Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Southern Exposure
Midwest Region, July 20, 2007
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Hoopnetting on the Mississippi River near Cape Giradeau. 
- FWS photo
Hoopnetting on the Mississippi River near Cape Giradeau.

- FWS photo

- Photo Credit: n/a


Recently I had the pleasure of working in the field (bonus) in unfamiliar territory.  Due to the gracious offer of the Missouri DOC I was able to experience the open river near Cape Girardeau first hand.  Bob Hrabik’s crew showed me the ropes on the big water and it was quite an experience.  Thanks to Jason Crites for showing me the sampling regime for LTRM water quality.  Their monitoring protocol is very organized and efficient, especially the data entry format with the onboard laptop. 

On the second day of my tour Matt Boyer (wildlife) showed me some very interesting work at the Apple Creek Conservation Area.  Turkey and deer management are high priority along with quail and waterfowl.  In the afternoon we joined forces with Rob Vinson and  Bob Gillespie to restore wetland vegetation.  We got muddy planting a wetland just south of Cape on a newly acquired piece of property.  It was a very hot, muddy but rewarding job.  Sago, wild celery, lily and several other species were planted in small enclosures to protect them from turtle predation. 

On the final day I was back with the LTRM fish crew of Joe Ridings, Zach Fratto and Tyler Stearns.  We pulled several hoop, fyke and minifyke nets in a 15 mile stretch of the river south of Cape Girardeau.  A 5  pound silver carp attacked the boat and crashed into Zach’s ribs, causing him severe pain.  Now I know just how dangerous these flying fish can be.  Several blue catfish and black buffalo were also collected which are common in the southern portion of the UMR.  

The most striking difference when comparing the pooled portion of the river to the open portion, is the lack of recreational vessels on the open river.  We saw one canoe and two fishing boats in two days and over 40 miles of river.  I truly enjoyed my southern exposure and look forward to spending time in  Illinois on the next trip .

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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