Based on regular weekly dispatches from SI bureaus and special correspondents in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and overseas; and on reports from fish and game commissions of the 48 states and Alaska
IN THE MIDDLE
Secretary of the Interior and some-time sportsman, Frederick Andrew Seaton, hooked his first political game fish last week and played it with diplomatic dexterity.
He had inherited the White House executive order directing the creation of a Bureau of Fisheries by July 1 (OUTDOOR WEEK, June 18). The new agency would assume all fish functions of the Fish and Wildlife Service and also hearken to the woes of an ailing commercial fishery. Conservationists fearful of, among other things, short shrift for sport fishing have attacked the move. Commercial fishing interests have hailed it as the saving of their industry. At week's end Seaton had conferred with, and favorably impressed, both camps.
Said the Secretary: "...I had the pleasure of meeting with representatives of a number of conservationist organizations...members of the group asked that a second look be given the pending reorganization of the fishery functions of the department. This, they were assured, will be done...." No one believes that Businessman Seaton will give in wholly to Sportsman Seaton. A Bureau of Fisheries may come into being. But most Washington observers look for Seaton to recommend that it be concerned with commercial fishing alone, that other fish matters be left where they are, in the Fish and Wildlife Service along with the fur seal, polar bear and sea otter, all originally slated for the new bureau.
Such a compromise, it seems, would meet fairly the problems of both sides and, at the same time, enhance Mr. Secretary's reputation as an angler of finesse in stormy waters.
Wildlife split a wild double-header with man last week.
Near Woodstock, New Brunswick, Clifford Kidney bounced up and down on a pile of brush to flush out a porcupine. To his regret the porcupine turned out to be a bear cub, and he was further unstrung when, with an outraged and authoritative bawl, the cub's mother lumbered on the scene. Kidney swiped at her with an ax and fanned. Mama crossed a snappy right and upended Mr. Kidney in the underbrush. He picked himself out, a bit the worse for wear. Mother with cub flounced off.
A Tennessee bobcat didn't do nearly as well. One Kenneth Dunbar was fishing near Crossville when he heard a sound behind him. "I thought," said Dunbar, "that it was a hog until I saw him." What Dunbar saw was a lean and hungry bobcat about to pounce on his hard-won catch. What Dunbar did was pick up a handy cane-bottomed chair, fetch the flying cat a fatal whack in the neck and return to the peaceful pastime of angling.