Friday, September 14, 2007

Dead Fish at Jasper-Pulaski Game Reserve

In readiness for our son to start Tiger Cubs, we took him on a little fishing trip to the Jasper-Pulaski Game Reserve the day before school began. He had one of those cute little zebco-type rod and reel kits, and we sat back to watch (waaaaay back sometimes) as he practiced casting.

The heat was sweltering, a day during that heat wave that hit all of us late last month. Needless to say, it wasn't long before our little guy tired of his adventure. Instead, he wanted to go on a short hike through the bush to the old wooden "tower" at another small lake location.

The welcome shade from the trees enticed us to agree... and off we went.

Entering the first area, however, we were shocked at what we discovered -- hundreds and hundreds of dead fish. Some were laying on the banks, most were floating throughout the small lake (pond, really), and the smell -- UGH!

There were dead, rotting fish carcasses all over the lake and shore areas. Hundreds of them... At one point, a Kingfisher bird swooped down to snatch up a small fish. Not sure if it was one of the dead fish, or one of the few remaining small bass struggling to stay alive.

This was not natural at all.

We're not certain, but it looked to us like the Reserve had recently had all the lilly pads sprayed, since we could see what looked like "trails" through the thick weed patches. We'd also seen some type of "Aquatic Management" trucks passing by our home a few days before.

In any event, our son learned some valuable lessons regarding the environment, ecosystems and more that day.

It's a pity to think that a 7 year old child can understand more about protecting our environment than the people in charge of nurturing and safeguarding our State Reserves and Wetlands. That's pretty sad in my humble opinion.

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