SI Vault
Edited by Ed Zern and Tom Lineaweaver
April 30, 1956
A government undercover agent in the wealthy Houston area risks his life to gather evidence on the illegal slaughter and sale of more than 200,000 wildfowl
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April 30, 1956

The Outdoor Week

A government undercover agent in the wealthy Houston area risks his life to gather evidence on the illegal slaughter and sale of more than 200,000 wildfowl

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FLORIDA: Worst drought in 65 years is still plaguing bass fishermen, but FG/VG where there is still water. Among top spots are Lake Tarpon north of Clearwater, Little Lake Harris at Howey, Lake Griffin north of Leesburg, the Polk County phosphate pits south of Lakeland, deeper holes of the Kissimmee River east of Lake Wales, Lakes Talquin and Iammonia, both near Tallahassee, St. John's River in north west Florida and Withlacoochee River, 80 miles north of Tampa. Most lakes are about five feet below normal level, and unless rains come within next few weeks situation will be truly desperate.

TROUT: MICHIGAN: First batch of "trust fund trout," all 10 inches or over, will be planted in South Branch of the Ausable River this month, as provided by the will of the late George W. Mason, president of American Motors and expert fly-fisherman who died in 1954. Mason's will provided a $25,000 trust fund, whose earnings will be used for annual plantings along the 14 miles of stream on the South Branch which Mason owned, loved and willed to the state. Under restrictions enforced on this stretch the "trust fund trout" may be taken only with flies. State-wide SO April 28, and more than 150,000 fishermen expected to turn out if weather is reasonable. Most lower peninsula streams normal except Black, Pigeon and Sturgeon rivers, which are still undergoing late runoff due to deep snow in headwater swamps. In upper peninsula crest of runoff has passed in most streams and almost all areas now easily accessible, including Huron River, last week's top producer, where many 10-to 12-pound rainbows were taken. Due to late spring, opening day will see many upper peninsula streams clogged with smelt runs. Except for cold, conditions were nearly ideal at presstime, but rains this week could trigger flood conditions.

IDAHO: FVG on entire middle fork of Salmon River; OG but depends on continued cool nights which are slowing runoff (daytime temperatures have hit 80�).

NEW HAMPSHIRE: SO May 1 and most streams will be too cold and high for even fair fishing despite an estimated 340,000 trout to be stocked by then.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Warm weather has brought in all Vancouver Island cutthroat lakes at lower altitudes; in Campbell River area all lakes back to and including upper Campbell are fishing well to fly and troll, and same is generally true down-island. Fry hatch is well started in Cowichan River and starting to show in other streams. Some streams high from melting snow, but FG and OG.

ONTARIO: Use of minnows for bait now banned in Foot and Shoofly lakes north of Sudbury, generally considered best bets for big speckled trout in province. Both lakes still ice-covered and OP until mid-May. SO April 28 and OF in streams which are ice-free.

MAINE: Most good trout water still iced in, and FVP in open waters.

MINNESOTA: Spring run of rainbows now peaking on 23 Lake Superior north-shore streams open since April 1, although snow is still three feet deep in woods. From Duluth to Beaver Bay streams are H and D; from Beaver Bay to border still L and C as spring runoff not yet in full swing; FG, OG. Scores of limit (10) catches of rainbows to 12� pounds and averaging 3 reported last week in Knife, Talmadge, French, Lester, Baptism, Devil Track and Arrowhead; most catches were on fluorescent red yarn with spinners, salmon eggs with spinners and red-and-white wobbling spoons.

OREGON: SO April 28 and OF as good weather was holding on at presstime; more than 200,000 anglers expected on streams and the few lakes now open. In western Oregon best bet will be trolling in tidal areas of coastal streams for sea-run cutthroats; multibladed trolls now legal and will probably be good to bait cutts. Wilson, Nestucca, Siletz, Alsea and Siuslaw rivers in fine shape and should produce worthwhile catches. Lake Creek and Upper Siuslaw River offer good fly-fishing for cutthroats; weighted streamer flies best lure. All streams running into Willamette Valley from Cascade Mountains will be high and murky from snow runoff, and OVP. In central Oregon, Metolius and Deschutes rivers should offer FF/G for fly-and spin-fishermen. Above Bend, Deschutes is best fished from boat. Dry flies should take fish on both streams. Suttle Lake best for trolling and still fishing with worms or salmon eggs. Most other Oregon streams doubtful at present. Lakes in national forest don't open till May 26, and limited open waters will be overcrowded.

NEW JERSEY: FF and OF/G for wet-fly-and nymph-fishing on Flat Brook and new state-owned stretch of Pequest River. State's new policy of stocking some trout on Saturdays appears enormously popular, with huge crowds following hatchery trucks; 200 cars counted at Route 206 Bridge at Big Flat Brook awaiting arrival of hatchery truck, and two gentlemen broke rod tips in car doors in haste to start fishing when trout arrived. Unfortunately both had spare tips.

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