Outdoor NebraskaApril 1930
In MayWhen grosbeaks show a damask rose Amid the cherry blossoms white. And early robins nests disclose To loving eyes a joyous sight; When columbines like living coals Are gleaming 'gainst the lichened rocks, And at the foot of mossy boles Are young anemones in flocks; When ginger-root beneath twin leaves Conceals its dusky floral bell, And showy orchid shyly weaves In humid nook its fragrant spell; When dandelion's coin of gold Anew is minted on the lawn, And apple trees their buds unfold, While warblers storm the groves at dawn; When such delights greet eye and ear, Then strike thy tasks and come away; It is the joy-month of the year, And onward sweeps the tide of May. When farmhouse doors stand open wide To welcome in the balmy air, When truant boys plunge in the tide, And school-girls knots of violets wear; When grape-vines crimson in the shoot, Like fin of trout in meadow stream, And morning brings the thrush's flute Where dappled lilies nod and dream; When varied tints outline the trees, Like figures sketched upon a screen, And all the forest shows degrees Of tawny red and yellow green; When purple finches sing and soar, Then drop to perch on open wing, With vernal gladness running o'er The feathered lyrist of the spring; When joys like these salute the sense, And bloom and perfume fill the day, Then waiting long hath recompense, And all the world is glad with May. —John Burroughs.
OUTDOOR NEBRASKAOfficial Bulletin Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission VOL, V APRIL, 1930 NO. 2 CONTENTS Scenes in State Parks_______________________4 Many Fishing Lakes Now Open to Public_______5 Something About the Catfishes_______________6 Loup River Recreation Grounds Given to People.___________7 Editorial _________________________________8 Game and Park Activities____________________10
Don't Be a Fish Hog! Be Reasonable and Perpetuate Your Sport
Nebraska has had better fishing during the past three seasons than many anglers have ever experienced in the state and the supply should increase with each succeeding year if hoggishness is avoided and condemned, restrictive measures observed and proper sportsmanship displayed.
The average fisherman experiences difficulty in "stopping" when they are biting good and no police officer in sight. The greater the supply of fish the stronger the desire to ignore bag limits and display lack of sportsmanship. When we have "plenty" we usually forget to save and are prone to feel that there will never be a shortage.
Another fishing season will soon be in full sway and thousands of men, women and children of the state will be out in quest of choice finny specimens, hence we deem highly appropriate an urgent appeal for taking within reason and a strict observance of all protective laws. Special attention is directed to the game laws, a copy of which may be had by writing to Game, Forestation and Parks Commission, Lincoln, Nebraska.
OUTDOOR NEBRASKAOfficial Bulletin Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission TOL. V APRIL, 1930 No. 2
Many Fishing Lakes Now Open to Public
THE program to furnish the people of Nebraska with public recreation and fishing grounds is progressing nicely. By the end of 1930 Nebraska will have one of the finest groups of public fishing lakes of any state in the middle west.
There are now twenty-seven state-owned or controlled recreation grounds or major lakes under the supervision of the Game, Forestation & Parks Commission, and there are fully a dozen other projects under consideration. Naturally, it takes considerable time to locate suitable places, survey them, negotiate for their purchase and then transfer and develop them. But the work is moving along smoothly and is believed that by the end of 1930 a goodly number of other projects will ing lake and very popular with citizens of northern be under development.
The state has gained control by purchase and gift of fifteen lakes or recreation grounds. Twelve others came into possession of the Game, Forestation & Parks Commission by an act of the State Legislature transferring twelve large meandered lakes to the jurisdiction of fish and is considered an excellent fishing lake. Trees the Commission.
The following are the projects that have already been obtained by purchase or gift:
GOOSE LAKE. This lake is located in southern Holt county. It is one of the largest lakes in northern Nebraska and in the past has been famous for pickerel fishing and as a feeding ground for geese. The Commission has been handicapped by lack of water recently, but the lake level is again rising and now looks promising.
WALGREEN LAKE. This lake is located in Sheridan County, near Hay Springs. It is a fine fishing lake, containing many sunfish, crappie and bass. The Commission controls part of the lake and has planted the same to trees and developed it in other ways.
RAT AND BEAVER LAKES. The Commission owns land adjacent to both Rat and Beaver Lakes in Cherry County. These lakes are famous for bass fishing. Many bass are taken each year. Trees have been planted here and the land fenced.
FREMONT SAND PITS. The Fremont Sand Pits, containing eight fine pits, are located on' the Lincoln Highway in Dodge County. These pits are well stocked and the grounds improved. Many hundreds of Omaha and Lincoln people fish here each year.
STATE PARKS. Under the new laws the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission control the four State Parks. These are located in Dawes, Custer, Otoe and Hall Counties, respectively. Each year thousands of Nebraskans visit these parks. They are being maintained and developed as fast as funds become available. Ten percent of the game funds are allotted to the maintenance and development of the state parks.
LONG LAKE. Acreage was recently obtained on Long Lake, in Brown County. This is an excellent fishing lake and very popular with citizens of northern Nebraska. The state land has been fenced and trees are now being planted on some twenty acres.
MERRIMAN (COTTONWOOD) LAKE. This fine lake is located on State Highway No. 20, in Cherry County and near Merriman. It is well stocked with ring twelve large meandered lakes to the jurisdiction of fish and is considered an excellent fishing lake. Trees the Commission.
FORT KEARNEY STATE PARK. The grounds of old Fort Kearney, located near Kearney in Buffalo County, recently was given to the state by the people of that community and thus came under the supervision of the Game and Parks Commission. No development work has been done here as yet owing to the lack of funds. This is the site of one of Nebraska's most historic forts and has a great historic value. are now being planted on this project.
STATE GAME RESERVE. The Commission is now developing a tract of land near Gering in Scotts Bluff County which will be come Nebraska's first big-game reserve. The federal government maintains a federal game reserve near Valentine but this is the first to be under the control of the state. This reserve contains approximately 1,000 acres in the Wild Cat Hills—a very scenic and wooded spot. It will shortly be fenced and prepared for buffalo, elk, antelope, mountain sheep and other native animals of Nebraska.
COTTONMILL LAKE. This lake is legated near(Continued on Pfege 12) I PUBLIC RECREATION GROUNDS I | Goose Lake, Holt County. \ | Walgreen Lake, Sheridan County. 1 | Rat & Beaver Lakes, Cherry County. | | Fremont Sand Pits, Dodge County. | | Chadron State Park, Dawes County. § | Victoria Springs State Park, Custer County. | 1 Arbor Lodge State Park, Otoe County. § | Stolley State Park, Hall County. \ 1 Louisville Sand Pits, Cass County. | | Long Lake, Brown County. | | Merriman (Cottonwood Lake), Cherry County. | 1 Fort Kearney State Park, Buffalo County. | 1 State Game Reserve, Scottsbluff County. § | Cottonmill Lake, Buffalo County. 1 | Rowl Lake, Antelope County. 1 I Pressey Park, Custer County. 1
Something About The Catfishes
THE catfish is probably the most popular fish in eastern Nebraska. Hundreds of anglers try their luck each summer for this fine food fish.
There are about half a dozen species of the catfish family found in Nebraska, but only three or four in substantial numbers.
Most common and numerous of the catfishes found in Nebraska are the bullheads. Both the Yellow Bullhead (Ameriurus natalis) and the Black Bullhead (Ameriurus melas) are found in Nebraska waters, though the yellow variety is probably the most numerous.
Next in importance comes the Channel Catfish. This fish is also known as the "Spotted Cat" and the "Fiddler." His scientific identification is Ictalurus punctatus. The Channel Cat, the most widely distributed throughout the middle west and the most generally esteemed of all catfishes, is taken in great numbers each year. It is relatively small, finely flavored, attractive in appearance, trim and gamey. It rarely exceeds five pounds in weight, though it may attain a weight of 10 pounds or more. The Channel Cat, as its name implies, likes swiftly flowing water but is not restricted to regions of strong current.
The Blue Cat, or Chucklehead (sometimes called the "Fulton Cat") is also found in the larger Nebraska streams. This fish is the largest of the Missouri River catfishes. In fact, among all the food fishes of the middle west it is rivaled only in size by the paddle fish (Spoonbill Cat) and lake sturgeon. It frequents the deeper waters of the river channels, coming out into the shallow sloughs and backwaters in the spring. Some fishermen say that it prefers rocky bottoms.
The Yellow Cat (Leptops olivaris) or "Flathead," is found in Nebraska rivers. It is also frequently known as "Mud Cat." It attains nearly as great a size as the Blue Cat. The fall of the year is considered the best time to take the Yellow Cat and it is usually captured with live bait. The Yellow Cat is considered very strong and quick and very predaceous, roaming in the channels but preferring the more sluggish waters. It is likely to be found about garbage dumps and the mouths of sewers, being attracted to such places no doubt because it feeds on small scavenger fish.
The Spoonbill or Paddlefish is also a member of the catfish finrily. The Spoonbill is valued for its food, used both fresh and smoked, and especially for its roe, which is made into caviar. It is of peculiar general interest as a species that it is almost unique, being markedly different in form and structure from any other fish now living except a single species occurring in certain rivers in China. Sharklike in form, but not in behavior or in quality of meat, it ranks as one of the most estimable aquatic resources. At times it has seemed on the verge of extermination, yet it apparently shows remarkable powers of endurance and recuperation. Since the roe of an individual fish may weigh from 10 to 15 pounds and is sometimes worth as high as $2.00 per pound, a large Spoonbill may represent a very valuable catch.
In the past the flesh of this fish appeared on the market as "sturgeon." The Spoonbill is found in numbers in the Missouri and lower Platte Rivers, but no catch is on record elsewhere in the state. Some have been taken from sand pits adjacent to the Platte River, but these undoubtedly found their way there from the river during flood periods.
In spite of the most careful study of the Spoonbill, virtually nothing has yet been learned concerning the breeding habits of this remarkable fish. All the evidence indicates that the Spoonbill breeds either in late winter or early spring. It is claimed by some that it breeds only in the lower Mississippi and later comes up that stream and finds its way into tributaries, but there is some conflict in opinion on this.
FISHIN' IN THE SANDHILLSGee, I love to go a fishin'— Fishin' under skies of blue, Fishin' while I am a wishin'; Dreamin' dreams which can't come true. I like to start ere rise o' sun, Start 'neath dripping trees, Start 'fore the day's begun And feel the touch of cooling breeze. I like to hear a spinnin' reel, Hear the redbird's whistled call, Hear the quackin' of the teal; And shed my cares—each one and all. I like to smell the good fresh air, Smell the cedar and the pine, Smell the water lily fair; And know a world well nigh Divine. I like to watch a sly old bass, Watch him splash and play, Watch him in the water grass And wonder if he'll strike today. I like to feel that sudden jerk, Feel that run and quiver, Feel the lure has done its work; It's no wonder that I shiver. But it's not so much the fish I catch, Not the pounds that's on my string, Not my sportive skill to match; It's the Great Outdoors that makes me sing. 0 I'm very fond of movies— Fond of parties too, Fond of operas, enchanting, But I'm just tellin' you— Gee, I love to go a fishin'— Fishin' under skies of blue, Fishin' while I am a wishin', Dreamin' dreams which can't come true. —Bud Keller.
Loup River Recreation Grounds Gift to Nebraska
H.E. Pressey of Oconto • has made a gift to the State of Nebraska that is quite outstanding. Recently he handed a deed to E. R. Purcell of Broken Bow, a member of the State Game, Forestation and Parks Commission, conveying to the State of Nebraska title to one of the finest eighty acre tracts of land along the South Loup River.
The land is located in Custer County, 18 miles south of Broken Bow, at the bridge which crosses the South Loup on the State highway between Broken Bow and Oconto. Seventeen acies lies to the east of the highway and the balance to the west of it and the South Loup flows through the en;ire length of this gift tract.
This is one of the most highly developed and most beautiful tracts of land on this scenic stream. Stately trees that have been carefully protected by Mr. Pressey for a long period of time, furnish a beautiful setting and plenty of shade. Nature has designed it for a delightful recreation ground and Mr. Pressey has added to the natural beauty by giving it that care and attention which only the lover of nature, of trees and flowers and of outdoor life can fully appreciate.
The gift is not a new thought on the part of Mr. Pressey. He has had in mind for some time his desire to leave to the state this beauty spot, feeling that, in the hands of the state and under the supervision of the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission, it would become a recreation ground that would be of benefit to future generations. It is a magnificent gift, is one of the most valuable pieces of land on the entire South Loup River and is particularly adapted for recreational purposes.
The title to the land is clear, Mr. Pressey delivers it with all taxes paid to the present time. There is much valuable crop land on the tract and Mr. Pressey retains the life use of all that part lying west of the highway while that part lying east of the highway will receive early attention by the Commission.
Mr. Pressey is one of the early settlers of the South Loup country and has met with success in farm and ranch activities. But this is not, perhaps, the most outstanding point in his life work. The particular thing that stands out in his activities is the development of his home lands. He has planted almost innumerable varieties of trees and shrubs, and has properly cared for them until they became a stately forest. The flower garden which he, and his good wife, during her lifetime, maintained each season attracted very great attention, and his garden and orchard have always been outstanding.
Thus it would appear that the gift of this splendid tract of land to the state of Nebraska, is part of a carefully considered program and a deep desire on the part of Mr. Pressey to see that the work he is so deeply interested in will be carried on and perpetuated, perhaps in a greater way, after his day of usefulness has passed.
MR. H. E. PRESSEY of Custer County, donor of Pressey Recreation Grounds
OF WORLD-LIFE CONSERVATION
The 3 R's of wild-life conservation, says Paul G. Redington, Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey of the United States Department of Agriculture, are Research, Regulation, and Refuges. Their importance was emphasized in an address he delivered under the auspices of the American Game Protective Associatior!, 0:1 April 8, over Station WRC and associated stations of the National Broadcasting Company.
Mr. Redington said that "when the full history of the protection and administration of our game animals and birds is written, the two decades from 1910 to 1930 will be characterized as a period of outstanding achievement in wild-life conservation.
"During these twenty years the number of hunters has increased by leaps and bounds, and millions of acres of forest and woodland coverts, the natural homes of wild life, have disappeared, and original marshlands of(Continued on Page 13)
OUTDOOR NEBRASKAPublished by Game, Forestation & Parks Commission Editorial Office, State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska FRANK B. O'CONNELL:________________________Editor COMMISSIONERS: Arthur J. Weaver, Falls City, Chairman Webb Rice, Norfolk, Vice Chairman George Dayton, Lincoln F. A. Baldwin, Ainsworth E. R. Purcell, Broken Bow Guy Spencer, Omaha Frank B. O'Connell, Lincoln, Secretary Vol. V April, 1930 No. 2
Buy or build a bird house and rent it for a song.
A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost helpless; forests which are so used that they cannot renew themselves will soon vanish, and with them all their benefits. When you help preserve our forests or plant new ones you are acting the part of good citizens.—Theodore Roosevelt.GAME RESERVES FOR POLITICIANS OR BIRDS?
According to reports some of the gentlemen at Washington in charge of the federal migratory-fowl reserve program are of the opinion that Nebraska will not need any reserve under the Norbeck-Anderson bill because the birds now have plenty of feeding grounds.
Could any argument be more ridiculous?
It is true that Nebraska is the feeding grounds for vast numbers of ducks and geese which annually make their way to and from the northern breeding areas. Each spring there are thousands of geese on the Platte and Missouri Rivers, and tens of thousands of ducks on the numerous sloughs and lakes of both eastern and western Nebraska. For this very fact, there should be feeding grounds established in Nebraska. The feeding grounds should be placed where the birds will use them.
While thousands of birds stop here in the spring to feed, they do not have adequate grounds for such purpose. They find it necessary now to feed on farms where they are not wanted. Dozens of complaints from farmers are received every spring. And the situation in the fall is much worse. With hunters by the dozens waiting at every bit of open water, what chance has the goose or duck to stop to feed and rest?
Nebraska most certainly should have several federal reserves for migratory birds. The Sand-Hill region of the state is a natural breeding ground for the smaller ducks, and thousands more of these would thrive in the swamps and lakes of the Sand-Hill country were there nearby feeding grounds where the birds could gather and mate. The Platte and Missouri Rivers are directly in line with the annual flights and practically midway in the long trip from north to south or south to north, whichever the case may be. Nebraska has more miles of running water than any other state in the Union. Nebraska is as large as all of New England. One county is laiger than some states. As I. J. Dunn, Omaha sportsman, has pointed out, "Cherry County is a natural home of wild fowl that is larger than the State of Connecticut, and into which you could ' drop either the state of Rhode Island or Delaware and need plans and specifications to find them again."
This problem is too big and vital to become a football of a few senators or congressmen at Washington. The future of the migratory birds of North America depends on the care we give them and the way in which we save their nesting grounds and provide them with feeding areas. Let us all work to the end that a mess will not be made of the first attempt of the federal government to give real help to the migratory waterfowl problem.FINANCIAL STATEMENT
During the year of 1929 more hunting and fishing permits were sold than in any other year in the history of Nebraska. More revenue from all sources was received.
The following statement, as of March 31, 1930, shows the money received. Besides the $208,593.98, there was approximately $800.00 on the books uncollected.Staatement 1929 Business (March 31, 1930) Res:dent hunt and fish_______________________$170,238.00 Non-Resident hunt and fish__________________ 3,315.00 Non-Resident to fish____L___________________ 6,330.00 Resident to trap________________,____________ 15,178.00 Alien to fish________________________________ 110.00 Arbor Lodge State Park_____________________ 376.25 Chadron State Park_________________________ 1,076.21 Liquidated damages ________________________ 1,956.00 Game Farmer's Permit—game bird___________ 454.00 Game Farmer's Permit—fur-bearing animals__ 759.00 Resident Permit buy hides fur-bearing animals 1,191.00 Non-Resident buy hides fur-bearing animals__ 162.00 Permit to sell fish__________________________ 66.00 Private fish hatchery permits________________ 210.00 Sale of fish_________________________________ 6,321.29 Sale of hides_______________________________ 249.82 Sale of guns________________________________ 175.00 Fur-buyers and fur-breeders lists------------------ 60.28 Sale of tags________________________________ 69.70 Miscellaneous ______________________________ 296.43 Total______________________________$208,593.98 SEINING IN THE MISSOURI RIVER
Now that a decision covering fishing in the Missouri River has been given by the United States Supreme Court, all fishermen and fish dealers should familiarize themselves with the laws of the several states bordering on that river.
Nebraska controls all fishing on its side of the stream and to the middle of the trend of the river. Iowa and Missouri have equal rights on their respective sides of the river.
Nebraska state laws now prohibit the use of seines, hoop nets, etc., in the removal of fish from the Nebraska OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 9 side. It is unlawful to sell catfish taken from the Nebraska side of the river, or from other water in Nebraska.
Iowa state laws allow the use of seines and nets on their side of the river, providng that the mesh of such seines or nets are not less than two and one-half inches. Persons operating such seines or nets must have a permit from the Iowa Game Warden. Fees for the operation of such seines and nets run from $1.00 to $15.00 each. A bond of $200 must be filed by non-residents. Reports showing all fish taken must he made to the Iowa Game Warden each year. All seines and nets must be tagged with tags furnished by the Iowa Game Warden. It is unlawful to take game fish of any kind except catfish. Catfish may be taken only during the open season on such fish, i. e., northern zone, from May 14 to December 1; southern zone, from April 30 to November 16. No catfish less than 13 inches may be taken. No carp or buffalo less than 15 inches may be taken. It is unlawful for any person to operate a wholesale fish market, jobbing house, peddling or distribute fish without a permit. This permit costs $10.00 per year.
Missouri state laws permit the use of seines and nets in the Missouri River during all months of the year except April and May. Such seines and nets must have not less than a two-inch mesh. Such seines and nets must not be operated within three miles down stream from any dam or within three hundred yards of the mouth of any stream or slough emptying into such waters. Channel Catfish less than thirteen inches must not be taken. It is unlawful to sell channel catfish or other game fish taken from the waters of Missouri. From the above study it can safely be said that about 65 per cent of Nebraska permits are purchased for fishing, while 35 per cent are secured for hunting.ARRESTS IN 1929
Nebraska Game Wardens made 528 arrests for game law violations during 1929. These arrests were made because of the following violations:Hunting or fishing without permit__________________ 210 Trapping without permit and illegal possession of fur-bearing animals __________________________ 54 Buying and selling furs without permit____________ 7 Shooting game birds out of season_________________ 95 Shooting non-game birds__________________________ 10 Taking small fish and under-sized fish______________ 90 Trespassing _____________________________________ 15 Shooting from highways and after sun down________ 20 Miscellaneous ____________________________________ 18 ANALYZE SALE OF PERMITS
Recently a study of the sale of hunting and fishing permits sold in Nebraska has been made.
A number of counties were studied. These were taken from varoius sections of the state so as to give a general condition. Both large and small counties were studied.
It was found that approximately two-thirds of all permits were sold during March, April, May, June, July and August, which would indicate that something like 65 per cent of the permits were bought that the holders might go fishing. Nearly 50 per cent of all permits sold were purchased in May and June.
The highest month for sales is May. This was found to be the case in practically all counties. December was the lowest sales month. This is due to the fact that permits all expire on December 31 of each year.
From the study it can safely be said that about 65 per cent of Nebraska permits are purchased for fishing, while 35 per cent are secured for hunting
THE SILLY OLD GOOSE
Yes, I am. trying to figure out who the silly old goose is, for it took my little single cylinder brain seven years to outwit him, to catch him and place a tag on his leg, but during that time, which was between 1915 and 1922, I did manage to catch, tag and liberate one hundred and nine, and sixty-nine of these are now back in my possession, for yesterday's mail brought one from New Brunswick. This tag was put on in April, 1921, and the goose was shot last week my Mr. J. Simon Harper of Miscou Harbor, New Brunswick.
In addition to having the sixty-nine tags returned, out of the one hundred and nine, I have eight others of them reported that the hunters failed to return. But there can be no doubt as to these eight reports being genuine, for the hunters gave me the exact quotation that I put on the tag. Therefore, we are compelled to believe that seventy-seven of these old honkers have been shot and gathered by us hunters.
To me, this does not only speak well of my tagging system, but it speaks praises for the cooperation of the sportsmen of North America.
Yet to me the best and most live fact of this history is that in April, 1928, we caught one of these one hundred and nine geese. This one was tagged in 1918. Finding this fact on the worn tag. that this old leader had carried for ten years, we then stamped another tag with the year 1928, and after carefully clamping it on his other leg, I took him in my arms and praised him for his noble leadership, then bid him good luck and good bye and tossed him into the air. And last spring, 1929, this old leader was back guarding his family, and hundreds of people saw his two tags glittering on his legs.
Will you leaders please stop and consider the thousands and thousands upon thousands of human beings this silly old goose has had to outwit in order to exist? Yes, hunters of different types wherever he goes, from the English-speakng sportsmen in the south, hidden in sunken blinds, naturally covered with rushes, and live decoys honking to him in his own language; then as he goes to the corn field to feed, this same class of sportsman are hidden in corn shocks with all kinds of decoys and tempting bait to lure him within range of the deadly automatic shot guns that have a deathly killing circle of thirty inches at forty yards' distance. Then on his return to nesting grounds, the hungry Indian and Eskimos are anxiously waiting his arrival with all kinds of weapons, including the bow and arrow.
Thus as he returns south every fall, if he does stop for a mouthful of food, he is pointed at.
The fact that he has crossed the continent twentytwo times since I first caught him makes me admire him, and cause me to laugh at us humanity for calling him silly, when there never was a human leader on earth that could constantly take the lead as this old Canadian does, and live one year in such a No Man's Land. The Silly Old Goose! I wonder which one.
Game and Park ActivitiesCOARSE FISH REMOVAL
Since January 1 approximately 150,000 pounds of coarse fish have been removed from Nebraska lakes and ponds. Most of these fish were taken from Carter and Crystal lakes. Over thirty thousand pounds of fish were brought in in one haul at Carter lake. This is the biggest single haul of fish ever made in Nebraska.CONSTRUCT SPILLWAYS
In order to maintain a more permanent water level, spillways have been constructed in several northern Nebraska lakes. A spillway was constructed at the outlets of Moon lake in Brown County and at the outlets of Dewey, "Willow a.nd Trout lakes in Cherry. Construction of spillways are contemplated at Fish lake in Rock County and at Watts lake in Cherry.MORE NURSERY PONDS
A number of new trout and bass nursery ponds will be put in operation this spring. The Dikeman Nursery in Antelope County was rebuilt last year. This nursery now has two ponds — one large one for bass and one a small one for trout. Two Trout nurseries are under construction on Steel Creek in Holt County. A trout nursery in Scottsbluff County was repaired and enlarged recently.GRETNA HATCHERY IMPROVEMENT
Construction of a large hatching pond is now under way at the Gretna State Fisheries. This pond is an enlargement of an old one and will be about twice as large as heretofor. It will be stocked with bass.
A goodly number of shade trees have been planted at this hatchery recently. The upper grounds are being improved in order to accommodate the thousands of visitors who come to spend Sundays each summer.
This Truck Carries a Supply of Iced Oxygen for the Fish
One of the largest tree-planting campaigns ever undertaken by the State of Nebraska is now being car ried on by the Game, Forestation & Parks Commission. Large plantings of trees have been made this spring at Long Lake in Brown County, Rat and Beaver Lakes, Cherry County, Cottonwood Lake (Merriman) Cherry County, Gretna State Fisheries, Sarpy County, and at the Memphis Lake project in Saunders ounty. A large number of trees have also been planted at the state property near Tilden. This was handled without expense to. the state by a group of public-spirited citizens from that part of the state headed by Mr. John Ashburn of Tilden. A goodly number of trees have been planted at Cottonmill Lake near Kearney without expense to the state. This was done by members of the Buffalo County Sportsmen's Association.STOCK MEMPHIS LAKE
Work has already begun on the stocking of the new lake near Memphis that was recently purchased by the Game, Forestation & Parks Commission.
It is planned to make this lake a pan-fish project. It will be heavily stocked with sunfish, crappie and bullheads. It is the desire of the Commission that this lake be available to the thousands of pan fishermen in southeastern Nebraska,
The lake contains 77 acres of water when completely filled.PICTURES OF NEBRASKA OUTDOORS
In order to bring home to the citizens of Nebraska the value of their wild life resources and show young people the need of conservation, the Nebraska Game, Forestation & Parks Commission has secured four reels of motion pictures, together with a projecting machine. These pictures and the equipment are available to schools, clubs, organizations, etc., free of cost. Mr. W. H. Lytle is in charge of this work. He gives a short talk on conservation at each showing and explains the pictures.
The pictures taken this spring show the thousands of ducks and geese which feed in Nebraska each year.(Continued on Page 14) OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 11
(Left) Marjorie and Buddie Kryger, children of Senator and Mrs. Ralph Kryger, with a six and a half pound bass taken by "Dad." (Center) A 55-pound cat taken from the Blue River at Crete last October. (Right) Trout taken near Gering by C. E. Tavener.
"It is heartening to the sportsmen to hear, ever so often, that some drainage project gone blooey is being reclaimed as a reserve for wild l.'fe. And it has remained for Wisconsin to show us all. A million and a half acres is quite some area to be designated as a sanctuary for game, and certain parts of it as shooting grounds. But that tells the story of the vast tract in the northern portion of that state which a few years ago was spoiled for man and wild life as well by drainage.
This great area in the flat, marshy country between Red Lake and the Canadian boundary was traversed in all directions by ditches during the period of drainage exploitation some years ago and bonds of the counties were issued to cover the cost, the amount being taxed to the lands in the expectation that farmers would occupy them and that the country would develop into a great agricultural region.
As an agricultural development it was a complete failure.
The area is of vast extent and is inhabited by great numbers of moose, deer, grouse, fur-bearing animals and other wild creatures, even small bands of caribou. It has socalled islands distributed over it where there is a considerable growth of pine and spruce timber. The timber, however, over most of the area is small and sparse. The chief value of the area is for game and the establishment of this great tract as a state game preserve and shooting grounds is a notable accomplishment in wild life management in this country."
GROUSE LOOSED IN BLACK HILLSNorwegian Game Bird Introduced into State Park by Izaak Waltons.
"Norwegian grouse today were living in the protection of the state park in the Black Hills. Their importation, completed yesterday by the local chapter of the Izaak Walton League was said to be the first time the game birds have been successfully introduced into this country.
"Eleven birds of two ispec'es were unloaded at Hermosa and taken to the state park, Prof. A. Karsten, president of the Walton chapter, announced today.
"The birds, which appeared to be in good condition, were of two kinds. Three males and five females were black grouse, or "Tetroa Terix." Two males and one female were the wood grouse or "Tetrao Urogallus." The black grouse, Karsten said, weighed from 12 to 15 pounds and the wood grouse from 5 to 7 pounds. The birds represent a third of a shipment made from Central Scandinavia on Nov. 16.
"The grouse will be sheltered in the state park until they have become accustomed to their new environment and have increased in numbers sufficiently to warrant their distribution throughout the Black Hills. Climatic conditions are said to be almost identical with the land of their nativity.
"This is the second attempt by the local chapter to introduce the birds. A shipment of 104 eggs last summer failed to hatch."
This shows the biggest haul of fish ever made in Nebraska—over 30,000 pounds. (Insert) Some of the coarse fish removed.
MANY FISHING LAKES NOW OPEN TO PUBLIC(Continued from Page 5)
stocked with fish. It is within reach of thousands of citizens of central Nebraska and should prove to be a very attractive recreation grounds. Trees have been planted and other development work started.
LOUISVILLE SAND PITS. One of the recent acquisitions of the Commission is the Louisville Sand Pits. These are located on the Platte River in Cass County, near Louisville. There are seven nice lakes, all well stocked with fish. Development work is now in progress there.
ROWL LAKE. This is a small lake located near Tilden, Nebraska. While the lake is small, it contains a large number of fish. The tract contains 160 acres of land well suited as a bird sanctuary, and will be used for this purpose. A large number of trees have been planted here and other development work gotten under way.
Other tracts and lakes under consideration are located in central and southwestern Nebraska. It is the desire of the Commission to get these recreation grounds located so that they will be avaialble to citizens in every part of the state.
At the sixteenth American Game Conference held in New York City December 2 and 3, under the auspices of the American Game Protective association, the following resolution, among others, was adopted:
"Whereas, the common house cat when permitted to run at large constitutes one of the worst of all enemies of small game and birds. Therefore, be it resolved that the American Game conference recommends that all states enact legislation to restrict the number of vagrant cats."
When a body of 500 level-headed men assembled from all parts of North America, including federal government officials of the United States and Canadian governments and state officials of all the several states, besides scientists and sportsmen, solemnly declares that the house cat is a dangerous menace, we have a right to assume that they know whereof they speak and should give serious consideration to their declaration.
They say that the cat constitutes one of the worst enemies of small game and birds. Anything that is destructive to birds, particularly the insect eating birds, is a menace to the welfare of our country. We can assume that it is true that success in the raising of farm crops, and all fruits, and all forest trees depends largely upon the service of insect eating birds. It has been proven over and over again by scientific research that birds have often been known to save trees and crops from destruction and that they are constantly working in that service. The greatest enemy to agriculture and forestry is insect pests. Many of these have always existed in our country but many others have been introduced from other countries. The loss incurred from these insect ravages runs into billions of dollars. Nearly every kind of destructive insect is food for birds and nearly all birds which frequent our farms and villages feed upon them.
There is abundant evidence that the most destrucive enemy to the common insectivorous bird is the hunting house cat. The volume compiled by the late Dr. Edward H. Forbush of Massachusetts is a notable accumulation of such evidence. This has been added to by naturalists, bird students and game administrators the country over. It is strange that more attention has not heretofore been given to the control of vagrant cats which are a menace, not only to bird life but to public health, as they are well known to be carriers of many diseases.
The federal government has taken cognizance of the seriousness of this problem by issuing recently a leaflet containing instructions how to make a cat trap. It is not feasible to shoot stray cats everywhere but a box trap is effective and the animals so caught can be humanely disposed by poison gas.
No one advocates the complete destruction of all cats. It is recognized that a clean, healthy, well-fed cat s rightfully regarded as a desirable house pet and some may be useful as mousers, but the abandoned homeless cat is a menace to wild-bird life and to the general welfare, and should be exterminated.
MORE ABOUT THE CROW
Unbiased pronouncements of the Department of Agriculture on the crow problem have been interpreted in some quarters by opponents of the crow as demanding that the bird be protected. Such an interpretation, however, is not warranted by anything that the department has published on the subject, say officials of the Bureau of Biological Survey. Champions of special interests, they say, sometimes forget that an organization like the Department of Agriculture must take into consideration all aspects of a given problem, and that it must advocate the policy that seems best for all concerned. In its application to the crowd situation, this is well illustrated by recent recommendation of sporting magazines that general campaigns be undertaken against the crowd because of its alleged destructiveness to the young and eggs of game birds.
That the crow does harm, that it is a species well able to take care of itself, and that its local control often is advisable are facts very generally recognized. Approval by the department of local control measures, however, does not carry with it approval of countrywide extermination campaigns or of intensively organized local drives against this bird. Biologists assert that such forms of control as side hunts have been known to do more harm than good, since they frequently result in the destruction of innocent birds of many other species.
The views of the Department of Agriculture on the food habits of the crow were arrived at after a study continuing over many years and were based not only upon field observations and testimony but also upon the laboratory examinations of more than 2,100 stomachs. The following summary of the attitude of the department is made from, a bulletin on the crow, which presents the results of investigations and not only states in an unbiased way both the harm and the good done by the crow but outlines a policy regarding this bird that the findings seem to justify.
The bulletin states that the crow, when feeding on injurious insects, crustaceans, rodents, and carrion, and when dispersing seeds of beneficial plants, is working largely for the best interests of man; however, when destroying small reptiles, amphibians, wild birds, poultry, OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 13 corn, and some other crops, when molesting livestock and distributing their diseases, and when spreading seeds of noxious plants, the bird is one of the farmer's enemies; and when destroying spiders and mollusks, its work appears in the main, to have a neutral effect. The misdeeds of which the crow has been convicted greatly outnumber its virtues, but these are not necessarily equal in importance. Much of its damage to crops and poultry can be prevented. At the same time no policy can be recommended that will allow the crow to become so numerous as to greatly accentuate its shortcomings. The crow has such great capacity for both good and harm that extermination of the species would have ultimate consequences no less serious than its overabundance.
Inasmuch as this investigation of the crow and its habits aimed at reaching general conclusions respecting the status of the bird, in order that the public attitude toward it might be based on sound principles, biologists of the department state that the laws at present in force in most States relating to the crow are altogether satisfactory. It is well, they say, that no protection be afforded the bird and that the way be left open for shooting it when actually doing damage. Bounties are not recommended, neither are campaigns of wholesale destruction where complete extermination is the object sought. A reasonable reduction of its numbers is considered justifiable, however, in areas where the crow is overabundant, and where the evidence of its destructive practices is clear.
The Biological Survey urges that the attitude of the individual farmer toward the crow be one of toleration when, no serious losses are suffered, rather than one of such uncompromising antagonism that it results in the unwarranted destruction of birds that at times are most valuable aids to man.
GAME WORTH MILLIONS TO KANSAS
"Kansas gets $10,000,000 worth of good out of its game, fish and birds every year.
"Ducks, geese and other migratory birds shot every year would sell on the market for $1,000,000, and quail for $50,000. The 60,000 rabbits sent away every year bring around $50,000, counting jack rabbits. The prairie chicken bag will sell for $25,000. All other game, including rabbits shot for eating purposes, doves, etc., will bring $20,000. The actual business done by Kansas fur dealers exceeds $1,250,000 a year. A million dollars' worth of fish is eaten every year. The birds which are not shot but are protected by the hunters are worth five or six million dollars every year in taking care of noxious weeds and harmful insects, as it is estimated by the Biological Survey at Washington, D. C, that each bird is worth a dime a year to agriculture and that the average bird population is two to the acre. This estimate is probably too low.
"Just add these figures to see what you think about it. Is it worthwhile to carry on with game protection and propagation and the culture of fish?
"If you think these figures do not convince you, it is worthwhile to calculate a little on the value of recreation afforded citizens of Kansas because of fishing, hunting, trapping, etc.
"This state spends from twenty to twenty-five million dollars a year going outside its borders for recreation. It might spend as much trying to develop recreation within its borders.
"One person out of ten is paying the cost of maintaining something paying the state $10,000,000 a year in dividends. That one person in ten is either a hunter, fisherman or trapper who is buying a license."—From Kansas "Fish & Game."
OF WORLD-LIFE CONSERVATION(Continued from Page 7)
tremendous total area have been drained. Our waterfowl in many regions in their annual migrations are now hard put to it to find feeding and resting grounds.
"The various factors inimical to our valuable wild life, however, have at last been fully recognized, and beneficial results have followed, but future conservation can continue to be effective only as active interest in the welfare of wild life is maintained.
"Research is of primary importance in determining policies for the preservation and increase of birds, animals, and fishes, and the necessary facts can be developed only through constant scientific study, and now, as never before, earnest and efficient scientists are supplying the administrative branches of game conservation with the needed information.
"Regulation has to do with the game and fish laws, designed to prevent the wastage and abuse that follows greed, ignorance, and commercial exploitation. It will be readily recognized that there must be regulations prescribing open seasons on game and fish, bag limits, and similar matters, and that the gunners, trappers, and fishermen themselves will find it each to his individual advantage to abide by these laws. Unless we can be assured of a general obseivance of and respect for such laws, we who are now living are very likely to destroy the objects of pursuit or to bring them dangerously close to the point of extermination.
"Refuges for wild animals and birds must be established on the breeding grounds of migratory birds, along the flight lanes, on concentration areas, and on the wintering grounds. The Biological Survey has under its jurisdiction at the present time 84 bird refuges in the United States, Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands, and Porto Rico, 5 of which are reservations to protect big game, and the rest are to give sanctuary to many species of interesting birds.
"Enlargement of the existing system of Government sanctuaries for migratory birds was authorized in 1929 by the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, under which appropriations totaling nearly eight millions of dollars, to be distributed over a ten-year period, are contemplated. A more extensive wild-life sanctuary program has never before been undertaken, and its accomplishment will go far toward perpetuating America's valuable birds.
"Wild-life conservation programs," concluded Mr. Redington, "must be supported by a sound public sentiment, inspired and developed by continuous educational measures. We must know the full significance of our 3 R's. New generations must be educated. From their numbers will come those individuals equipped and competent to direct and administer our resources in wild animals and birds."
GAME AND PARK ACTIVITIESS(Continued from Page 10)
Many of them are close-ups and show some very interesting scenes.
The pictures were taken through the cooperation of Dr. George Condra, of the Nebraska State University and h!s able photographer, Mr. A. E. Manners.
Several thousand people have already seen the pictures and many bookings have been made for future dates. Any one interested in having these pictures shown in their community should address a letter to W. H. Lytle, Game, Forestation & Parks Commission, State House, Lincoln, Nebraska.NEW FISH TRUCKS
Two new fish trucks are being put into operation this spring. This gives the Game, Forestation & Parks Commission a fleet of five special trucks for the hauling & fish.
One of the trucks is of new design, being equipped with iced oxygen tanks. It is believed that this tank will haul a much larger number of fish than those carrying compressed air. Oxygen gas is purchased in drums, cooled in ice coils and released into the tanks as needed.NINETY DUCKS COST HUNTER $2,700
The largest fine thus far assessed against one person for violation of the Federal Migratory Bird TreatyAct—$2,700—was imposed January 29 in Federal court at Portland, Maine, Judge Peters presiding.
In December a resident of Boston, Mass , aided by his employees, killed eider ducks in Washington County, Maine. Under the Federal regulations there is no open season on eider ducks. Ninety eider ducks were seized and a criminal information filed. The defendant pleaded guilty, and the court imposed the severe penalty of $80 for each eider duck killed, the total fine amounting to $2,700, which was promptly paid.
Paul G. Redington, chief of the Biological Survey, which administers the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. says the case should serve as a warning to gunners who are inclined to kill migratory game birds for which no open season is prescribed, or to hunt other game out of season. The Federal regulations do not provide an open season on eider ducks. The only way these birds can be taken legally is under both State and Federal permits issued for strictly scientific or propagating purposes.
The prosecut'on of this case was handled by United Etates Attorney Frederick R. Dyer, and the evidence was obtained by U. S. Game Protector B. E. Smith, of the Bureau of Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture, assisted by U. S. Deputy Game Warden William A. Foley.PROPAGATION OF GAME BIRDS GROWING ENTERPRISE
"Propagation of Aquatic Game Birds" and "Propagation of Upland Game Birds" are the titles of two new Farmers' Bulletins just issued by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The author, W. L. McAfee, who is in charge of the division of food habits research of the Bureau of Biological Survey, Department of Agriculture, gives the results of his observations in this country and in Europe of the methods of rearing game birds in captivity, and those suggested in the new bulletins reflect the practices of the most successful breeders.
The propagation of aquatic game birds is a small but growing enterprise in the United States, the present annual production being about 50,000 wild ducks and 5,000 wild geese. The raising of upland game birds, however, is an activity of considerable magnitude, and within our borders are some of the largest and most productive game farms in the world. Most of the output goes to supply state game departments for restocking, other propagators for breeding stock, fanciers, and zoological gardens. Sale for food is the exception rather than the rule, and is to restaurants, hotels, and clubs.
The species of aquatic game birds that have responded best to artificial propagation are mallard ducks and Canada geese; and of upland game birds, ring-necked pheasants and bobwhite quail. Directions are given for hatching the eggs, care of young, construction of hatching and brooding coops, feeding, maintaining sanitary surrounding, shipping the birds and their eggs, controlling natural enemies, and wing--clipping and pinioning. Management of species that have proved less adaptable to i earing in captivity are outlined in a more tentative way.
Most of the states have laws or regulations affecting the propagation of game birds and require game breeders to take out licenses to cover such operations. In addition, Federal permits are necessary for buying or selling migratory wateifowl, including wild ducks, geese, and swans, raised in capt'.vity. The Federal permits are obtained through the Bureau of Biological Survey, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C, as also are copies of digests of str.te laws on game-bird propagation, and the addresses of officials to whom application should be made for state licenses and for the full text of state laws relating to the propagation of game birds.
The bulletins, which are Farmers' Bulletins 1612-F (Propagation of Aquatic Game Birds) and 1G13-F (Propagation of Upland Game Birds), may be obtained free from the Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.URGED TO FOSTER BIRD REFUGES
Local support of migratory bird refuges is necessary both in theory and in practice, Paul G. Redington, Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture, said at Chicago in an address before the annual meeting of the Izaak Walton League of America April 24-26.
"Millions of acres of wildfowling area," he said, "are now available to gunners. Manifestly, in carrying out its obligations under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act in creating—as we exect to do—a well distributed system of large, principal refuges there must be withdrawals of areas upon which, at present, shooting in one form or another is permitted.
"The Government can not slight its obligations nor does it contemplate the discontinuance of this essential program because of the local jealousy or misunderstanding that may be encountered here and there. To the best of our ability and within the limits of such resources as may be provided we intend to press forward in our attempt to obtain sufficient wild fowl areas to insure for all time the preservation of our migratory birds and to prevent the disaster that will assuredly OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 15 result if his essential feature of our national game conservation program is neglected or ignored.
"Here, if ever in the history of game preservation in this country, is the opportunity presented for American sportsmen, rich or poor, to demonstrate the genuineness of those ethics which all have preached and applauded in theory. Here, with the very existence of this magnificent sport in the balance, is the time for unity of thought and action among those who enjoy it would have it preserved. The privileges of the individual must in some small part be surrendered to preserve the good of the whole. As an actual practical test of the spirit of American sportsmanship this present situation has no precedent or equal."
Mr. Redington stated that in the preliminary work of acquiring suitable areas for national wild fowl sanctuaries the bureau has encountered prejudice among local sportsmen, and that sometimes there has been a misconception of the purpose by others. "Sporadic opposition based on a misunderstanding of facts," he said, "can be effective in hampering and delaying the operations of the Government, but in the long run, with refuges established elsewhere, the objecting district will itself be the greatest sufferer from its own lack of foresight."
Emphasizing also the continued need for game-law enforcement measures, Mr. Redington deplored the practice of "game bootlegging," under which game law violators obtain birds by illegal methods to supply to wealthy patrons who lack the skill to get their own share in the manner contemplated by the conservation laws. The remedy proposed by the Biological Survey Chief can be administered if the "members of conservation organizations will build up and strengthen in every locality a spirit of insistence for the strict observance of reasonable restrictions. Experience," he said, "indicates that the courts are quick to respond to organized opinion and indicate approval by the application of effective penalties."WILD TURKEY IN WISCONSIN
On Thursday, March 13, the first release by a state agency, of wild American turkeys in Wisconsin was made in the southeastern part of the Baraboo hills. Exactly 35 birds were liberated at three different places in Dekorra and adjoining townships of Columbia county.
These magnificent game birds which at one time were native to Wisconsin, were given to the conservation commission by the Milwaukee chapter of the Izaak Walton League. They were raised at the Moon Lake game farm and wild life refuge owned by the Milwaukee chapter.
Movies were taken of the release. The birds took to liberation very readily, some of them flying long distances as soon as they were let out of the cases. They should thrive any place within miles of the spot of release as the entire countryside there is made up of rolling hills covered with oak and other thick trees and brush.
W. B. Grange, superintendent of game for the conservation commission, recommended this area as perhaps the most desirable for wild turkeys of any to be found anywhere in Wisconsin. With good luck, the birds should increase readily, and should in a few years become common to much of the territory along the Wisconsin river from Columbia county southwest.
The wild American turkey which is the largest upland game bird ever native to Wisconsin, is truly an American bird as it was native originally only to this continent. The last bird of which the state has record in Wisconsin was killed near Prairie due Chien in 1894, and from that time until last year when the state game farm at Fish Creek started experimental work with wild American turkeys, there had been no state-directed effort along this line.
With proper co-operation on the part of local people there is no reason why turkeys should not again become more or less common game birds in Wisconsin. They increase rapidly. In a wild state they will lay from six to fourteen eggs a year, and with favorable weather conditions the majority of these should hatch. The wild American turkey is a large enough bird to be able to take care of itself with most bird predators, and if farmers and sportsmen will help in protecting them and providing winter feeding stations for them for a few years, they should become well established.NEW JERSEY SEEKS GAME LANDS
To guarantee hunting and fishing privileges for all time to the sportsmen of New Jersey is the object of legislation in that state, now pending, which would allow the state to acquire permanent hunting and fishing rights on vast areas to be kept well stocked with game and fish, by providing funds through an increase of the present resident fishing and hunting fee from $1.50 to $3.00, one dollar to go into the land fund and the balance to be used to control species injurious to game and to abate pollution of public waters.
President H. J. Burlington of the New Jersey State Fish and Game Commission states that the proposed act would have the double advantage of putting the average sportsman in such a position as to enjoy the same privileges held by members of private clubs, and of discouraging the posting of lands. New Jersey does not stock posted lands.
"Since New Jersey has become a mecca for sportsmen, due to the extensive stocking campaign carried on by the Fish and Game Commission," says Mr. Burlington, "much of the best hunting and fishing areas of the state are being acquired gradually by newly formed sportsmen's clubs, organized for hunting and fishing purposes by people from out of the state. If stocking does hot continue on a large scale, as at present, the state will revert to what it was 15 years ago, with a little native game, rapidly diminishing.
"Licensed hunters and fishermen have increased about 50,000 in the last few years. The increased stocks of fish and game have largely accounted for the leasing of large areas of land and waters by private clubs."
The point is stressed that owners who lease their properties to sportsmen are "killing the goose that lays the golden egg," because when their property is shot and fished out the state will not stock it for them. "It is the sportsmen's money, without any expense to the general taxpayer, that protects the owner from illegal pothunting, protects the insectivorous birds, destroys the vermin through the warden service and save and built up the great hunting and fishing resources the state now enjoys."16 OUTDOOR NEBRASKA LEAD OFTEN FATAL TO DUCKS
Lead poisoning, a deadly affliction besetting wild waterfowl, again showed itself in the coastal region of Louisiana during the latter part of the winter. E. R. Kalmbach, a biologist of the Bureau of Biological Survey of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, recently visited the region and studied the causes of the mortality reported among wild fowl there. His report shows that though less disastrous than the duck sickness of Western States, which has made heavy inroads on ducks and other waterfowl during recent years, lead poisoning is in some respects even more unfortunate.
The story is a simple one, he says, yet particularly deplorable. For many years, lead in the form of scattered pellets of shot from hunters' guns has been sprayed about favorite shooting stands. These stands naturally are in attractive feeding areas, where the birds, puddling in the mud bottom for seeds and tubers of aquatic plants, come in contact with the shot. To assist digestion they swallow the leaden pellets along with sand and bits of gravel. The lead is slowly ground down by stomach action and they assimilate it.
The slow toxic action may not reveal itself immediately, but when once a bird takes a lethal dose of lead there is no chance that it may escape the effects. The affliction usually lingers and the bird gradually becomes weaker, first losing the power of flight and then the ability to walk. In this helpless condition, even should it be able to survive the ravages of the poison, the bird often becomes the victim of the elements or of our predatory creatures.
With regard to the recent lead-poisoning outbreak in Vermillion Parish, La., the Biological Survey report says there is little doubt that water levels have a distinct significance in the prevalence of lead poisoning in this ccastal area. Practically all the ducks succumbing there were shallow-water feeders (pintails and mallards) and in their feeding are able to reach the bottom only when the water is of moderate depth.
Commending on the condition in which the lead is found in the stomach, the report says "the pellets of lead at times were worn down to mere disks of small size that easily might be overlooked in a superficial examination. By syphoning with an excess of water in a shallow dish these small particles can be separated from other material of lower specific gravity. This condition, in which the lead shot are almost, if not entirely, digested, has raised doubts in the minds of some field observers as to the cause of the mortality. Tf the bird has eaten only a few shot (3 to 6), it would be necessary that these be ground down almost to the vanishing point before the bird could assimilate a lethal dcse. On the other hand, cases may arise in which as many as 20 or more shot may be found in a single stomach. In such instances it often will be noted that none of the shot has been worn down to a mere disk. Death is caused by the assimilation of the comparatively thin outer surface worn from all the shot. Since the toxic action of lead is slow and a bird may retain its power of flight for two or three days after having consumed a lethal dose of shot, cases in which an apparently healthy bird is found carrying a considerable number of shot in its stomach are explained."
Continuing, the report discusses field conditions: "To visualize the conditions under which ducks may obtain a lethal dose of lead even though the shot be widely scattered, one needs only to recall how thoroughly these birds work over an attractive food area. A flock of 200 to 300 ducks may find sufficient food in the stubble of one rice field to hold their attention for successive nights over a period of several weeks. They go over practically every square foot of this area, and any shot overlooked by one bird is likely to be picked up by another. Furthermore, although a duck may find a single shot only once every third or fourth day, the process of assimilation of the lead is so slow that in the course of a week or two sufficient lead may be accumulated to produce fatal results.
"Any doubts that may exist concerning the prevalence of shot in quantities sufficient to be a menace to wild fowl in this coastal area vanish when it is realized that lead was found in the stomach of every one of 18 birds on which post-mortem examinations were made. The pellets of shot varied from 1 to 24 in number, and in each instance characteristic symptoms or post-mortem aspects of lead poisoning were revealed."
The mortality in Louisiana this year was not so great as last, according to Mr. Kalmbach, and by no means equal to that of 1921, when many thousands of waterfowl died in this region, presumably from lead poisoning. Deplorable as these recurring losses are, the most unfortunate feature of the situation, it is pointed out, lies in the fact that there is still deposited not only in the marshes and shallow waters of Louisiana, but in those of many other States as well, lead shot that will continue to kill waterfowl for many years to come. The Biological Survey called attention to this menace in 1919 and pointed out the hopelessness of any remedial measures. As stated at that time, "all that can be done is to call attention to the prevalence of lead poisoning and to describe the cause and symptoms, so that persons finding birds effected may understand."HUNGARIAN PARTRIDGES FOR CALIFORNIA
A new era in the propagation of upland game birds in the State of California has arrived with the announcement by the Division of Fish and Game that 250 Hungarian partridges have been purchased for distribution in the northern part of the state. These birds, purchased in Europe, are in transit from New York, and will make an initial introduction of this species in this state.
Upon the arrival of the shipment of birds at the state game farm at Yountville, Superintendent August Bade will hold the birds until they have become acclimated and fully recovered from the rigors of the long trip. At that time the entire shipment will be released in regions in the northern part of the state, selected for their climatic and other conditions, most suitable for the propagation of the species.
The Hungarian partridge, or "Hun", has been introduced into Oregon, Nebraska, Washington and British Columbia, where it has not only proved readily adaptable to the new surroundings, but has afforded a splendid addition to the native game birds from the viewpoint of the sportsmen.
If this initial plant of Hungarian partridges in California proves successful, further importations will be made in order to augment the suppy of upland game birds in the state.OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 17 FOREIGN GAME BIRDS
Because Old-World stock as in the case of the horse, the cow, the pig, and most of the high-ranking cultivated fruits, has so often proved superior in hardiness and adaptability, it is natural for one to turn first to Europe and Asia when considering possible sources of game birds for acclimatization in the United States, says W. L. McAtee, senior biologist of the U. S. Bureau of Biological Survey, in a circular on the naturalization of alien birds in the United States, just issued by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
"The chamois of the Alps, the ibex of the Pyrenees, and the pheasants of densely populated China have maintained their existence in close contact with man for centuries, while similar representatives of America fauna, with uncounted millions of acres to range over, have faded away like mist before the morning sun," says Mr. McAtee. "Although the number of hunters and firearms in the Old World has never been very large, the few hunters have customarily taken larger bags, and snaring, trapping, and other methods of securing game have been practiced for ages. The Eurasian game birds and animals doubtless had time through the centuries to develop defenses against man's slowly improving armament and a tolerance for the changes in natural conditions resulting from increase in population. American species, on the other band, adapted to conditions in a country sparsely populated and primitively armed, were suddenly called upon to face the destructive influences of an effectively armed and ever-growing population." That is the reason why Mr. McAtee believes it is logical, when seeking game birds for transplanting to a country that is now well populated, to utilize species that have been tested and tempered by ages of close association with man.
The ring-necked pheasant and the Hungarian partridge are the two exotic game birds that have responded most successfully to naturalization in this country. The new circular contains maps showing the present ranges of these species in North America. There are other maps showing the world distribution of annual precipitation, natural vegetation of the world, areas of the United States physically suited to forest only, and native vegetation of the United States—factors which the author recommends should be carefully considered when a new game bird is to be tried out, for in the case of a desirable bird, if the rainfall, temperature, and vegetation of its native home can be fairly well matched, other conditions can be so altered and controlled in a given locality as to make them favorable to naturalization of it. Mr. McAtee has used these factors as a basis in pointing out what parts of the United States are best suited for planting various exotic birds. He states that "Where native birds are abundant there is little or no need to plant exotic species; but wh»re native species do not supply the demand, foreign game birds can well be introduced."
Some of the game birds besides the Hungarian partridge and the ring-necked pheasant recommended in the new circular as suitable for naturalizing in the United States, are Reeve's, golden, Lady Amherst, brown eared, Elliot's, and cheer pheasants, all from China; the Japanese pheasant; the Indian peafowl; red-legged partridges from southern Europe and northern Africa; guinea fowls from west Africa; and bustards and sand grouse from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Species considered undesirable for introduction are the red grouse of the British Isles; the capercailzie from Europe; the Himalayan snow cock; the migratory European quail; and the European wood pigeon.ALASKAN SKINS VALUED AT $4,500,000
Skins of fur-bearing animals to the number of 297,448 and valued at $4,513,863.76, were exported from Alaska in 1929, a report from the Alaska Game Commission to the Biological Survey of the U. S. Department of Agriculture shows. This is $215,226.63 more than the amount of the 1928 sales, although 38,629 fewer furs were exported. The larger return during 1929 resulted from increased market value of the individual furs. The report is based on statements that fur shippers are required to file with the agents of the transportation companies handling the shipments, or with postmasters in case shipments are made by parcel post. These in turn must forward the statements to the Alaska Game Commission. Red fox skins to the number of 21,023 brought a return of $1,042,740.80; blue fox skins, 7,976, brought $808,208.08; white fox skins, 12,179, brought $733,784.75; mink, 26,695, brought $552,586.50; and lynx, 7,575, brought $462,832.50. The number of muskrat skins shipped in 1929 exceeded by far those of any other species. A total of 190,377 muskrate skins brought a return of $194,184.54. Only 1,547 beaver skins were exported in 1929 because there was no open season.
The kinds of skins of which there was a notable increase in number exported during 1929 over the number for 1928 are as follows: Red fox, 5,884 increase; white fox, 7,646; lynx, 2,598; mink, 5,658; and weasel (ermine), 7,214. Skins of other species showed somewhat of a decrease.
The report also notes that more than 34,000 seal skins were taken on the Pribilof Islands under the supervision of the Department of Commerce, and netted a gross return of $721,000 to the United States as its part of the proceeds.HOW TO FRY BLACK BASS
It is one thing to catch a black bass and another thing to know how to fry it properly, according to Harry B. Hawes, United States senator from Missouri, whose latest book on wild-life conservation and the life of sportsmen in the open, "My Friend the Black Bass," has just been issued from the press.
Senator Hawes' formula for preparing a savory mess of black bass runs about like this: "Scale and wash the fish before cooking! don't skin it. Cut off the fins and head, cut down the back clear to the backbone. Open the fish, remove the viscera, wash and clean, then put a plentiful supply of salt and pepper on the inside. Roll in cracker crumbs or cornmeal. Put enough butter, lard or bacon-grease in the pan nearly to cover the fish. Heat the.grease to the smoking point, and, if the fish is not too large, put it in whole, with the skin on. If it is too large, cut it in half, not down the back but crosswise. Hold the cut ends in the grease for about half a minute until they are seared. Fry one side, and then turn and fry until the fish is brown. You can tell when it is done by the feel. During the whole process keep in mind the retaining of the juices, Fish should be cooked through, thoroughly done, with no suspicion of rareness about them.
"After cooking, you may remove the fish from the bones by running a fork down the side of the backbone. It will come away easily. Don't destroy the natural flavor of the bass with artificial condiments. Leave out sauces and the condiments."—American Game Protective Association news service.THE NEW IDEA IN CONSERVATION
Wallace B. Grange of the Wisconsin Conservation Commission has an article, "The Future of the Prairie Chicken," in March Outdoor America which is well worth reading; not alone for the information it contains on the prairie chicken, but also as a demonstration of the newer ideas of correct conservation methods. This can be summed up in one sentence. Research, rather than restrictive legislation, is the key to successful conservation.
The article is too long to quote completely, the following extracts, however, are characteristic of its general tone and are indicative of the progressive far sighted attitude of the Wisconsin Commission.
"Strangely, too, when one searches for reliable information concerning the domestic life of the prairie chicken, he discovers "many eulogies but few facts." Should he wish to learn what the prairie chicken eats throughout the twelve months of the year he finds information meager. Inquiry concerning the effect of predators is met by guess. Data as to the percentage of nests actually producing young is unheard of. The ravages of disease are vaguely thought to have influence, but in no consistent way. The percentage of cock birds, and the possible effect of a 'decided surplus of cocks, is not even thought of. Changes in agricultural methods seldom are considered as a prime factor, the easier and more common explanation being that "they were shot out."
This is a bad state of affairs. Much of the pessimism voiced about the future of the prairie chicken as ■a game bird is justified; but it is justified only because it can be truthfully said that conservationists in general have not bothered to dig up facts necessary to any propram aiming to correct conditions. When the real facts are brought to light on most conservation projects, optimism is justified, because facts will generally point out the necessary remedies."BIOLOGISTS TO STUDY LIFE IN FORESTS
Two research biologists have been appointed to positions in the Bureau of Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture, in accordance with cooperative plans to place qualified biologists at experiment stations of the Forest Survey. These scientists will study the relation of wild life to the forests, as authorized by the recently-enacted McSweeney-McNary Forestry Research Act.
Thomas D. Burleigh, for the last nine years head of the Division of Forestry of the Georgia State College of Agriculture and one of the appointees, has been appointed to the position of association biologist and will be stationed at the Appalachian Forest Experiment Station, Asheville, N. C. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State College and the University of Washington. He has devoted considerable time to the study of the bird life of Georgia.
Oliver L. Austin, Jr., of New York, a graduate of Wesleyan University and who has done three years' graduate work in Harvard University, has been appointed assistant biologist to carry on studies of wild-life and forest relationships at the Lake States Forest Experiment Station, St. Paul. He spent the summer of 1925 studying jungle ocology in British Guiana, South America, and has made three trips to Labrador to study the distribution of the vertebrate fauna of the region. On his Labrador trips he did notable work in bird banding, particularly with Arctic terns, in cooperation with the Biological Survey. Two of the terns were recovered, one in France and another in South Africa, establishing remarkable flight records, the latter flying the longest distance of any banded bird ever recaptured, as far as any known records show.SOUTH DAKOTA TO EDUCATE
An unusual state-wide co-operative educational program, designed to impress upon school children that they should take an active part in matters of government, is being sponsored by the South Dakota Game and Fish Commission and that state's division of the Izaak Walton League of America, under rules promulgated by the Department of Public Instruction for the 1930 essay and speaking contest of the Young Citizens League, on the subject of the Conservation of Natural Resources, according to the American Game Protective Association news service.
The Young Citizens League is distinctly a South Dakota organization, which has been built up as a result of cooperation between numerous agencies, and has a membership of more than 50,000. The essay and speaking contest is an annual feature of the organization.
A $1,000 appropriation has been voted by the Game and Fish Commission officials as a result of the belief that only through cooperative educational methods can the importance of wild life protection be brought home to the younger generation.
The final contest will be held this year in connection with the state convention of the league. The state will be divided into districts and regions, and the local, county and regional contests will be held in connection with the Y. C. L. work of each county. Cash prizes, medals and badges will be awarded the same as last year.
In connection with this, a declamatory contest for the primary and intermediate grades will be conducted, for which medals and prizes will be given.
Each child competing is given a set of the material which means that the literature on conservation is taken home and discussed in the family circle.