Title: Johnson-pickups correspondence


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May 9, 1935

Mr. R. L. Ripple, Watertown, S. D.

Dear Bob: We have an authorization from the State Purchas- ing Department covering the 125" wheelbase International pickup, complete with enclosed cab, steel pickup box, oil bath, air cleaner and 5 heavy-duty 6-ply casings and tubes.

The low bidder on this outfit was M. F. Heintz of Florence, South Dakota, but would suggest that you call at the International Harvester Company's office in Water- town and find out whether delivery will be made at Water- town or Florence.

The Ford pickup at Lake Andes is being turned in on this job and I am writing Al Van Leur at Woonsocket, who is now using it, asking him to drive it to Watertown within the next few days. Be sure to remove the state plates from the trade-in and send them to us here at Pierre, also send us a description of the new International so that we may secure State plates for it.

Very truly yours,

O. H. Johnson, Director Department of Game and Fish


Watertown, May 28, 1935.

Mr. O. H. Johnson, Director, Department of Game and Fish, Pierre, South Dakota.

Dear Mr. Johnson:

In order to avoid any mistake in reference to what kind of fish carrying tanks are to be used on the three new Pickups, I would like to suggest that the men who are to use the other two outfits may not have the same opinion that I have in the makeup of a tank.

We have given much thought to a proper tank for our use on the International Pickup and this enclosed plan suits us to a nicety however we realize it may cost more than we can afford to invest in such equiptment equipment.

Talking with Chairman, Dr. Fankhauser at Pickerel lake hatchery recently I learned that he has some definite views relative to size, shape and other features of a proper fish carrying tank for their Pickup and it may be that the boys at Rapid City have like wise likewise and so it would be well to let them go over our plan before hand beforehand.

Dr. Fankhauser's idea in one respect was that the tank should fill in the total inside of the rear Pickup box or body and not have the tank to too high. If this is the plan they want, this plan of ours can be made to fit the need if they find the balance of the plan suitable. After explainging explaining to the Dr. why we would elect to use a tank and Pickup body box he may have changed his mind however I don't know. We know from experience that the smaller tank with deeper water will work out much better on the road in reference to water splash and sway and thats that's the main reason for a higher tank. The body-box measurements of the other two Pickups may differ from ours so that would have to be taken into consideration since this plan is drawn to fit what we want on the International.

The tank cover we would select would be the two piece affair, hinged at both sides and hasps in the middle. This type of cover would be far superior to the one piece cover. Please note on plan, the weight of laod load, 26" of water, 1976 pounds. Thats that's a great plenty to carry on single tires.

Very truly yours,

R. L. Ripple

Dear Sir:

I received a letter from Mr. Johnson who says that you are fishing Swan Lake.

Please let me know what you are getting now.

Yours Truly Sam Flax

Watertown, October 30, 1935.

Mr. Sam Flax 1402 North 24th, Street, Omaha, Nebraska.

Dear Mr. Flax:

Replying to your letter October 26th, in reference to our rough fish removal work to be done down at Swan Lake near Viborg, South Dakota will say that we are at this time moving our equiptment equipment to said lake so that very soon we will be under way.

Just as soon as we have the opportunity to make a few seine hauls I will acquaint you with what the catch consists of however I am informed that buffalo are more numerous than the carp in that lake.

Very truly yours, Department of Game and Fish, R. L. Ripple Supt. of Fisheries, R. L. Ripple, General Delivery, Viborg, South Dakota.

Watertown, September 27, 1935.

Mr. W. W. Aitken, State Biologist, Iowa Conservation Commission, State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa.

Dear Sir:

I have just received a copy of your letter under date September 5th, together with a letter from our Director, Mr. O. H. Johnson with the request that I make reply to your inquiry in reference to areation of low water lakes. During the past several years of severe drought we have had a considerable number of lakes to contend with that either went dry entirely or so low that all fish-life had to be removed to deeper lakes.

May it be understood that the air compressors we made use of were not a cure-all, however we consider the results attained from their use payed us a hundred fold for the expense we went to in the matter of proper equiptment equipment.

Although we had a number of fish rescue crews in the field seining the fish-life from many of the low water lakes we could not keep pace with the situation and that was when the air compressor work came in and through their use we were able to tide many lakes over the winter months. The average depth of our lakes from which we either removed all fish or used the compressors to tide through the winters was about 5ft so that when ice came to the depth of 28 to 34 inches we had a real problem to contend with.

In some of our lakes the water depth under the ice was only about 2ft. still we brought through the fish and such lakes were well stocked with native fish such as northern pike, black bass, perch, crappies, etc. In a few instances where we could not get to certain lakes but was making use of the compressors in lakes nearby we had a loss of fish in the waters not worked with the compressors while no loss was had where we worked same. Such lakes were in the same condition as to being heavily minerali- zed, depth, size etc. We have plenty of proof in reference to the value of areating low lakes through winters of heavy ice etc.

Our lakes are of course prairie lakes for the greater part with a gumbo bottom and heavy vegetation. We found of course that where wall-eyed-pike and crappies were the principal varieties of fish in a lake and since they make use of the deeper portion during the winter months, our efforts with the compressors were more confined to the central portion of the lake.

Mr. W. W. Aitken, 2,

Lakes containing black bass of the large mouth variety, bluegills and some other varieties that take more to the bays and more shallow water areas were worked accordingly.

I recall the winter several years back when we were seining carloads of buffalo and carp from one of our largest lakes some 7,500 acres in extent at a time when the fish were coming in at each seine haul in bad condition from the very shallow water under the ice and we had some 6 carloads in our carp cribs that were so weak one would not think anything could bring them around so I hustled our large compressor over from a neighbor lake and after a couple hours among the cribs areating the fish they came through and buyers eagerly grabbed them off. During the balance of that winter there were many times when our compressors saved many carloads of rough fish in our cribs at different lakes.

There were some instances among lakes where the water under the ice got so low we could not hope to save the fish through any means except to open same to public fishing with a netting progra program allowing so many feet of seine or gillnets to the person, either previous to the freeze-up or after ice came.

The average size of the lakes we used the air compre- ssors on run from several miles long and mile wide down to those much smaller say a mile long and quarter to half mile wide. Only one large compressor was used at each lake and this outfit was moved from lake to lake as needed. We used several smaller outfits however we found the larger unit more adapted to the work.

The following is a line-up of our equiptment equipment. Pump-Lehmann Bros. Newark, N. Jersey, Size F. (2) Rated at 78 Cu. ft. air per minute at 200 revolutions. Power-8. h. p. 2 cylinder Le Roi gas engine, radiator cooled- working through a 3:57 to 1 reduction gear and belted to pump. The whole apparatus enclosed in a Trailer House. Because of the enormous lubrication drag in the air pump when freezing cold, belt drive is used to avoid possible breakage of working parts. It is advisable to warm pump with blow torch before starting and as soon as it is running direct blow torch flame into pump air inlet umtil until pump operates normally. The heat of the engine keeps the 7x10 house very confortable comfortable and the pump uses the warmed air for areation. The method then is to have wooden pipes made of 1x6 or 1x8 boards frozen into the ice well in advance of the time areation is to be done. These pipes are long enough to extend at least 3 or 4 inches below the ice when it is thickest and 6 or 10 inches above to make them easy to locate under the snow. Their location is of course marked by a tree limb or something on the ice. The idea then is to put the hose from the air pump (a length of 2 inch suction is the hose used)down through this wooden pipe after the ice has been chisled from inside to the water and in under the ice far enough that the air does not escape back out through the pipe.

No method of air diffusion is used on the end of the hose as it is believed that the air in contact with the water under the ice is all that is needed, the water being deficient in oxygen will absorb oxygen as well as if the air was finally diffused. Another point is the large air bubbles will go way off under the ice and in that way take air a considerable distance from the point of pumping. Air pockets from pumping have been located nearly a half mile from the pump. We endeavor to check on the oxygen along about 3 to 4 weeks after the freeze-up in the questionable lakes and then a week or tow two later make a second check. From the two figures we project at that rate of oxygen loss the approximate time the oxygen content will lower to about 2 parts per million. It is then planned to start areation some in advance of this time with the air pump. As to merits-for the cost it is beleived believed most practical and successful.

One cubic ft. of air at sea level contains enough oxygen to saturate about 37 ft. cu. ft. of water. At winter temperature and under this condition saturation is about 7 times more oxygen than lake fish require. So we assume that 7 times our 37 is sufficient air or to compensate for differences of air pressure and pump inefficiency we use a ratio of one cu. ft. of air to 200 cu. ft. of water. This has been shown to all indications very satisfactory results. With our 75 cu. ft. pump it is possible to treat about 15000 cu. ft. of water per minute or 20 acre ft. per hour. By estimating the acre ft. of water under the ice and dividing by the 20 it is possible to reach a satisfactory estimate of the pumping hours required and then an oxygen analysis about a week or less after the pumping will show the accomplishments. This method will give spots in the lake well areated and of course places not so well areated but this occurs in the lakes even when they are not artificially areated.

Pump cost about $168.00 Gas engine " 200.00 Assembly & Trailer 125.00

Will use about 10 gallons of gasoline per 24 hours.

If there should be any further data desired relative to this matter kindly address to R. L. Ripple, Kampeska Hotel, Watertown, S. D.

Very truly yours,

R. L. Ripple

Viborg, November 2, 1935.

Mr. O. H. Johnson, Director, Department of Game and Fish, Pierre, South Dakota.

Dear Mr. Johnson:

Swan Lake, Viborg.

Sorry to say things dont don't look very good to us down here today with Swan lake Lake partly covered with ice and freezing more every minute. Not enough open water to attempt any seine haul with weather conditions looking more like mid-winter than usually at this time of the season.

Coming south from Watertown yesterday morning to find Poinsett and Campell lakes all frozen over we had hoped this far south to find things at least so we could make a few hauls but there is nothing to be done about it.

If we only knew what to expect of the weather because the average fall does not find this lake freezing up until at least the middle of November. If this freeze-up dont don't let up, there wont won't be any use of the crew staying around here waiting for heavy enough ice for ice fishing so all I can do is wait a reasonable length of time for the lake to open up or forget this job for the time being.

If the freeze-up continues it will be just to too bad to have this job on our hands to the detriment of the big job at Kampeska lake for ice fishing.

Talking with Pete Hansen whom we are staying with here at the lake and who has had considerable experience with the rough fish situation here, we dont don't learn much about what can be expected with our big seine more than the stuff is not so numerous as many people think.

Looks as though a fine local market could be expected combined with the Sioux City guys however there is quite a flurry from some Farmers' Union outfit that say we cannot remove and sell Swan lake rough fish legally etc. This latter flurry will wear itself out with proper handling so I have no fear of the future, its something alike to our little trouble at Lake Poinsett and is not at all serious.

Very truly yours,

R. L. Ripple

Viborg, South Dakota.

November 2, 1935.

Mr. A. N. Herrboldt, County Auditor, Ipswich, South Dakota.

Dear Mr. Herrboldt:

I am very pleased to have your letter under date of October 30th, in reference to the well-fare welfare of the fish-life contained in the Mina dam during the coming winter months because it shows the correct interest you have for the future of hook and line fishing in that territory which is bound to come.

We have been so terribly busy during the past summer stocking hundreds of dams and other new waters combined with the remaining natural lakes that I just havent haven't personally gotten to Mina dam however my impression is from an early visit there previous to the dam going in is that water holes along the creek run containing creek and shiner minnows along with other fish food would find their way into the dam proper when water came which did come. It is my opinion that there is more fish food in Mina dam than one would suppose other than someone who understands the workings of nature etc. This is a thing I would liked like to have checked on had the opportunity been my good fortune however I am not worrying very much about fish-life not going through the winter at Mina dam with a twenty foot depth and several hundred acres in extent. It is surprising what nature accomplishes in the way of fish food as water bugs and other animal-life in one season in an area of water the size of Mina dam or any part of its size.

Fish must have food of course and it is as proper to introduce fish food minnows as shiners and chubs of the minnow family of fishes as it is to introduce stock fish themselves especially in dams or artificial lakes where there is no creek bed or opportunity for minnows to gain entrance into the dam proper. Food minnows should no doubt be introduced into Mina dam if available and I would advise this at any time, however, the old CARP question of rough fish getting into new dams bobs up and no transfer of minnows should be undertaken unless some warden or other qualified person that knows fish can be on hand to sort out the best of waters the carp and other rough fish minnows that may be found in the source of supply.

Mr. A. E. Herrboldt 2,

Having been in the propagation of fish or more properly the farming of fish for some 40 years I have stumbled onto some things that I wish I had another hundred years to devote to and one is the fight against that wolf of waters the CARP. This because I know him to be the smartest fish in fresh water and one that had no business along side alongside our native fishes to wreck and ruin and represent the greatest mistake every ever made in this country in the introduction of wild-life. That is why I am down here at Swan lake, Viborg at this time to remove the wolves and place them in wooden boxes packed away where the only good carp are to be found, they are no good alive in waters.

I have mentioned this carp strongly to you because I wish to show how very much pains should be taken not to get them introduced into your dam or any other where from the nature of the bottoms of such dams they possibly could never be eradicated.

A great portion of the stock fish placed in Mina dam were young in age and small insize in size so that their main food supply the first season would consist of animal life in the way of water-bug-life that nature seldom fails to bring with its vegetation etc. In the matter of food, fish are some what somewhat dormant during the winter months.

My advice is not to worry about the fish and food supply in Mina dam this winter and if at any time there is found some place where creek minnows as chubs and shiners can be had it would be well of course to add same to those waters. I know of a lot of dams that I wish were as well of off in fish food this winter as I think Mina dam is with its fine depth and size.

The coming spring when we are in our fish hatchery work at Pickerel lake and other points I shall make it a point to give Mina dam the once over for general conditions and will be glad to contact you with them.

Mail addressed to Kampeska Hotel, Watertown, will always be forwarded to me.

Very truly yours, Department of Game and Fish, R. L. Ripple Supt. of Fisheries, R. L. Ripple.

Woonsocket, S. Dak. 4-20, 35.

Mr. Bob Ripple Watertown, S. Dak.

Dear Bob:

I presume you are busy with the work of getting out your pike spawn and as we had some very bad weather just after you wrote me, we did not have the fish you asked for at that time.

The boys have done a lot of work here and at Lake Andes, and the last few days, have taken a lot of fish out of the river and have stocked several of the lakes in this part of the state. We have about 60 or 70 thousand now in the hatchery storing ponds mostly 4 inch bullheads, and about 4 or 5 hundred breeder croppies which we intend to use in this end of the state. We have also about 2 or 3 thousand larger breeder bullheads that we are going to use in stocking.

We may have a load or two to spare later and if we do I will let you know and when you have spare time you can run down and get them. I believe though that you could get them closer through Curtis or Liebig over west of you on the Jim as they are plentiful along the Jim river most anywhere. The 4 inch stuff is a little underfed due to their being so numerous but when placed in a lake where they get more food they make a very fast growth.

The netting you ordered (1/2 inch I believe) was very good and boys were wishing they had about 35 lbs lbs. more of it so they could make a hundred foot seine to get out this little stuff. They have the lead and the floats here to make it up. I wish you would order that amount of it and have them rush it out at once.

Was over to Sioux Falls with a stock of bass for their lake out of ther out there and they were very much pleased.

Have had some very good snow and rain and hope this dry weather will be a thing of the past soon.

Say Hello to .

Very truly,

Dr Fankhauser

Lake Andes, S. D.

Jan. 4th, 1935.

Mr. R. L. Ripple,

Watertown, S. D.

Dear Bob:

Inclosed please find report on the Lake Andes Hatcheries, for 1934. have Have got a few Blue Gills left to plant, will take them to Woonsocket Twin Lakes. Was unable to take care of the two dams at Gregory & Iona,

I have 200 breeder bass & 500 breeder Blue-gills in the north pond for the winter.

Very truly yours,

E. E. Allgier, Warden.

June 22, 1934

Duffy to take care of fall 1934 with Bass

Mr. Ripple Superintendent of Fish Hatcheries Pierre, South Dakota

My dear Sir:

I am writing you at the request of several of the sportsmen and fishermen residing in Clay County, South Dakota, who are interested in stocking Swan Lake, located about twelve miles straight North of Wakonda, Clay County, South Dakota, which lake is over the line in Turner County. You, no doubt, are aquainted with the lake.

This lake even during the dry times has had from six to eight feet of water the year around, and at the present time, the water is going over the spillway, and it seems to me it would be an ideal lake for both pike and bass. There are a few bass and pike in the lake now, but bullheads, perch, croppies and sunfish are the most abundant, and are caught out of the lake at the present time. I believe that to restock this place with bullheads would make it a very profitable investment as this is the only lake for a radius of 100 miles that a person can catch fish.

I would appreciate it very much to hear from you as to what kind of fish you have on hand at the present time, and if there is any information that I can furnish you, do not hesitate to call on me as I will be very glad to get the information you desire.

Yours very truly

Norman Joquith


Huron, September 22, 1934.

Duffy Allgier, Lake Andes, South Dakota.

Dear Duffy:

Was glad to have you say you could get some bass fingerlings over to Swan lake at Viborg since the folks down around Vermillion have been asking about stocking that lake since it is the only one they have in that whole territory. Our big Ford truck left here this morning with bass for Flandreau, Baltic and Garretson dams while the Ford Pickup took bass at the same time for Lake Chappelle at Highmore and this finishes up our bass pond north of here except that tomorrow morning we will truck about 3,000 fingerlings to Pickerel and Enemy Swim lakes. A number of other shiptments shipments have been made including 600 which Fred Curtis the warden took down to Lake Mitchell the other day.

Mr. O. H. Johnson is arranging to have a lot of bass fingerlings trucked to west river country dams from our Redfield ponds however we dontdon't know until we get over there next week Tuesday and get the ponds drawn down, just what we can expect to have from that hatchery so I am glad you have not to date drawn down your ponds so in case we are short at Redfield we possibly can draw on your supply in part for some of the places Mr. Johnson has in mind. I am to hear from him today about this matter of west river dams.

As soon as we get to Redfield and can extimate estimate our supply of fingerlings I will let you know at once however I know that you can stock the Platte lake and Swan lake and other places you are in the habit of stocking with bass like Lake Henry at Scotland etc. but of course you dont don't know what numbers you will have either until your ponds are drawn down.

Will keep in touch with you next week and if for any reason you want to get in touch with me address or phone in care Elmer Liebig, Lakeside bass hatchery, Redfield anytime after next Monday as I will be there Monday night on through the week.

Very truly yours,

R. L. Ripple

Watertown, September 24, 1934.

Mr. E. E. Allgier, Lake Andes, South Dakota.

Dear Duffy:

If you will please refer to my letter September 22nd, you will notice I expected a letter from Director Mr. O. H. Johnson in reference to the distribution of bass fingerlings from our various bass hatcheries and I received said communication here at Watertown last night.

Mr. Johnson has suggested that a major portion of this years year's output of bass fingerlings from the Huron, Redfield, Woonsocket and Lake Andes hatcheries be placed in natural lakes with the exception that a few of the artificial lakes should be stocked with some stuff as Lake Chappelle south of Holabird, Lake Platte, Lake Mitchell, Kennebec in Lyman county, Scotland Lake and possibly three or four in Deputy Bristol's territory, also Lake Burke in George county. His further suggestion is that although a number of new artificial lakes have filled with water this season we will adhere to our policy that the introduction of fish other than bullheads be withheld for one full season after an artificial lake fills up thus giving plant life an opportunity to become established.

Since you have not drawn down your ponds and we dont don't know until the middle of the present week what we will have at our Redfield hatchery we probably better keep in touch so as soon as I lower the Redfield ponds starting tonight I will let you know and will appreicate appreciate if you would drope me a line in care of warden Elmer Liebig at Redfield what your prospects are. We had a wonderful hatch at the Redfield ponds however the menace of ducks and other water fowl has been great this season so we are not so sure until the water is lowered.

We stocked 800 bass fingerlings in the Chappelle lake and 700 in Lake Mitchell from our Huron pond so in case you are short of bass these stockings will be plenty especially that at Chappelle lake. Lake Mitchell of course can stand more bass in case you have them over and above the other waters that will be convenient to stock from your hatchery as Platte lake, Kennebec lake in Lyman county, Scotland lake and Burke lake in Gregory county. Also Swan lake at Viborg since they are hot for some bass and this lake I understand is running over the outlet. From the Redfield hatchery we expect to take a big load out into Deputy Bristol's territory.

Duffy Allgier 2,

We have taken care of our natural lakes from the Huron bass pond as Pickerel, Enemy Swim, Big Stone, Lake Cockran with good stockings of bass so aside from Kampeska lake we havent haven't any others in shape to receive fish and Kampeska being so low this fall and not being a bass lake unless filled because of no vegetation etc. we are caught up on natural lakes except the Swan lake you will take care of.

I am enclosing a couple of fish applications from Gregory county and hope you can do something about them but if not kindly mail them back soon so I can have them on file in case something turns up that we can fill them from some other source.

Might further mention that Attorney J. C. Graber of Freeman, S. D. wrote me saying their lake is full southeast of Freeman that is supplied from Turkey Ridge creek and is about 20 to 30 acrea acres in extent. Since this Turkey Ridge creek is spring water they are thinking of trout and also suggest pike etc. They state that they have already stocked crappies, SUNFISH, to too bad about the sunfish, bluegills and bullheads obtained from the James river and now they ask what varieties of fish should be introduced. It is difficult for me to get away down there to talk over matters with them and if at any time it is convenient for you to do this it would be fine. This lake of course has vegetation started from the creek that runs through it but I dont don't know what to suggest about placing any bass in there this fall. Thats That's why I think it would be well if you could contact the lake and give them your ideas and tell them as I did in my reply not to get any more SUNFISH in there.

Will keep in touch with you.

Very truly yours,

R. L. Ripple

Watertown, June 7, 1934.

Mr. E. E. Allgier Lake Andes, South Dakota.

Dear Mr. Allgier:

Since the time is drawing near when I will be making up the report of fish handled during the past year, you will kindly make up a list of fish sent out from your hatchery.

Was sorry to learn you had such bad luck with the bass breeders during last winter and when we got to the Fair Grounds pond this spring we found a big loss of bass breeders I presume from the same cause. The new artesian well there kept an open space all through the winter with plenty of depth and the bluegills came through fine however the large bass went fluey.

We are having a wonderful bass hatch at our Redfield hatchery and expect a fair hatch from what breeders I had left to devote to the Byron lake bass pond north of Huron. Had expected a fine hatch of bluegills at the Fair Grounds pond however the well has retarded its flow so that along with the drought,the pond has gone down to the point where we may have to take everything out.

Had a wonderful hatch of pike fry at both the Pickerel lake and Kampeska hatcheries this spring.

Hoping things are going along as well as can be expected during the drought and hard times, we have heaps of rain up here, it just rains about every ten minutes the past several days.

Very truly yours,

R. L. Ripple