Title: Ripple carp correspondence


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Watertown, February 7, 1936. Mr. O. H. Johnson, Director, Department of Game and Fish, Pierre, South Dakota.

Dear Mr. Johnson:

No doubt you have some times thought about the carp that we have cribbed ever since the start of our operations at Kampeska lake along with other carp that we contacted from time to time. Well Brushaber always as usual was waiting until we had a carload and did not want to ship dead shiptments shipments so we held onto them with tender handling etc.

The terrific weather came and operations were held up, the carp were getting old and I getting scared so a call came from old Sam Flax of Omaha for carp and buffalo fish. Knowing Sam as I do, I knew he would be out for cheap fish as usual but I advised him he better come along and size up what we had on hand.

Letters from the eastern buyers, telephone calls, suggestions from Brushaber relative to his prices on carp and the whole kaboodle told me that all we could expect from any and all sources would be 4 cts. per pound on carp.

Sam Flax came on and to make a long story short, I got 4 cts. per pound from him for 4,800# of the oldest cribbed carp and 6 1/2 cts. per pound for about 800# of buffalo fish. Will mail in the report covering this shortly. The Flax truck carried new knocked-down boxes which I helped him put together and which fact made me wonder a little for going onto the Omaha market. Casually looking about I learn that this total bunch of boxed carp were later shipped from Arlington, to some point in Canada. Eastern Canada. The buffalo were no doubt taken back to Omaha.

Off hand, without looking up our records of fish cribbed, I think we have between 2 and 3 thousand pounds of later caught carp cribbed that are in good shape. I was relieved when those carp went and if no better prospect shows up in the near future, I may again sound out Flax. It may be the jews Jews are leaving Germany for Canada, at any rate I get a big kick out of the whole darn thing when it comes to CARP MARKETS. The eastern buyers are still bossing the job and making good at it.

Very truly yours,

R. L. Ripple

Watertown, April 4, 1936. Mr. O. H. Johnson, Director, Department of Game and Fish, Pierre, South Dakota.

Dear Mr. Johnson: Referring to your letter April 2nd, also copy of letter to Mr. W. H. Dent, President, Aberdeen Chapter I. W. L. A. relative to obtaining stock fish from the few remaining natural lakes with which to stock the new dams in the vicinity of Aberdeen.

In my opinion you have so thoroughly covered the matter of stocking our new artificial lakes in so far as our fish resources go or are in evidence at the present time there remains little if any room for further comment.

When the ice bound shores of our few remaining lakes in the north eastern part of the state again splash out into waves of open water, we find that the past terrible winter conditions have not been to harsh on the fish-life contained in them, we should be mighty happy, however, in no mood to carry on a program that would take from them adult game fish for the re-stocking of artificial lakes in the face of the fact that our department has very well taken care of the latter through a wise, sane, re-stocking program that we know will give hook and line fishing at the earliest possible time consistent with the conditions of new waters that are not as conducive to the well fare of many varieties in their new state as natural lakes that are retaining their water supply.

Personally I have no sympathy with those who would tear down the program of the department that has the experience in fisheries work and the matter of hook and line flshing at heart, with its life blood, and go over to a hap- hazzard program that can have but one ending, dissatisfaction.

This, that and the other, could be added to your letter explaining at length the requirements of fish in newly constructed waters, in fact a treatise could be written a half mile long but your letter is full of meat, there is no call for anything of the kind.

Mr. O. H. Johnson 2, You know fully well that going to look at a new lake recently filled or partly filled with water is to the layman a wonderful sight just as it is to us, however, the layman at once comes to the conclusion that it should harbor about all these different varieties of fish native to the very natural state waters and in that conclusion he is so very far from right that it is very hard to convince him when our first load of young stock fish arrive on the sceen, that another load should not be at once on the way so that hook and line fishing can be started about the first of next week.

I am thinking of Lake Andes, Lake Campell and perhaps other natural lakes that have or may get their water back this spring. I am thinking of those great spawning areas that will again be intact for adult spawning fish when the re-production would be great if only the adults were on hand. Then why should we think of supplying adult game fish adults as breeders for artificial waters that are in their infancy with little or no opportunity for adult fish to propagate. Wouldn't I like to just have a few thousand adult northern pike, black bass and the like for breeders in the lakes I mention in this paragraph, but I am loath to go into any natural lake even to that extent.

It is my opinion that during the past year our department put over one of the greatest re-stocking programs ever attempted by any state in the union and another such program is in the making for this season. Fish planted by experienced men, not by application and dumped by laymen who know as little about the planting fish and their requirements as they do about proper varieties, lake conditions etc. We have in this state a few sample dams that got away from us in the matter of Tom, Dick and Harry stocking the fish, that will suffer for many years. On the other hand we have those new waters that have their governing according to our program that are producing that for which they were constructed in the matter of fishing.

Mr. O. H. Johnson 3, The Aberdeen territory being thickly populated and inhabited by a wonderful bunch of sports people whom have not been accustomed to easy access to nearby fishing waters like some of the larger city areas, are overly anxious to the time hook and line fishing can start in their dams and for that they cannot be blamed, however, it is hoped that they can see fit to abide with a program that will with the display of a little patitence, give them ore and better fishing recreation that all the hap-hazzard work they could accomplish otherwise.

Hundreds of thousands of wall-eyed pike, thousands of fine black bass fingerlings, also bullheads of various sizes and nature slowly but surely making conditions all set and so if the dams retain what water they have or more comes to them, along with perhaps additional stock fish from the Jim River and from our hatcheries, what more can be asked?

Even if a program was put over allowing the holder of a fishing license to retain his fish bag limit in a live state with the intention to use for stocking some new waters, it would cause a great amount of confusion and not the proper opportunity to know what was going on as to varieties being handled etc.

Very truly yours,

R. L. Ripple

April 2, 1936 Mr. W. H. Dent, President Aberdeen Chapter I. W. L. A. Aberdeen, South Dakota

Dear Mr. Dent: This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of March 31st and while we sincerely appreciate the interest which your organization is taking in the prompt and adequate stocking with suitable fish, of new waters in Brown County, we cannot, without subjecting ourselves to severe criticisms, authorize your organization to take stock from natural lakes for introduction into your lakes.

We do, however, believe that a vast supply of de- sirable game fish will be available from the waters of the James River throughout this season and we assure you that no effort will be spared by our wardens in these rescue operations and that in the distribution of the fish thus res- cued, all lakes suitable for the reception of stock will be supplied. Our wardens have been instructed to avoid placing valuable stocks of fish in lakes that do not have sufficient depth to insure their protection and inasmuch as Mina and Richmond lakes are gradually filling up in spite of sub-normal precipitation, we feel justified in continuing stocking operations consistent with the natural food supply in those bodies of water.

There is, you will understand, danger of over- stocking lakes, as all fish in order to thrive must have an ample supply of natural food. This supply consists not only of food minnows of of lower forms of animal life that has its origin in acquatic plant life. Until a lake has reached its maximum water level, an intelligent progress of plant in- troduction cannot be undertaken.

With this in mind we hope that your group will assist us in carrying out tested stocking policies and thus avoid, so far as is humanly possible, unnecessary waste of valuable foundation stock, which might result should our stocking operations progress more rapidly than conditions warrant.

W. H. D. We hardly regard the introduction of breeders into these new lakes essential, inasmuch as natural spawning habitat for other than bullheads and black bass, is not present. Better results we know will be obtained by the transfer of game fish hatched in natural environment.

Much as we would like to introduce adult fish into our new lakes in sufficient numbers so that immediate angling might be available, this I believe you will agree is physically impossible. I do believe that by July 1937, fishing under restrictive regulations might reasonably be expected in Elna Dam. Nothing creates more interest and enthusiasm for an artificial lake than do fishing privileges and as a means of stimulating interest in these projects, the Commission feels justified in permitting limited fishing as promptly as possible. This policy I believe will appeal to your organization and we pledge our best efforts to the end that this ambition may be realized. Very truly yours, OHJ: AW

, Director, Department of Game and Fish.

Watertown, April 6, 1936. Mr. Walter B. Neville,, Clear Lake, South Dakota.

Dear Sir: Referring to your letter April 3rd, asking for information relative to game and fish management and what is being done in this state wether or not a college education would be necessary in order to acquire a position in such work.

Will say that a college education is of course a wonderful asset to attain for the following of any line of endeavor including game and fisheries management however perhaps it is not entirely necessary.

So far as our fisheries department is concerned at the present time we have several of our old employes off duty due to the past couple seasons of drought when some of the work was curtailed owing to drying up of lakes etc. There is nothing I could suggest at this time in the way of a position in the fisheries department.

In reference to your request for pamphlets or other bulletins pertaining to game and fish in connection with our department I would suggest that you drop a line to the Department of Game and Fish, Pierre, S. D. asking for such pamphlets as they may have something of interest to help you in your quest for information relative same.

Personally I appreicate very much your interest in the work I have followed most of my life and I am going to make it a point to call on you at Clear Lake the very first time I get that way when we can talk over the things that would interest you in the conservation of game and fish. Very truly yours, Department of Game and Fish

Supt. of Fisheries, R. L. Ripple, Watertown, S. D.

April 7, 1936 R. L. Ripple, Supt. of Fisheries c/o Kampeska Hotel Watertown, S. Dak.

Dear Bob This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of April 4th and appreciate your comment on my letter to W. H. Dent, President of the Aberdeen Chapter of the I. W. L. A. It is quite evident that the Aberdeen enthusiasts will have to have their "sights lowered" considerably. They seem to proceed on the theory that this Department has no other responsibilities than that of stocking new waters in Brown County. I can appre- ciate their enthusiam and only wish there were more communities in the state similarly afflicted. However, our job is to serve the entire state and we can ill afford to neglect a com- munity because they do not resort to strong-arm methods in getting what they want. I am confident that by a year from next July anglers will be taking good fish from the waters of Mina Lake. When that time arrives we will have less trouble getting along with sportsmen in that section.

Very truly yours O. H. Johnson ,Director Department of Game and Fish