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From Missouri Conservationist: Jul 2009

Go Dutch

What a great issue! Exposing and unraveling the mysteries of the Dutch oven [June; Dutch Oven Cooking 101]! In six pages you brought to light the secrets so closely guarded by every Dutch oven “cook” I have ever floated with in over 25 years! On the river, they are to a man a tight-lipped bunch that protects their process with a true passion (sometimes, I think, simply to make sure they get invited again next year if only for “that D.O. Blueberry Cobbler.”)

The Oddball Fish article was full of good stuff also, especially the tips on making the rope lures. I’ll have to give that one a try.

Bob Osterholt via Internet

Oddball fish

I enjoyed the article by Greg Stoner [Angling for Oddball Fish] in the June issue a whole lot, it was very informative. But there is one thing that puzzles me. Mr. Stoner said (Page 23–24) that blue cats have a mudline. Blue cats do not. They have white meat. Channel cats have a mudline. That’s the only thing I have to complain about this article, it was well-written. Thank you for publishing a wonderful magazine.

Amanda Lambert via Internet

Author’s note: You are correct that blue cats do not have a distinct “mudline” like a channel catfish, but they do have a layer of red meat under the skin that needs to be removed—unless you like your fish to taste very fishy. —Greg Stoner

May Day on the Finley

Although it is very well-written and expresses many wonderful observations [May; Page 14], there is something important missing ... the fact that many property owners do not appreciate floaters pulling up on their banks anymore.

I hate that things have come to this, but as of about 10–20 years ago it started. Trash, beer cans, people leaving lit fires and piles of fish and crawfish remains, you name it. I’ve done my best to be polite to those I find pulling up on shore ... discussing be sure to enjoy themselves but please clean up and leave the place like it was—only to be met consistently with hostility, as if I was attempting to lord over the river.

Whenever it floods I clean up the garbage that washes down, use my tractor to clear the brush and drifts, rework the downed fencing, place old felled trees into banks if there is a newly washed-out spot so it won’t erode into the field, and a myriad of other things any farmer does. I realize that 99 percent of people just wanting to enjoy a day floating down a river do not realize any of this. However, I really wish that a magazine such as yours would remind people that it’s people like us that have to pick up after them when they mistreat the rivers, streams and creeks.

John McHaffie, Rogersville/Bruner

Neotropical network

Many thanks for publishing Kelly R. Gillespie’s article on Neotropical Birds [Going South] in your April issue. That article not only pointed out the dangers these very special birds face but also tells how interested people can give these feathered creatures that we all enjoy a better chance. Your support of this great project will help this campaign a great deal, and we are certainly proud to have the Conservation Department and you on the team.

Anita B. Gorman, Commissioner Emeritus, Kansas City

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity.

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler