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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fabled Channels of Flowing Catfish


I told Kip and Uncle Rico about a magical lake that drains at low tide revealing channels of flowing catfish that you can catch with a bucket.



So we set sail, testing the waters as we went...



...but the pelicans already knew.



Cafeteria queue 



Uncle Rico strikes a classic heroic beer drinking pose

(I call this one the '10 o'clock meeting')



Last Friday when I left work, I thought I caught the faintest hint of autumn gently wafting on the breeze. This scene seemed to confirm the arrival of fall, but Uncle Rico reminded me we were downstream from a super fund site.



End of summer lakes leave broad fertile plains around their perimeters.



Uncle Rico and Kip engage in a competition to see who can catch the smallest fish.



Dr. Jekyll clouds begin their amazing transformations. Far-away rumblings are carried on the wind.



Even though the waning tide has begun to suck all the water out of the lake promising the writhing rivulets of catfish I described, our collective reasoning dictates that we spend the rest of our daylight on acquiring a campsite.



The craw-fish traps contain a surprise. Shrimp (supposedly with glowing red satanic eyes). I ask Uncle Rico, "Fresh water shrimp?"
Uncle Rico said, "I've never seen anything like it around here."

"Maybe bait shrimp have escaped and started a colony?" I wonder out loud, imagining the tiny wounded crustaceans pulling themselves off  hooks and fashioning bandages from algae. 



"oh shit." said the crawfish



Despite a lengthy bout of indecision (or delicate diplomacy) we secure a campsite on an island that seems to welcome visitors.




Slowly...



 ...but surely...



...the day's bounty transforms into...



...something we call, Three Species Tacos...




...and I suppose it would have been heaven, if not for the bold, evidently sentient raccoons that, once aware of the presence of food, summoned reinforcements, surrounded us, and waited for us to drift to sleep.



We made it out alive, but we will probably never be the same.




Editor's Note: ...it was raccoons.





Editors Note:  Alert viewer 'Jarm' posits the identity of these shrimp as invasive Siberian Prawns. We are providing these two additional pictures to aid in a positive identification. These shrimp were caught in a crawfish trap at the 'fishing balcony' where Sturgeon Lake empties into the Gilbert River.


Editor's Note: I asked Kip to take a picture of his kayak deck with a ruler on it. He sent me the picture and I've superimposed it over the shrimp picture (50% transparent) to give a fairly close estimate of size. Given this graphical evidence, and accounting for perspective distortions, I'm revising my length estimate to somewhere between 2.25 and 2.5 inches.



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