Building a more exciting fish has been a top priority because potential anglers are being drawn to video games, instead of going fishing.
"Their motivation is simple," Project Technical Supervisor Biggy Mullett said. "Fishing just doesn't provide the thrills of video games. I mean, how exciting can the `ploop' of a bobber be to an 11-year-old who single handedly blasted over 10 million hairy Plutonian body-munchers on his home computer?"
Mullet said spilluro grow to the size of a personal submarine, but will have fry of legal length. They are pollution-resistant and, of course, waterproof.
The high-tech fish have stilletto teeth, wire cutter jaws and fillet knife fins. They won't eat swimmers, because they prefer plastic, which they break down into organic components.
Hooks won't penetrate a Spilluro's tough mouth, so lures must be coated with a Velcro-like weave that will fasten tightly to rough areas on the fish's tongue.
"Catch and release fishing should be a snap," Mullett predicted, "or should I say a rip?"
Are Modern Dogs Becoming Sissies?
When Zippy, the Carter's Labrador retriever, wearing a new plaid pooch sweater to protect him from the October chill, sports on the park lawn, it's hard to believe he's the grandson of Thor, who once swam a mile down the icy Mississippi to chase a crippled black duck and then paddled back upriver to deliver the bird to his master's hand.
"Modern dogs are sissies," lamented Branson dog breeder Rip Antuck. "They get creamy food and cushy beds," he said, "and if they whine just a bit, they're whisked straight off to the veterinarian."
Dogs also watch too much TV and don't get enough exercise, he said.
"As goes the dog, so goes the civilization," Antuck philosophized.
If you were born under the sign of:
AQUARIUS the waterbearer (Jan. 20-Feb. 19): Fast-maturing maggot and waxworm baits may disrupt marital harmony. Keep off the ice on Wednesdays.
PISCES the fish (Feb. 20-March 19): A tall, attractive uniformed lady is in your future. She will ask to see your fishing license.
ARIES the ram (March 20-April 19): Keep wader belts cinched and wear a hat that floats. The period of the new moon will be bad for digestion.
TAURUS the bull (April 20-May 20): Try crankbaits off shallow points for white bass. Avoid anglers in skin tight, pastel coveralls.
GEMINI the twins (May 21-June 20): Discourage the use of triple hooks in your boat during all the summer months.
CANCER the crab (June 21-July 22): Don't tempt fate by storing crappie minnows in the toilet tank.
LEO the lion (July 23-Aug. 22): Beware the dorsal spines of catfish. Hook a bobber to your key chain.
VIRGO the virgin (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Avoid long road trips without a spare tire for your boat trailer. Love interest possible during turkey season.
LIBRA the scales (Sept. 23-Oct. 23): Weighing fish in front of witnesses could be your undoing. Use marker buoys sparingly.
SCORPIO the scorpion (Oct. 24-Nov. 22): Avoid tucking dead squirrels under your belt while hunting.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-DEC. 21): Your arrows will fly dead straight into small saplings that stand between you and the game.
CAPRICORN the goat (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your fate is to always bag the fewest fish and the least game. Everyone will seek you out as a hunting and fishing companion.
Catch More Fish With Your Head!
Anglers can increase their catch tenfold if they would learn to use their heads when fishing, claims ESP guru Wayne Blithe in his new book, "It's the Thought That Counts."
"Fish are such simple, doltish creatures," Blithe writes, "that they respond without fail to our telepathic messages."
Blithe said he often helps fisheries biologists sample lake populations by mentally herding fish into nets or into small bays to be counted.
"Think fetching thoughts and you'll attract lots of fish," Blithe promises. "If you make good connections, you probably won't even need bait."
Blithe hopes anglers won't abuse his system. "Practice restraint," he suggested, "and don't think more fish into the boat than the law allows."
Next time in Outdoor Tattler:
LUNAR FISHING: We'll take you to the lakes on the dark side of the moon to experience a terrific night bite!
CARP SAVES STRANDED ANGLER: The amazing story of how a helpful carp carried a fisherman to shore and safety.
MAN RECALLS JURASSIC FISHING: "I remember it quite clearly," he says of his past life. "I hoisted in the record phromaticicth."