This was the weekend of the annual fish-out, an event created and fostered by my brother, Rob. Despite significant rain, the event went off without a hitch and we had a great time.
The libations were liberal and masculinity was evident.
When I departed yesterday, the largest fish honor was held by John Frydendahl – a striped bass of about 15 pounds.
John also told us that he’d been “spooled” by another fish before the rest of us arrived. We could only wonder about the size of that one.
The white-front geese appeared to be staging for a flight north. They will leave any time now.
Pheasants and mallards were displaying and chasing each other around. Managed to photograph one rooster in full bloom.
The band was on the right leg of the third bird from the left in the photo above. I reported it to http://www.reportband.gov this morning.
The information provided: This is a greater white-front goose banded on 7/24/2016 near Chevak Alaska in the Wade Hampton census area. It was too young to fly at the time of the banding. The bird is male.
You can see that the third bird from the left’s breast is cream-colored while the other three are speckled.There were the beginnings of specs on the young bird. The other three birds are mature adult coloration.
Chevak is located on the coast at the far western tip of Alaska. 90% of the population is native American. Native Americans have had a large impact upon the recovery of white-front geese. When I first hunting these geese over 25 years ago, their population was so low that the limit was set at one bird.
About that time, employees of the California Department of Fish and Game asked me to join a group of hunters that would accompany visiting native Americans from Alaska on a California refuge waterfowl hunt. The gentleman who joined me could only observe.
We hunted from a blind at Sacramento Wildlife Refuge. I do not recall his name, but we had a good day together. I learned from him that historically the native Americans hunted goose eggs for food. One of the reasons for the population decline of white-front geese was over-harvesting of the eggs.
The purpose of the trip was to provide more information about the life cycle of the white-front geese to these Alaskans and to provide an incentive for conservation of the species. One of the results of that conservation effort was to limit the number of goose eggs that the native Americans would harvest.
Over the years since that trip, white-front goose numbers have risen tremendously. So much so that the limit on these geese in California is now quite liberal.