Title: Johnson, Ripple, and Dutch correspondence


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Rapid City, S. Dak.

Mar. 16, 1930.

Mr. O. H. Johnson, Director

Dept. of Game and Fish,

Pierre, S. Dak.

Dear Mr. Johnson:

Present indications are that Dutch, myself and possibly one other man will be going to Watertown the middle of the coming week, about the twentieth, and as we have a lot of stuff to take over, includeing two of those large tanks that are used on the trucks and about sixty or more cans, I had planned to use the International truck that has been here all winter as well as the Ford truck that has always been here, to haul everything to the Eastern part of the State all at once, but Dad told me I had better write you and find out if that would meet with your approval because he tells me that though he is not sure, he beleives you said at some time that if you were to sell the large International, you would want to do so in the West-River section. Of course the Ford truck will be taken East but what Dad told me, leaves me in doubt about the International.

As I figure, there will be two good truck loads from here, and then there will be the hauling of the long twenty-foot staves for the tank at the Pickerel Lake hatchery, also the pipe to the Byron lake pond, that the International will prove exceptionally well adapted for. If you want the large International left here, I wish to know as soon as I can so that different arrangements can be made.

Please have two twenty-five dollar gasoline coupon books mailed to me immediately as they will be needed to make the trip, the pick-up taking a different route than the other trucks.

I am writing you about this because Dad is going direct to Lake Andes before he goes to watertown to start the spring work there.

Yours truly,

R. L. Ripple

January 13, 1930

Mr. Robert L. Ripple

Rapid City, South Dakota

Dear Bob:

I spoke to you at Madison about making a talk in Mitchell sometime in January. The date has been set for the 21st at which time we are going to present charters to Plankinton, Mount Vernon, and Alexandria, and we would like to have you make a good talk similar to that you made in Madison telling the boys of the condition you find in the Lakes Andes and Madison, and also the plans for the development of the James River.

Hoping to hear that you will be able to be with us at that time, I remain as ever,

Yours truly,

L. P. Petersen

President, Izaak walton League

Mitchell Chapter #43

Brookings, S. D.

Jan. 11, 1930

Mr. R. J. Ripple

Lake Andes, S. D.

Dear Mr. Ripple-

I was over at Arlington Friday but could not get in touch with Mr. Smith. I saw his partner Kjelson and he said that Smith was in Sioux Falls and that he did not expect him to return to Arlington until Monday.

Kjelson thought that Smith had no webbing at Lake Brant, but he was sure that he had some at Lake Poinsett. As soon as I can see Smith and find out whether he has 1200 ft. of bullhead webbing at Poinsett, we can load it up and start for Lake Andes if that will hellp you any. Carl Kjelson was anxious to get started at Lake Hendricks again and he said he intended to call Mac Randall today (Sat.).

Very truly yours

G. K. Sorenson.


Mr. R. W. Ripple,

Rapid City

S. Dak.

Friend Bob:

As I have a bunch of foolish ideas and you are about the only one that I know that would be kind enought to know enough to answer them. Now if you would be kind enough to let me know what I would like to know I will try and see that you get a few ducks or some pheasants next fall.

First would it be profitable to try and raise bull heads or yellow belly cat in a lake that is full of rushes and now has about four or five feet of water in it. This lake covers about eighty acres. A person could put in an arteasion well in a few years after the lake was producing fish enough to pay or big enough to sell.

Do you know if the federal department of fisheries has an estimate on what an acre of water will produce in fish? Or do you know what it would produce in fish?

You see a fellow would not only get more water in the lake in the winter time with this well but it would all so catch your fish for you as they come up in the warm water in the winter time.

Do you know where in this state a fellow could get some yellow belly cat the ones that grow about two or three pounds? How long would it take to produce a cat of this size under fair water and feed conditions? And do you think that it would be profitable to try bull frogs, or would they grow down here and where would a fellow get his stock and about what would they cost?

Now Bob and I would appreciate it very much if you would answer these questions for me, and maybe some day I may be able to repay you in some way.

Very truly yours,

P.S. Have been catching lots of crappies here in the lake but have had no luck with the blue gills but think that they are still out in the deep water as I think that the crappie spawns first.

We are using live bait for the crappies and of coarse do not get as many blue gill s as if we were using worms.

The weather has been very cold down here and do not look for a very early fish hatch and that will be that much better as we have been having a very cold and windy spring.

State Fish Hatchery

Pickerel Lake, So. Dakota.

Mr. Merle Thompson,

Lake Andes, South Dakota.

Dear Mr. Thompson:

Received yours of May 15th, here today and same catches me at a time when I am just about crazy with work in connection with my Pike Propagation, because I have so many Pike Fry coming on, its just a dam fine thing to have to hustle to get them to our different lakes. Over 7,000,000 little Pike in our tanks at this hatchery on this date so ou may know I am beside myself in getting the planting done in a way that will spell success. Will not go into details in reference to your letter because you have touched upon TWO propositions that have merit behind them and both would have to have some real explanations in order that you can grasp things.

I will spend a heap of time in your territory this summer because success must be made in our work at that point and the first time I get down there, will look you up and talk over the matters contained in your letter and which cannot be explained by leter, owing to time. I wish however to say that the Large Bullfrogs are a coming thing in southern South Dakota. I have studied them considerable this last year and have a place in mind where stock can be purchased, down in Kansas, the address is at Pierre when we would want same. There is money in frogs if suitable conditions can be had for such a venture.

Eighty acres of lake space would handle a heap of Bullheads but such waters must be of a muddy nature bottom, plenty of depth the first consideration and there are many other conditions that must be taken into consideration.

Will see you when I get down there.

Very truly yours,

R. L. Ripple

July 17/29

Mr. R. L. Ripple

Rapid City, SD

Dear Mr. Ripple: Well I arrived here safely and was glad of it as it certainly was a hot one. How far did you get that day. I did not see Ralph or Harold on my way down here. Guess they must have forgotten about getting nets. I suppose after driving that new Nash home you realize that I would like to more than ever ride in it.

Well now to let you know what I have been doing since I've been down here to start in with luck has been against us. Saturday it was very windy and couldn't see anything up in the bay. Sunday it rained so had to stay in all day. We went out Monday & Tuesday but the green algae on the lake in the North End has been terribly thick. The wind keeps on blowing from the South & East. Today its better and here's hoping things are cleared up, so that we can get some Bass. Of course when we were up there, we could get a few by dipping into the vegetation, but it was impossible to see any swarms.

The green algae that is on lake has done quite a bit of damage. Some of the farmers on North side of lake have lost chickens ducks & turkeys and hogs from drinking the water out of lake. One farmer lost ninteen hogs Another ten. Duffy sent samples of water to the University to have analyzed but so far haven't had a report from it. Well today things look much brighter today. Things are in our favor only its cloudy, but hope that the green algae is out of the North end. The nests in pond are no more so before going up on lake we are going on pond to see if there are any swarms. If, the wind keeps on like it has from the East Duffy & I will drive down to Sargent Lake to see what, we can get down there. But I'm more interested to get the Bass out of Lake here. Well, anyway I'm hoping for the best. Well, we are set to go, so will quit. Will let you know what luck we had latter part of week. Regards to folks & the boys.

With best Personal Wishes.

Respectfully yours.


Rapid City, July 22, 1929.

Mr. O. E. Glaseman,

Lake Andes, South Dakota.

Dear "Dutch":

Glad to have your letter July 17th, telling about the work at Lake Andes. Sorry to learn the Green Algae has hampered the work we wished to carry on but it cannot be helped of course. Only hope you boys have had better luck since your letter was mailed to me.

Although the work you are now in should be confined to Lake Andes, it would be well if you have had the time or will get the time to go down to Sargent lake to determine th depth of water and other conditions as how numerous the Black Bass are there.

I expect to have another letter from you possibly tomorrow and if it is determined that nothing worth while can be accomplished there in that special work I will write you what next to tackle. At any rate do not leave there until I write you what you about the next move because I may have you go into the Winner country and it may be you will have to bring through to Rapid City a load of various sorts or varities of vegetation to go into Orman Dam.

I am sure sorry that algae got so thick in the lake there but hope the swarms of young Bass in the pond are showing up.

Have been on the rush here ever since coming home. Warden Schemmer leaves tonight for his section with a big load of trout, one load went to State Park this A. M. and so it goes.

Give regards to people there and say "Hello" to "Duffy."


R. L. Ripple

Lake Andes, S. D.

July 24/29

Mr. R. L. Ripple

Rapid City, S. D.

Dear Mr. Ripple:

Received your letter today and very glad to hear. Well, things have quieted down considerably this past week, so far we have taken about 2500 young Bass out of Lake, but the Green Algae is still in the North End of Lake. These Bass that we got were all in small bunches and very hard to get. I really believe that the large swarms have all broken up. Not more than twenty or thirty in a bunch and a lot of bunches with only six and seven in them.

I don't believe that it would pay to really try to get anymore as it takes all day long just to get four or five hundred. Duffy sure was disgusted to think that we couldn't run across any large swarms. He wasn't any more disgusted than I, as was looking forward to getting quite a few. I really think that if the Green Algae and the wind hadn't been we most likely would have gotten quite a few. Just our luck to have this happen. Well, about Sargent's Lake, last Thursday, the wind blew so hard we couldn't see anything on Lake in a. m. so Duffy & I decided to go down there. I really don't see any lake part about it.

It is the old river bottom but is cut off from River until high waters in spring. We spent about five hours there. The average depth is about five feet some vegetation and its all mud bottom. Nothing but Bullheads and very few shiners & Sun Fish but no Bass.

We talked to quite a few farmers that live around there and very few fish in it. They most likely would if there were any fish in it never goes dry but gets shallow. The widest part I don't believe is over a hundred feet. I should judge that it isn't over six or seven miles long and dry in parts where around or lay of land runs higher. Well, we are still at it hard to get more Bass for pond; so shall stay right here until I hear from you again. Should have written before I received your letter, but sure was glad to hear and shall do my very best to accomplish more than what we have under these conditions that have been in the lake. I gave your regards to Duffy and rest. He also sends them best regards to you folks. Also regards to folks from me & Here's to boys hoping to hear soon. I am as usual, With Best Personal Wishes.

Respectfully Yours,