George Block

Column George Block

George Block is a sports columnist who loves the outdoors.

Look for other reasons for fish kill

Look into other possibilities for Cross Creek Lake fish kill

May 30, 2015

I, like many, read with interest the article about the dead fish found at Cross Creek Lake. It seems an angler found quite a few dead bluegill and crappie along the shoreline and reported it to the proper authorities.

As I understand after reading the Observer-Reporter, the cause was blamed on post-spawn stress, which I, along with many others, find hard to believe. I must say, in all honesty, I have never seen it, even though I am an avid fisherman.

I make it my business to fish many a small farm pond and all of them hold a good number of bluegill, and a few are also home to crappie. There are a few ponds I stocked with these fish that I caught in one local pond and released into another.

I am familiar with both of these panfish, and my first thought was the two don’t spawn at exactly the same time. I am not a biologist, though I have a grandson who is.

Even a nonprofessional who spends a lot of time pursuing fish can have an opinion.

Crappie spawn when water temperatures reach 56 to 59 degrees. The bluegill require waters to reach slightly higher temperatures and spawn when waters reach 67 degrees.

These temperatures are what trigger the spawn and are far enough apart to spread spawn time to about three to four weeks in a normal season. With that spread, it seems unlikely both would die of post-spawn stress at the same time.

Also, the carcasses of dead fish can disappear pretty quickly as every local beast, fowl and crayfish gobble them up. Just maybe we should be looking in another direction for the cause of this fish kill.

As I said, it’s just an opinion.

• I can’t help but wonder about the making of long guns in the United States and just how many more years those manufacturers will survive?

Yes, we will still have rifles and shotguns, but remember what happened to the manufacturing of clothing and electronics here at home. Will the same happen to the long-gun industry?

As I see it, there are but three healthy companies in the United States – Ruger, Savage and Henry.

Beyond that, there are others with financial struggles hanging over their heads. None of us can say for sure what the future holds, but it is a worry.

Now, if you could figure out which currently offered gun will become a collectable, money could be made.

On the other hand, perhaps when the older generation dies off, none of our sporting fire arms will be desirable. I’m not sure if the younger group of shooters cares if a Winchester was made before or after 1964. It’s the tactical rifle that interests them.

Speaking of Pre-64 Winchester model 70s, there is a local person, whom I won’t name, who has all but one of every style and caliber Pre-64 Model 70 ever catalogued.

While visiting him recently, I held rifles like the 7mm Super Grades and the rarest caliber of all, a 300 Savage. That one alone would bring five figures on today’s market, The 300 along with the .35 Remington were only made for one year, I believe, and less than 500 were made. I wonder how many are still around?

Surely some were the victims of fires, dropped overboard from a canoe or maybe trampled by an irate moose.

What happened to Winchester as they cheapened their product was a disaster for the company, but as I think about it, the post 64, 70 and 94 were results of brilliant minds.

It was probably the same thinking that created south 79-70s original junctions and when building a new department store along Route 19 decided to place the building on fill and the parking lot on the old solid earth.

If the reverse was done, the store would still be there. In the case of the Winchester, better they should have stayed with the old rifle and just upped the price.

But brilliant minds always prevail over common sense.

George H. Block writes a Sunday Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.



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