Based on regular weekly dispatches from SI bureaus and special correspondents in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and overseas; and on reports from fish and game commissions of the 48 states and Alaska
BIG BUSINESS BY THE SEA
The coast is, of course, at once the beginning and the end. There "the high interiors" of the sea and the reaches of the land join at the dark lines of the tides. It is a place which has always drawn man seeking wild or wet—to walk, to fish, to swim or to lie on his back. It is also a place which is fast vanishing from the public domain.
According to a two-year survey by the National Park Service of the 3,700 miles of Atlantic and Gulf coastline, only 240 miles are now in federal or state ownership for public recreation purposes. For the most part, the rest is open to commercial exploitation.
July 22, 1956
Two decades ago the Service recommended that 12 sites comprising 437 miles of shore be preserved. Only one of the 12 was ever acquired. One such undeveloped area, 30 miles long, could have been purchased in 1935 for $9,000 a mile. Today only nine miles of this stretch are left, and at a whopping price of $110,000 a mile. "The seashore," as the Government grimly puts it, "has now become Big Business."
The Service wants at least 15% of the surveyed coastline to be acquired for public use. Another 320 miles would do the trick. It lists three areas as being particularly desirable: Cumberland Island in the southeastern part of Georgia; the undeveloped portion of Fire Island, New York and the Outer Beach of Cape Cod, extending southward from Provincetown. Considerable funds and public support, however, are needed.
Melville's Ishmael wondered at the "thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries" who must get "just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in." He would be even more amazed if he found this strange but natural bent blocked at almost every turn by signs, ominously reading: KEEP OUT. NO FISHING, PRIVATE PROPERTY.
The once farfamed Bangor salmon pool, a boiling stretch of the Penobscot River not far from Bangor, Maine itself, passed a sad milestone at sunset on July 15. That evening, Atlantic salmon season closed on the river, and for the first time no catch could be entered in yellowing Penobscot Salmon Club record books. Sadder still, the shutout which began April 1 snapped an honored pool tradition. Presidents Wilson, Harding, Hoover, Coolidge, Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower all had dined on the season's first salmon out of the Bangor pool. This year there were none to send, and oldtimers are at a loss to explain the dark chapter in clubhouse annals. Said one: "It's a shame to let Ike down," and with that, salmon season on the Penobscot came to an end.
NOT SO MIGHTY MOOSE
The head of a moose, even with the body of a moose attached, is an awesome sight, but by itself, just lying in the wilderness, it possesses a lonely if gauche majesty.
Such an isolated moose head is what a crew of Great Lakes Fisheries researchers stumbled across while working in a marsh near Geraldton, Ontario recently. Some of the crewmen had seen moose heads sans moose after the autumn hunting or following an attack by wolves, so they weren't too startled. That is, not until the moose head's ears commenced a plaintive wiggle. Further research by the researchers revealed that there is, indeed, often more moose than meets the eye. Beneath the boggy ground a moose's body languished.
The crew lassoed the beast but was unable to pull it free. It was not until several passing motorists were pressed into service that the big fellow was finally hauled to the surface, thoroughly damp but apparently none the worse for having been bogged down.
A few minutes later the moose, head and body, got to its feet and wobbled off toward firmer footing.
The United States has 28 national parks, including all types of terrain and ranging in size from tiny Piatt National Park in Oklahoma, 912 acres, to enormous Yellowstone covering more than 2 million acres in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. But, the Senate willing, No. 29 may soon be a lush, tropical reality, 1,400 miles south of New York in the Caribbean Sea. Since 1954, with funds donated by Laurance S. Rockefeller, Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. (a Rockefeller-inspired organization which is largely responsible for Grand Teton National Park) has been buying land on lovely St. John Island, discovered and named by one Christopher Columbus when he touched at the Virgin Islands in 1493. Five thousand acres of 19-square-mile St. John, only a few miles from touristically famed St. Thomas, has already been acquired, and the total may reach 9,500 acres. All of it has been offered as a national park to the government. The House has voted acceptance. It is hoped the Senate will follow suit before adjournment.
Those who are inclined to take a dolefully fatalistic view of America's conservationist future can derive more than small comfort from the accomplishments of Explorer Scout Troop 29 of Leland, Michigan.
Since 1950 Troop 29, 51 Explorers strong, has planted 411,500 game cover seedlings and evergreens for sportsmen and soil conservationists. During 1954 it constructed and now patrols 140 wood duck-nesting boxes, 75% of which are duck inhabited. In the Solon Creek watershed it has placed 37 tons of rock stream deflectors and in Lake Leelanau installed 40 bass spawning boxes. The troop has shown conservation films to 11,000 people and all in all carried on 192 consecutive weeks of conservation work. Current projects include the construction of more bass boxes, a grouse census, erosion control and the acceptance of a multitude of conservation awards. So far this year Troop 29 has been cited for the Annual Youth Achievement Award of Parents Magazine and the Percy Hoffmaster Award of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (60,000 members). Four troop members have been cited for William T. Hornaday Awards, and Scoutmaster William Pritchard, a 47-year-old Traverse City helicopter-blade designer, has been presented with the Michigan Outdoor Writers' Association Award as the state's outstanding conservationist. And, to cap what is already an unusually impressive record, Ted Pettit, chairman of the Conservation Committee of the Boy Scouts National Council, has named Troop 29 the "outstanding scout troop in the world of conservation."
SO—season opened (or opens); SC—Season closed (or closes). C—clear water; D—water dirty or roily; M—water muddy. N—water at normal height; SH—slightly high; H—high; VH—very high; L—low; R—rising; F—falling.
WT50—water temperature 50°.
FG—fishing good; FF—fishing fair; FP—fishing poor; OVG—outlook very good; OG—outlook good; OF—outlook fair; OP—outlook poor
STEELHEAD: OREGON: Steelhead zooming up Columbia River and OVG on sand bars near Rainier as many anglers are taking limits to 15 pounds on cherry bobbers.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Water H but F and steel-heading worthwhile on Stamp and Ash rivers. Brem River, Coquihalla and Silver Creek M but clearing and FG/OG.
MUSKELLUNGE: NEW YORK: Muskies in the 30-pound class beginning to hit in Chautauqua Lake as state project to clean out overthick weeds pays dividends; OG.
WISCONSIN: FG throughout state last week as Ray Eakin Jr., of Church, Virginia, brother-in-law of Milton Eisenhower, wangled a 26-pounder out of Catfish Lake. Eagle River area, Hayward area, especially in Chippewa Flowage yielding samples to 40 pounds and OVG.
MINNESOTA: Southerly winds, calm water and temperatures to 90° made last week most muskie-active of the season. Leech Lake, Lake Andrusia and Rainey Lake bright spots as Fran Allison of Kukla, Fran and Ollie TV fame hefted a 21-pounder from the latter; OG.
TROUT: WASHINGTON: Aerial survey last week showed that lakes on northwest slope of Cascades at 4,000-foot level are opening and such lakes as Jordan's, Monogram, Falls, Jug, Slide and Found should provide action by this weekend. FG now on Lost Lake with rainbows and cutthroats to 17 inches being creeled; OVG.
CALIFORNIA: Kamloops munching deep-trolled lures in Sacramento River arm of Shasta Lake. Northern area of Battle and Cow creeks, Lake Almanor and tributaries all furnishing more than an angler's money's worth. High lakes in Kings, San Joaquin and Kaweah watersheds picking up as runoff subsides and OG.
MICHIGAN: Local thundershowers keeping west branch of Sturgeon and Pigeon River headwaters H and R but Manistee, Pere Marquette, Platte and Betsie advise FF for browns. FP for brookies on big water but smaller creeks such as Little Billies, Green, Ocoqueoc, Cedar and Maple creeks producing and OG.
IDAHO: Evening fishing fast as local spy smuggles out intelligence that incredible catches are being made on number 10 Coachmans at Canyon Creek Hole at mouth of Pistol Creek; data carefully evaluated and OVG. Northern state OG as Pack River headwaters west of High 95 FG. Selway and Lochsa rivers SH but C and should be coming into their own. Boise River drainage FG with main Boise above Twin Springs ripe for number 12 Renegades in the evening but Adams 12s and 14s seem to be the fly at mouth of Roaring River in midstate; OVG all over.
PACIFIC SALMON: WASHINGTON: FP at the moment but Ernest Krundiak of Bellingham is unconvinced. Fishing between Waldron and Skipjack islands, he felt a solid strike and hauled in a complete trolling outfit on the end of which was a 12-pound fish.
CALIFORNIA: Chinooks to 25 pounds running off Humboldt Bay and in Trinity River where hot spot is between Big Bar and Junction City. Party boats also limiting off Farallones in calm water and OVG.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: FG throughout Campbell River area for limit catches of spring fish. Tyee runs not yet reported but are expected any day at River's Inlet and Phillip's Arm; OVG generally.
BLUE MARLIN: BRITISH WEST INDIES: S. J. Henry of Youngstown, Ohio seemed to have the fourth annual Bimini Blue Marlin Tournament won, but the Friday the 13th jinx worked again. Henry had hooked and fought a trophy-sized fish to the boat when his rod tip broke and disqualified the catch. Undaunted and determined, he had his mate cut the line, and tied to another outfit. He promptly smashed tie tip on that one. By this time even the marlin had had enough and it was handlined within gaffing distance. Henry's fish weighed 455 pounds and 12 ounces, but the winning catch was produced by Victor Till of Del Ray Beach, Florida, who docked a 140-pounder legally caught on one rod only. In spite of not-too-productive tournament week blue marlin OG for balance of month.
FLORIDA: All of last week's marlin troubles were not in Bimini, as Dick Conover of Miami, fishing off Marathon, battled an estimated 500-pound fish for 5½ hours, brought it to the boat and tearfully watched it snap the line on the flying gaff which tested approximately 1,100 pounds.
NORTH CAROLINA: Gulf Stream off Nags Head on Dare Coast proving itself a marlin bailiwick as the third blue of the season, a 325-pounder, was boated last week by Louis Williams III of Monongahela, Pa. Many fish sighted, some raised, and OG for the summer if hard weather doesn't interfere.
TEXAS: Several fish raised and one hooked off Port Aransas last week; OG.
WHITE MARLIN: MARYLAND: Ocean City agent howling about greatest run in years around the world-famous Jack Spot. 650 fish were hooked last week, of which three-quarters were released, but one 115-pounder boated. Concentration expected to last for next weeks with better than average bill fishing expected through fall.
NEW JERSEY: Schools of marlin finning off Atlantic City and Beach Haven with three boated last week but many more hooked by unsuspecting blue fishermen who sacrificed tackle for the privilege.
On Friday the 13th of July another effort to raise a whooping crane in captivity failed. The second of two chicks died six weeks after it was hatched at New Orleans' Audubon Park Zoo. When the chick popped from its egg on May 29 it was hardly the size of a robin. But only two days before its death from a common bird lung infection, when photographed with Parents Crip and Josephine, it weighed 4¾ pounds and stood 33½ inches tall. After months of trial, triumph and tragedy, downcast Zoo Director George Douglass observed: "There must be something to this Friday the 13th business after all." But Douglass, in spite of discouragement, made one thing clear. They will all try again next year, hard and with hope.
Among last week's notable catches: by Victor Peterson of Tacoma, Washington, a 64-pound CHINOOK SALMON on 15-pound-test line in Puget Sound near Anderson Island for the largest chinook from those waters since 1880; a 90-pound TARPON on 12-pound-test line after an hour-and-25-minute imbroglio by George MacGreevy of Elmira, New York, which he promptly released after subduing it near Islamorada in the Florida Keys; by Carl Pierceall of Muskogee, Oklahoma, a 368-pound BLUE MARLIN taken off Port Aransas, Texas after a 2-hour grunt-and-groaner to become the first salt-water catch of his life; a 17-pound 4-ounce LAKE TROUT from Eel's Lake, north of Peterborough, Ontario by 14-year-old Arnold Brown of Apsley; by George Retgers of Allentown, Penn., a 34½-pound MUSKEL-LUNGE out of Chautauqua Lake, N.Y.
When a swan sails too close to a Canadian goose family an altercation like the one above is certain to develop. The goose hustles her young toward safety, and the gander goes on heroic offensive. In the first picture he seems to be doing nobly, but in the second the swan is almost convinced that a good big bird can lick a good little one. In the third the swan nails the gander with a fine uppercut and, finally alone in the watery ring, stretches victoriously. Still, the outweighed, outreached gander did his bit. He kept the swan busy while his goslings paddled away and left it perhaps with second thoughts of a rematch.
A GOLDEN FISH TO WASHINGTON
A specimen of New Hampshire's rare Lake Sunapee golden trout is touched up by Bernard Corson before being shipped to the august Smithsonian Institution as the first of its species to be so honored.