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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.


 ...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: 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.


  1. Rhymes with 'species'
    Nice to see a new post....thought you might end it with a selfie video, mocking one of those survival reality shows like 'Alone' , in your tent, looking into the camera, hungry, eyes darting back and forth as raccoons brush up against the tent , philosophizing and rationalizing bout your imminent capitulation.

    1. Anonymous, I'm guessing 'precis', a concise summary of essential points, statements, or facts. I always appreciate your support of my writing efforts.

    2. I see Kip (wittingly?) posted his real name below so groupies can find know that's how they usually catch members of the collective hacker's group known as 'ANONYMOUS', they have a Guy Fawkes avatar and their real name next to it like 'Bob Terwilliger' then they post the hacked information like some police officers home address and then they sign off with their nom de guerre.....ANONYMOUS ...................did I just hear a knock at your door Fred?

  2. Nice picture of the racoons, did you have to photoshop them? How can this blog entry not be the top internet search hit for "3 species taco?"

    1. Kip, I've started writing a cookbook. In addition to our famous 3 species taco, there are also 3 different individual species tacos, but like you said, maybe as many as five depending on what kind of sausage we use. Unfortunately, every recipe starts out, "Convince Uncle Rico to catch some fish."

  3. Speaking of 'species' In your 'Raccoon' shot a close look reveals from right to left...
    1.a dog
    2.some kind of lesser demon?
    3.a cat
    4.a human hand giving the Shaka Brah (hang loose sign)
    5. unknown, therefore.........alien
    your welcome.

    1. Anonymous,

      Please see editors note at the end of the post.

    2. OK.......but only if it's gonna be about prawns.

      BTW, as a Robot, I don't appreciate having to deny what I am every time I post on this site. just sayin.

  4. Exopalaemon modestus or the Siberian Prawn. Your post inspired me to figure out what the shrimp was that you found (caught?). Looks like an invasive species that has established itself around Sauvie Island. Thanks for sharing your post!

    1. Jarm, I've posted two additional pictures of the shrimp to help you confirm a positive identity on those shrimp.

    2. How big was it? Lengthwise? If you can't remember, what's the spacing on the dots in the second additional photo?

    3. I think they were about three inches (there was a handful of them in the trap). but I'll get a measurement on those dots. Since it isn't my kayak, it may take a day or two.

    4. Jarm, check out the latest shrimp picture above...note the ruler at the bottom of the image.

    5. The length of the species is 60-80 mm (~2.25-3.125 inches) for mature adults, so that sounds about right. I'm almost certain (85%) that this is the Siberian Prawn. The only thing to really make sure would be to see if it had claws on its forward most legs and how long the moving part of the claw was in relation to the "wrist" of the claw. I'm serious, but that's all that distinguishes it from similar species.

      Personally, I'm curious as to where you found them (as in where do the rivers of catfish flow)? You don't have to answer here if you wish to keep that secret.

    6. Jarm, It isn't a secret anymore. I already revealed the location above in the first exchange about the shrimp. They were caught in a crawfish trap at the 'fishing balcony' where Sturgeon Lake empties into the Gilbert River. If you use Google Earth, you can see the 'fishing balcony' at the outside elbow where the Gilbert River takes that first 90 degree turn to the north.



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