Pennsylvania, the Nebraska Bureau of Game and Fish was able to apprehend several parties who were defrauding county clerks in the collection of coyote bounties. All county clerks were notified and the county clerk of Cedar County had two parties arrested when they appeared to collect. They were shipping coyote scalps into the state from New York.
Reindeer Industry Promises to Be Important to Alaska
The reindeer industry in Alaska promises to become an important factor in the future development of the Territory, says the Biological Survey of the United States Department of Agriculture. It is comparatively a recent undertaking and as a commercial enterprise dates back only a few years. The original stock of 1,280 animals imported from Siberia about 25 years ago has increased to about 350,000, distributed throughout the Territory in 110 herds.
The rapidly growing industry requires that scientific studies be made for its best development, and under Congressional authorization such studies were begun by the department in 1920 through the Biological Survey. Improved methods have been recommended to herd owners for handling reindeer and utilizing the range. A study of the range is now being made with a view to inaugurating a permanent system of grazing allotments. Careful and continuous inspection will be required to determine whether an area is being under or overgrazed.
One of the more fundamental of the problems studied has to do with the relation of lichens to grazing. Some of the results of this study are published in Department Bulletin 1423-D, just issued. Plans for future work contemplate studies chiefly along sueh lines as the development of interior ranges, conditions governing forage and range management, breed improvement of reindeer, and the control of the diseases and parasites to which the animals are subject. In view of the fact that conditions in Alaska are so different from those in the States as regards the kind of animal under consideration, the nature of the forage, and the climate, it is particularly important that thorough studies be made.
Full progress in the reindeer industry can come only from the adoption of better management methods, not only in range control and regulation, but in herd management and provisions for transporting and marketing tihe meat. This involves open herding, reduction of the proportion of bulls in the herds, selection of the best stock for breeding, infusion of new blood by cross breeding with native caribou, adoption of improved methods of corralling and branding, keeping sled reindeer in each herd, and providing for herd ownership on the percentage basis for increases, with one registered brand for a community herd.
Ready to Play
A Good Catch
Copies of the new bulletin may be obtained, as long as the supply lasts, by writing to the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.
Amended regulations under the Federal migratory-bird treaty act, which become effective at once, have been adopted by Secretary of Agriculture Jardine and approved by the President. During the next hunting season it will be unlawful to take more than 4 woodcock a day (instead of 6 as formerly), and the only shorebirds that may be hunted during the seasons 1927 and 1928 are jacksnipe and woodcock, a two-year close season now being prescribed for greater and lesser yellowlegs. No charges are made in existing regulations affecting the length of seasons or size of bag limits on ducks and geese.
The use of isinkboxes on inland waters is prohibited, but on coastal waters sinkboxes may be used under restrictions that provide that each one must be at least 700 yards from any shore, island, or other sinkbox. The use of motorboats and airplanes to drive and rally ducks to keep them moving and thus provide better shooting, is prohibited under the new regulations.
Local changes in the regulations affect the dates of open seasons for Hunting wild fowl in northeastern Calfornia and northern Idaho. In northeastern California the season is made October 1. to January 15, instead of the later period of October 16" to January 31, thus conforming with the season in southern Oregon, where climatic conditions are similar. In the five northern counties of Idaho the season is also made earlier to harmonize1 with that in Montana, as the two areas are climatically similar, the new season en wild fowl there being September 16 to December 31 instead of the former October 1 to January 15.
The foregoing amendments t:> the migratory-bird treaty act regulations were adopted by Secretary Jardine after careful consideration by the Biological Survey and public bearings on the matter.
The number of .woodcock that may be taken in one day by any person during'the prescribed open season is reduced by the new regulations from 6 to 4 birds. 12 OUTDOOR, NEBRASKA Investigations conducted by the department indicate that the woodcock is maintaining its numbers in New England, the North Atlantic Coast States, and the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and that in portions of these areas it has increased materially. Reports from other sections are not so encouraging, however, and it has been decided, in view of the general situation, to add to the protection of the woodcock by making a moderate reduction in the daily bag limit.
The effect of amending the regulations to provide a two-year close season on greater and lesser yellowlegs is to place all species of shorebirds—except Wilson or jacksnipe and woodcock—on the list of migratory birds for which no open season is at present provided. No shore-bird shooting will be permitted in 1927 and 1928 by Federal regulation except in the case of woodcock and jacksnipe. Reports show that yellowlegs have not been increasing, and it becomes desirable to protect them completely for two years to give them a chance to multiply sufficiently to allow a moderate open season at the conclusion of that period.
The use of sinkboxes on inland waters will no longer be permitted. It has been found that the use of this wild-fowling device on the comparatively restricted feeding and resting grounds on inland waters has an injurious effect in driving ducks from these areas, and in addition the marked decrease. of marshlands through drainage and evaporation renders this amendment all the more desirable. Under restriction the use of sinkboxes will still be permitted on coastal waters, though the new regulation requires that each box be 700 yards from any shore or island and 70O yards from any other sinkbox.
Very few people ever saw an opossum family when real young.
The young are very small and tender, being no larger than a mouse and with practically no hair on their bodies. The female has a pouch on the underpart of her body in which the young are placed and nursed until they attain the size" of a half or two-third's grown rat, depending on the size of the litter which varies from three to twelve or more.
They eat both vegetables and meats and are fond of wild grapes
An opossum takes two to three years to attain full maturity. Being unsuspicious they are easily decoyed with bait and caught. The female is of little value as a fur bearer on account of the pouch which is very thin haired and tender skin and should never be taken unless found molesting domestic fowl. They are very fond of chickens and are easily caught by using chickens for bait.
The opossum is being recognized more and more as a fur bearer and should be protected by law in all states from March 1st to November 15th, except when found raiding chicken roosts and game farms.------C. W. SHAW.
When you go fishing don't forget to take your license. Where the license is not carried it causes the game warden a great deal of trouble. In some states fishermen are required to wear the license on the back of their hunting coat in plain sight.
The following is a digest of the new laws passed by the recent session of the State Legislature:H. R. No. 10
Limits number of ducks taken per day to 20 and number in possession to 40.
Limits number of geese taken per day to 5 and number in possession to 5.
Limits number of prairie chickens taken per day to 5 ai;d number in possession to 5.H. R. No. 11
Raises the non-resident license to hunt and fish to $25.00.H. R. No. 61
Prohibits having raw fur of fur-bearing animals in possession after 10 days following the close of the open season. (Excepts licensed fur dealers providing they report furs on hand at close of the season.
Raised the non-resident license to buy fur to $10.H. R. No. 400
Makes a game reserve in that portion of state of Nebraska on the Platte river and for ten rods on each side of the banks, beginning at the west line of Range 31 West in Lincoln County and extending thence west to the west line of Range 38 West in Keith County. This reserve is open to hunting during the forenoon during the open season.H. R. No. 619
Appropriates $25,000 for the establishment of, a state wild game reserve within Scottsbluff, Morrill or Banner Counties.S. F. No. 275
Authorizes the Department of Agriculture to issue permits for private fish hatcheries. Provides regulations for such hatcheries.S. F. No. 204
Allows Department of Agriculture to open season on male pheasants in any county where the county board passes resolutions requesting same. Optional with Department of Agriculture.S. F. No. 171
A bill amending game laws.—Provides regulations for shipping and storage of game, prohibits hunting from an automobile, limits number of set lines in fishing, closes season on bass from May 1 to June 10, pickerel from January 1 to May 1, limits taking of black bass under 10 inches, trout under 8 inches, bullheads under 5 inches, prohibits sale of catfish taken in Nebraska waters, prohibits sale of black bass in the state, prohibits taking of bullfrogs, reduces bag on game fish to 15, except perch and bullheads which is 25, increases penalty for using traps, seines and nets and makes- possession of same unlawful, except minnow seines, requires all persons selling raw furs to have license, provides for the issuing of hunting and fishing permits instead of licenses.
A new law was recently passed which allows private fish hatcheries in Nebraska.
The new law has been printed and is now ready for distribution.
Before attempting to start a private hatchery the new law should be carefully studied, as it contains many regulations. The fee is $25.00 per year.
SECOND GREAT PLANTING PHEASANTS FINISHED IN RECORD TIME(Continued from Page 5) COUNTY NO. BIRDS Cass 228 Cedar 610 Chase 98 Cherry 208 Cheyenne 408 Clay 160 Colfax 450 Cuming 1020 Custer 214 Dakota 448 Dawes 250 Dawson140 Dixon 728 Dodge 944 Douglas 498 Dundy 110 Fillmore 388 Franklin 328 Frontier 320 Furnas 290 Polk 470 Redwillow 230 Richardson 55S Rock 10 Saline 862 Sarpy 410 Saunders 548 Scotts Bluff 258 Seward 870 COUNTY NO. BIRDS Kearney 110 Keith 250 Keyapaha 210 Kimball 410 Knox 540 Lancaster 720 Lincoln 330 Logan 20 MePherson 8 Madison 980 Merrick 10 Morrill 20 Nemaha 650 Nuckolls 230 Otoe 528 Pawnee 342 Perkins 10 Phelps 320 Pierce 708 Platte 360 Sheridan 450 Sioux 160 Stanton 330 Thayer 902 Thurston 560 Washington 458 Wayne 450 Webster 398 York 540
FISH CULTURE ON THE FARM(Continued from Page 9)
so that it will hold the water more readily. The top of the levee should be at least 18 inches above the surface of the water when filled to the proper level. The best and cheapest method is to take the earth from the bottom of the pond if the soil is of clay or heavy loam, but care should be taken not to excavate into gravel or sand, as this will have to be covered with a clay to a depth of five or six inches to prevent seepage.
It is desirable to have the intake at least six inches above the surface of the pond. This will provide plenty of aeration to the water. A three-inch stream of water is sufficient for a pond of one acre in area, but this amount will not be needed at all times, as it is only necessary to keep the proper level after the pond is once filled.
The tip pipe style of drain which is in successful use at the various State Hatcheries, is the one recommended for fish ponds. The drain consists of an iron stand pipe fitted into an elbow. This elbow is screwed into a short piece of iron pipe held secure in a bulkhead of concrete. It is connected within the bulkhead to vitrified sewer tile, which leads the water outside the levee. This sewer tile should be laid with cemented joints before the levee is built.
With this style of outlet and drain, the water can be held at any desired height in the pond. When laid flat on the bottom it will completely drain the pond. A six-inch pipe will be found convenient for quick drainage. It will also take care of surface water during excessive rains.
The drain should be placed in the kettle or deepest part of the pond. A screen for preventing the escape of the fish can be easily fitted to the outlet by making a wooden frame about one foot square, the bottom being a solid board with a circular hole to admit the pipe. This is covered with one-eighth inch or one-fourth inch galvanized sand screen wire.
Before water is turned into a new pond, the levees should be allowed to settle. It is a good plan to construct the pond in the fall and allow it to stand dry until spring before turning in the water. By sodding the banks from below the water line to the top, or if sod is not available, to seed the banks with a mixture of blue grass and white clover will prevent the water from cutting into the banks by wave action during windy weather.
The use of stone rip-rap for the protection of banks is not desirable, as it provides a harbor for numerous enemies of the fish, especially snakes. If a more positive protection for the banks is desired other than sod, a strip of concrete about one foot wide laid at the water line will serve the purpose.
If the soil does not retain water readily, puddling will have to be resorted to. This may be done by turning in a little water on the bottom of the pond and then loosening up the soil with a harrow. This will roil the water and allow the fine particles of silt to settle in the cracks and crevices. By following this method of treating each part of the pond as it fills with water, it will become effectually sealed. If this method does not produce the desired results it may be necessary to haul in a sufficient amount of clay to cover the bottom of the pond to a depth of four or five inches. This, however, is expensive work and should be done only as a last resort.
Muck soil should not be selected as a pond site. It is a difficult matter to maintain dikes to the desired height unless the muck is shallow and underlaid with a hard subsoil.
After filling the pond it should be planted with suitable aquatic vegetation before introducing fish into it. Vegetation is absolutely essential to fish life for several reasons. It comprises the food of some of the fishes. It also furnishes food and shelter to the small crustaceans which are the principal food of all young fishes. It also purifies the water by taking up carbonic gas and other obnoxious substances and giving back oxygen.
Certain of the larger forms of vegetation furnish shade during the heat of the summer and some fishes select the comparative seclusion afforded by them to make their nests on their roots.
The following is a list of the Izaak Walton League members who assisted the Bureau of Game and Fish in the planting of trees at Goose Lake: Elgin—L H. Lehr, C. L. VanCIeave, N. S. Strom, A. C. Gardner, C. A. Ball, Chas. Keil, Harry Coleman, Jorgen Hansen; Clearwater— E. E. Smith, V. Uridel, Ben Babcock, J. Calvort, J. Contois, Jr., A. W. Anderson; Neligh—Ed Dewey, M. Quinn, C. Bare, A. E. Graybiel, C. J. Best, L. E. Jackson; Oakdale— Elmer Malm, William Barrett, Hobart McKeehan, W. A. Elwood, C. Anderson, A. D. Clingman, Keith Torpin; Ewing—H. R. Harris, J. S. Weaverling, Francis Wood, Donald Wood; Martha—J. B. Honeywell, Everett Harvis, Gus Thoendel, Robert Thoendel, Frank Hubel; Bliss—Seymour Harknis; Atkinson—W. J. Weller.
MODERN PROPAGATION OF GAME FISH(Continued from Page 4)
about 40,000 fingerling trout turned loose in Plum Creek. These fish would average about 4 inches in length and if bought from commerical trout hatcheries, at the regular price, $5.00 per hundred. $2000 worth of trout raised in this small pond in one year, and the cost to the State for constructing the pond was about $350.00. There are about seventy trout streams in the State. With a nursery pond on every stream producing 40,000 trout, the annual output would be 2,800,000 fingerling trout, with a value based on the "price charged by private hatcheries of $5.00 per hundred, it would amount to about $140,000. The average cost of constructing trout nursery ponds is about $250.00. Once built they will last for many years. Nursery ponds should be built on our trout streams as fast as money is available to build them.Some of the Advantages of Fish-Culture
Many of the fishes taken for food by anglers, and naturally of wide distribution, have, as a result of fish cultural operations, been established in sections of the country far removed from their original habitat. Nebraska has been benefitted greatly by this condition. The following named species have been brought to Nebraska waters by fish-cultural operations; brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, loch leven trout, wall-eyed pike, small mouth bass, crappie, ring perch, pumpkinseed sunfish and carp, the latter the tragedy of fish culture. Experiments were made in this State with Lake white fish, Lake herring, Lake trout, land locked salmon, golden ide and tench. These experiments proved to be failures. There are two more species of fishes that might profitably be introduced into our waters, the white or silver bass and the goggle eyed sunfish. Both could be added to our pond culture operations and would be a fine addition to the fish life in our waters.Black Bass
The black bass, because of his game qualities, is of first importance among our more hardy species of fishes. While many efforts have been made, the bass have never "been hatched artificially. They are not fish whose mature eggs can be stripped by hand and developed in hatchery buildings. Their propagation is effected by the more natural, but slower, method of pond culture, in which the fishes are provided with the conditions most favorable to their mating and the rearing of their young.
The same limitations in culture apply to nearly all Spring spawning fishes; such as the rock bass, crappie and sunfishes. Perch may be hatched artificially, but most satisfactory results may be had from pond culture. All these fishes have the habit of making nests and protecting their young for a short period after they are hatched. They also defend their eggs on their spawning nests with great vigor, the male fish usually assuming this task.
The two closely related black basses are easily distinguished by the size of the mouth and by their color. In the small mouth species the upper jaw does not extend beyond the eye, as in the case of the large mouth bass. In the former there is much darker blotching, which tends to form short vertical cross bands, while the latter has a dark band along the side, known as the lateral line. The black basses are truly an American fish, and more has been written about it than any other fish. It is everywhere a favorite with the expert angler. While many thousands of bass are hatched and distributed annually from State and Federal. hatcheries, it is doubtful if it is increasing demand for bass, we must raise more fish, cut down the bag limit, which is too high now, and make a close season for a period of thirty days from May 10th to June 10th. This will cover the mating and spawning season.
There are one hundred and sixty thousand sportsmen buying licenses to hunt and fish in Nebraska; while every fisherman is not a hunter nearly every hunter is a fisherman. If each of these catch on an average two bass a year, it would total 320,000 bass. The number actually taken is nearer one million, and it is some task to keep up the supply.Co-Operation in Bass Propagation
The Bureau of Fish and Game will co-operate with Izaak Walton Chapters in establishing bass propagating ponds, where bass may be raised for local waters. There are many places in the State suitable for this purpose, and upon request a competent man will be sent to inspect these sites and give instructions how to construct or manage such ponds, and will also furnish fish necessary to stock them. These ponds would add materially in stocking local waters. Don't waste your money in constructing ponds without the advice of an expert. The requirements for a bass pond are altogether different from that of a trcuc nursery pond. Bass have become so scarce in some of the Eastern States that the sportsmen have adopted the slogan; "Plant a Bass''. Our sportsmen should raise the ante and plant a thousand bass.Rock Bass
Among the many fresh water fishes there are few that adapt themselves more readily than the rock bass. The natural range of this fish includes the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes, but it has been introduced, through fish cultural operations, into many States. Its adaptability to pond cultivation will ultimately extend its distribution. The rock bass is a thick-bodied, meaty fish. It grows to a length of fourteen inches, and a weight of two pounds. It is a hardy, prolific and gamey fish. It may be taken with minnows, grasshoppers, crickets and angle worms, and sometimes will strike an artificial fly or trolling spoon.The Crappie or Calico Bass
The natural habitat of this fish is the Great Lakes and the waters of the Mississippi "Valley. Being a good food fish and well adapted to cultivation in ponds, its distribution has been considerably extended. It lives peaceably in ponds with other fishes and is a prolific breeder You will find the crappie in lake or stream wherever you find a brush pile or fallen tree. Brush piles are placed in lakes to form what are known as crappie beds. Here is where you will find your best fishing. The crappie is a free biter and a splendid pan fish. He will grow to the length of eighteen inches and attain a weight of two pounds. Anglers take it with all sorts of bait. You need not be an expert to catch crappie.The Pumpkinseed or Small Mouth Sunfish
The coloring on the male pumpkinseed is dark green on the upper part of the body, shading to yellow underneath. The female is of the same coloring, but of a lighter shade. There are few fish that afford the angler more sport than the pumpkinseed sunfish. He will rise to the fly as readily as the trout, and when hooked he is a game little fighter, and is always, ready to sample the bait. In waters where he is found in abundance, OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 15 anglers cast for him with light tackle and get a real thrill out of catching him. I know of no fish in fresh waters that is more prolific. He is very hardy and will thrive in any body of fresh water. He grows to a weight of two pounds and his meat is firm and finely flavored. He is not a bass, but he is just as good in every way except size. The pumpkinseed sunfish is an entirely different fish from our native bluegill sunfish, which is also a fine little game fish, but not equal to the pumpkinseed.Ring Perch
The yellow perch is one of the best fresh water fishes, being abundant throughout the Northern and Eastern States. The market catch in the Great Lakes sometimes exceeds 10,000,000 pounds a year (Government Report), while anglers in towns along the Lakes take great numbers and find sport in doing so. The catch by anglers in the smaller lakes and ponds everywhere is very large. The yellow perch comes as near being everybody's fish as any other, and but little art is necessary in taking it. It may be taken through the ice in Winter when he is at his very best. It is always ready to sample all baits of the angler. Its length may be as much as eighteen inches and its weight about two pounds. As a food fish there are few of better flavor. It is a difficult fish to dress because the scales cling so tightly to the fish. The usual method adapted is to skin the fish. The yellow perch is one of the easiest fishes to introduce into new waters. It is more prolific and will produce more pounds of food than any other fish that has ever been propagated.Bull Frogs
Frogs of several kinds are highly valued as food delicacies, and their habits have received considerable attention with a view to developing a practical system of frog culture. It is said that the annual market supply of frogs exceeds a half million pounds a year, the bulk of the catch being taken from the Mississippi and its tributaries. There are at present a few frog farms or hatcheries where frogs are raised for the market, but they are mostly in the experimental stage. The bullfrog is easy to propagate and will live in any of our marshes, sloughs, ponds or lakes. The bullfrog spawns in May or June. The young tad-poles hatch in about fifteen days and live in the water for a year before developing into a frog. At two years old he will spawn and reproduce. An adult frog will spawn several thousand of eggs annually and the most of these will hatch. Tad-poles feed on vegetable matter and when it has become a frog it feeds on insect life. Frogs are taken with a piece of red flannel tied to a hook or with an artificial fly with red feathers. He is taken for market with small-tined spears and shipped alive in wire crates. We produce fifty thousand frogs a year at the Valentine hatchery.Private Fish Ponds
It is the assertion of fish-culturists that an acre of water will produce more food than an acre of land, and the truth of the assertion has been demonstrated. In the early history of fish-culture in Nebraska, the State furnished fish free of charge to stock private ponds. The assurance of getting a supply of fish free of cost encouraged the people to build fish ponds, and in my opinion it would be a good thing if this was done now. Private fish-culture would be of great service in maintaining and increasing our supply of fish food. A pond on the farm would be of great value,- not only in raising fish; it would be a place for the boys and girls to bathe and learn to swim. They could also enjoy boating. It would make a supply of ice for home consumption. It would help to conserve our water supply and bring moisture to our fields. Good fishing would help to keep the boys and girls at home, and provide a change of food for the family. The possessors of flowing springs, brooks and small lakes, low boggy land, or unsightly marshy places where ponds could be built, should be informed of these home resources for fish farming, and approved methods for the construction of fish ponds should be published by the State and furnished free for the asking. The propagation of fish is not only a question of stocking our waters with fish for the benefit of the angler, or means of recreation, but it also enters into a good supply for the people.Fish and Game License Monies
All monies collected for Fish and Game Licenses should be appropriated for the use of the Fish and Game Department, and should be used for the propagation, conservation, distribution and protection of fish and game, for the improvement of lakes, and the purchase of land on lake fronts for recreational grounds, and for the purchase of swamp land for game sanctuaries. (Not Federal Government sanctuaries, but State game Sanctuaries, to be kept under State control.) It is up to the organized sportsmen of the State to see that this money is not spent for any other purpose. You, gentlemen members of the Izaak Walton League have the power to do this, and in the interest of better fishing and better hunting, you should see that it is done. Every man and woman who is interested in conservation or reforestation should help the cause.
The man with his dog and gun, who hunts wild game, is called a sportsman, (and none but those who have enjoyed a day's hunt can appreciate what it means). The man with a lot of costly tackle and full of hobbies is called an angler, and he gets his thrill in catching a bass or trout. Then there are a host of others, farmers, ranchmen, mechanics, and laborers, who find recreation in a day's fishing, and who are satisfied with a string of perch, or a mess of sunnies, and this class of fisherman and the fisherwoman are in the majority. All these people pay licenses, and are interested in the fish and Game Fund, and to what purpose it may be used. Spend more money in the purchase of land on lakes and streams, plant trees, provide a place where the Girls and the Boy Scouts may have a summer outing. The boys and girls of today are the fathers and mothers of tomorrow. Get the boys and girls interested in the protection of our song birds and our game birds, and in our wild animal life, and in a few years you will have a force of fish and game protectors that will insure real protection.
In the year that has passed since our last Convention, more good has been accomplished than in any one year in the history of the State. Many new projects have been undertaken that give promise of being of great value in the future. Several tracts of land have bean purchased to provide hunting and fishing and recreation grounds for the people. Wells have been sunk in lakes to insure protection to the fish from winter killing. Nursery ponds have been built on streams which will insure a greatly increased production of trout. The facilities for propagating fish at the hatcherits have been greatly increased. In performing this work, I am pleased to say that we have had the fullest cooperation of the heads of the Departments and the most 16 OUTDOOR NEBRASKA generous assistance of the members of the Izaak Walton League. It was largely through their efforts that we have been enabled to accomplish the many things that we have done.
MANY CHANGES IN NEBRASKA'S GAME AND FISH LAWS(Continued from Page 3)
legislation recently passed, and any one violating this law after the Nebraska law goes into effect, will also be subject to federal prosecution.Stops Sale Catfish
Owing to a shortage of catfish the law was changed to prohibit the sale of catfish in Nebraska which are takenDefines Trapping Rights
Under the new law bill all persons must have a trapers license or permit. This includes boys under sixteen, persons taking raccoon with dogs or the taking of fur-bearing animals in any manner whatsoever.Regulates Fur Buying
The new law regulates fur buying. All persons buying fur must have a permit under the new act, and those living outside of Nebraska must pay a fee of $10 instead of $1.00. Dealers holding permits may hold fur during the closed season provided it is reported to the state officers at the close of the open season for such fur.Closes Season on Beaver
The Legislature closed the open season on beaver. These animals may still be taken where they are damaging trees, but only on authority from the Department of Agriculture.Increases Non-Resident License
The fee for non-resident hunting in Nebraska was increased from $10 to $25.Allows Rats to be Taken
Under the new law muskrats may be taken during March, April, May and June where they are doing damage. They can be taken only when authorized by the Department of Agriculture and the fur of such rats cannot be sold.Provides Season for Pheasants
Another law passed allows the Bureau to open the season on male pheasants in such counties where it is deemed they are over-stocked. This can be done only after the County Board of such county passes a resolution to that effect and the state game authorities decide the birds are over-stocked.Allows Private Hatcheries
A new law allows private fish hatcheries. This law is very elaborate and has many detailed regulations. No one should attempt to start a private hatchery until a copy of this law is procured. Copies will be available by the Bureau by June 1.New Laws Available
Within several weeks a pamphlet will be available giving the text of the new game laws. Before July 1 the laws will be printed as amended and ready for circulation. It should be remembered that new laws unless carrying the emergency clause, do not go into effect until ninety days after passed. Therefore, since none of the game laws passed this session, none of these new laws will become effective before July 1, 1927.
QUAIL MUST HAVE SUITABLE COVER PROPER FOOD AND VERMIN PROTECTION
Attractive and suitable cover, sufficient and proper food supply, protection from vermin—these three requisites, if provided, will insure a continuing supply of quail in any locality where climatic conditions permit, and allow a reasonable amount of annual shooting.
Quail are so prolific, producing at least one, and often two clutches of from ten to twenty-four eggs each per year, that there can be no question of their increase and abundance when given suitable cover, food and protection.
Lack of any one of the three requisites, however, is fatal. Farms so intensively cultivated and pastured that there is no cover can have no quail. Cover, be it ever so attractive, without suitable food, will be equally barren, and what doth it profit an ambitious pair of bobwhites to produce one or more clutches of fertile eggs, and, maybe, hatch out large families of lusty young birds if they are to be devoured by rats, snakes skunks, crows, hawks, cats and dogs.
Importation of quail from Mexico is laudable and helpful, especially where the local stock is becoming exterminated.
One report states. "The losses caused by vermin are even greater than those due to climate, since they occur every day and every night during every year. They are especially active during the nesting season when they feed their young on game. The destruction at this season is wholesale, since the loss of a parent bird means the loss of a bevy.
"Foxes and hawks are the more familiar enemies, but crows destroy thousands of eggs and young birds, while owls, minks, wolves, bob-eats, skunks, snakes and other fur and feathered vermin destroy more game during this time than is taken by guns in open season."
Many clubs and landowners of the southern states are putting this knowledge to use and, as a result, are building up splendid stocks of quail on their lands, from which surrounding lands also benefit.
The need is to extend the knowledge gained by careful observers to the public generally and to put it to use.
THE BUILDERAn old man traveling a long highway, Came in the evening cold and gray, To a chasm vast and deep and wide But the old man crossed in the twilight dim, For the sullen .stream had no fears for him; But he paused when safe on the other side And builded a bridge to span the tide. "Old man", said a fellow traveler near, "You're wasting your time abuilding here; Your journey will end with the closing day, You never again will pass this way; You've crossed this chasm, deep and wide, Why build you this bridge in the eventide?" The builder lifted his old gray head:— '^Good friend, in the way I have come", he said, "There followed after me today A youth whose feet must pass this way, This stream which has been naught to me, To the fair youth might a pitfall be, He too must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building this bridge for him." —Henry F. Haman
Digest Nebraska Game Laws 1927
The 1927 session of the State Legislature made the following changes in the Nebraska game laws which will become effective during July, 1927.OPEN SEASONS
Prairie Chickens—No change in season.
Pheasants—Allows Department of Agriculture to open! season in certain counties where too many birds, upon recommendation of county board.
Waterfowl—No change in open season.
Mink—Opened season entire year.
Bass—Closed season from May 1 to June 10.
Pickerel—Closed season from January 1 to May 1.
Frogs—Closed season entire year on bull frogs.BAGS
Prairie Chickens—No change in bag.
Waterfowl—Reduced bag for ducks to twenty-five, possession forty. Reduced bag for geese to five, possession five.
Fish—Reduced bag for game fish (perch and bullhead excepted) to fifteen, possession twenty-five. On perch and bullheads the bag twenty-five, possession twenty-five.
Frogs—Allows grass frogs to be used for bait.'GENERAL PROVISIONS
SHIPPING GAME: Authorizes new system of all game to be tagged with special tags issued by Department. Report must be made on all game leaving state.
COLD STORAGE: Requires all game taken in or outside state to be tagged. Makes cold storage plant owner liable if game not tagged. Makes it unlawful for game to be placed in cold storage unless killed and placed therein by one taking same.
SHOOTING FROM AUTOS: Prohibits shooting or hunting with auto.
FISH: Limits size of bass taken to 9 inches, trout to 8 inches, bullheads to five inches. Prohibits "bottle" or "jug" fishing and limits number of hooks for set lines to 5 lines or twenty-five hooks.
BLACK BASS: Prohibits sale of black bass whether taken in state or shipped in.
PRIVATE HATCHERIES: Allows private hatcheries to raise and sell game fish.
TRAPPING: Requires all persons who trap to have permits.
LICENSES: Discontinues issuing of hunting and fishing and trapping licenses and authorizes the issuing of permits for hunting and fishing and trapping.
BUYING FUR: Requires all individual buyers of fur to have permit. Increases price of permit for non-resident buyers from $1. to $10. Allows fur dealers to keep fur purchased during open season in possession during closed season, provided same is reported to Department of Agriculture at close of season.
ILLEGAL FISHING: Discontinues the issuing of permits for commercial fishing and provides a severe penalty for any one operating seines, traps and nets.
BEAVER: Closes the season on beaver the entire year.
(Keep this for future reference or post in conspicuous place)
Trapping and Seining Fish
Why is there a shortage of catfish in the streams of eastern Nebraska?
That is a question frequently asked.
One of the answers is: BECAUSE OF THE USE OF ILLEGAL DEVICES FOR TAKING FISH.
The situation in Nebraska is indeed bad. Last year and every year hundreds of traps, seines and devices have been taken from Nebraska streams. In a drive on one Nebraska river 121 devices were confiscated and there was evidence of where dozens more were being used. Many traps were found with twenty or thirty fine big catfish in them. Some traps were found with the skeletons of a dozen catfish in them—grim evidence of the damage done by the use of such devices.
The people of Nebraska have decreed that ILLEGAL FISHING MUST STOP. The new game laws provide a severe penalty for illegal fishing with such devices. It is contrary to law to have seines, nets or traps in possession.
This new law will be rigidly enforced. The fish-hog must stop robbing the citizen who pays his dollar for clean, sportsman-like fishing. Catfish can be taken by hook and line BUT IN NO OTHER MANNER.
The cooperation of all forward-looking citizens is requested in the enforcement of this new law, as well as all game laws. Remember that the fish in the streams are YOURS. Help the game warden protect YOUR property. Help us stop illegal fishing so that YOU and YOUR BOY may have lawful fishing.
Help save Nebraska Game!