What would you do?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by postbeetle, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    A year ago today on a small state stocked trout stream I fish close to home, I was standing on the bank fishing. This part of the stream belonged to a friend of mine. I had helped him build his house that last winter. I knew everybody upstream and most of the neighbors close to the stream. I had caught a couple of rainbows. A dead trout floated by me. I looked upstream and I could see several more, a few chubs and a sunfish tits up. A fish kill was occurring. I knew the folks downstream. One an individual I have known for years. He used to let the DNR stock his streams for public fishing, until his wife had a numbnuts pull a gun on her when she asked him to see his license. He called the DNR and had that stream closed immediately. He continued to stock his stream privately and had some of the most beautiful fish a man could want to catch. Further downstream, 1 and a half miles, was another friend who lets me fish. This part of the stream has washdown trout from the public portion. They go wild, turn yellowbelly and are some of the finest trout a guy could catch. I am the only one that fishes this.

    The kill was serious. I knew, from the stream conditions where it was coming from. A dairy farmer had a dike break on a lagoon he had and it poured manure (pure nitrogen) in the creek.

    What do ya do? I did nothing. It was too late. If I reported it that man would have lost his entire life and his kids life, his farm, equipment and livestock, paid a fine, and Govt. smelly rearends hanging around for years.

    What would you have done?
     
  2. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    Sounds like nothing was the right thing to do. It prolly was a one time accident and not like it was done on purpose. Even you, as a vet can't bring dead fish back to life. No sense in killing the farmer's life endeavors.
    __________
    To find the person you can truly trust, look no further than the nearest mirror.
     

  3. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    I would make sure in a diplomatic fashion that the problem was corrected to insure the future well bein of the stream.
     
  4. splitshot

    splitshot New Member

    Messages:
    2,827
    State:
    Coxsakie,N.Y.
    @$%t happens, it was a unfortunate accident and reporting him would not have changed things, other than ruining his life. I would have talked to the man but not turned him in to the authorities.
     
  5. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

    Messages:
    2,288
    State:
    Indiana, J
    What they gonna do you already didn't? Probably screw it up more for everybody. "Hello I'm from the government & I'm here to help." Just shoot me.
     
  6. Mi11er

    Mi11er New Member

    Messages:
    5,117
    State:
    Independence, M
    That is bad, but I think you did the right thing. No sense in getting someone in trouble if they did not mean to do it.
     
  7. Esox Hunter

    Esox Hunter New Member

    Messages:
    691
    State:
    Birmingham U.K.
    Yup:

    Seconded!!
     
  8. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    State:
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Name:
    John
    John I would of made the same call. Now go to Confession and repent!!! LOL. Your Friend J.D.:wink:
     
  9. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    I would have done the same John. Accidents do happen, people are not perfect.
    You did right!
     
  10. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    John, nowhere in your post does it say it was an accident. Nor does it say the dairy farmer did nothing wrong or did anything to prevent it from happening again. The only relevant facts you gave, was that there was a fish kill. I'm not trying to be contrary, I guess it's the ol cop in me that wants more input before passing judgment on your lack of action. I fully understand why you chose to do what you did. I just couldn't make the same call till I knew more.
     
  11. iam2hi2flyinky

    iam2hi2flyinky New Member

    Messages:
    259
    State:
    kentucky
    do you know if this could have been prevented in any way and that it is rectified so that it dont happen again, and has this ever happened befor?
     
  12. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Thank you fellas for your comments. When I saw those dead fish floating by I about puked. I have fished this particular stream since 1989. The man who owned this stretch was an Artificial Insemination technician in the Vet Practice I worked. We became friends. My brother rented an old schoolhouse from him right on that stream, and would fish that stream daily. He caught an 8 lb brooder sow they had released in the hole I was fishing in 1990. It was a nice place to be. This particular part of the stream had been in his family since before 1900. Out here they continue to sell more and more trout stamps. It is getting so crowded will goof balls I really don't go where it is publically fished anymore. I go to those private places I talked about.

    This particular stream they stock early in the year then quit till fall. So in the middle and end of summer there are not many people fishing if any, thinking there aren't any fish there. Mostly rainbows, shastas and brookies. They leave the browns for other streams that are a little warmer. That year was dry, the creek level was down and oxygen levels were compromised. If something happened is was not going to be good. It was not good.

    My buddy was going by to bale 3 rd crop hay. He stopped to get a beer from me as he knew I always had beer and would bum a cigarette because he had just "quit" again. Ya right.

    We went upstream to where we thought the problem was. That is where it was. This guy had let his lagoon get too full, it had found a soft spot and was leaching runoff into a dry channel and then into the creek. Round bales of hay dumped into the feeder channel, pumped the lagoon down and cleaned up best we could. If of course was too late. This is where the " I did nothing" part comes in. These kinds of things happen everywhere, none that I know are deliberate. They shouldn't happen and most are carelessness. Lagoons overflowing, ruptured manure spreaders, overturned tanks of anhydrous, flooding washing run off into creeks, etc.

    We were not the only ones to know of it. Land owners downstream knew of it too. Nothing was said because of the consequences to this land owner. The State gets brutal, and it is not pretty. We elected to not let Uncle Sam's minions know. If there had been non-locals on that stream that day this guy would no longer be able to feed his family.

    Things are OK now. Nature is a wonderful healer. I caught fish there early this spring and things look nice. Just a couple asides here. (One) That hole I was fishing was the first stocked hole on that part of the creek. Everything else was stocked downstream from there. The amazing part was the numbers of floater trout coming downstream from above. Stocked fish here are 1 1/4 lbs to 1 3/4 lbs. These fish were orangebellied, meaning they had been in this stream at least a year and had gone "wild" and in some cases over 2 1/2 lbs. They don't reproduce in these streams but can live comfortably in them if not caught. Now I know some place else to go fish. Heheh. (Two) Mr Kutter. You are a cop, eh. Man I am going to have to watch what I yap about on here, lest you show up with your badge someday. I wrote a story over in Beck's Storytelling about "Cops I have loved" several months ago. Those two cops from Chicago I mentioned is a very interesting story I will tell sometime. Got to figure out how to tell it without worrying about getting "capped" or opening up a can of worms.

    Thanks for responding guys. John
     
  13. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    Don't worry about me, John, those law enforcement days are long over for me. I'm back in the world where I love being naive to that other, real, world. I now live out the world of my hero, Elwood P. Dawd. I have his card here somewhere.
     
  14. anchorpuller

    anchorpuller New Member

    Messages:
    857
    State:
    North Caro
    As I sit here excitedly rubbing my hands together...


    Oh yea, I wanna hear how John duped the cop! Tell it Tell it Tell it!

    If you do, I might tell the story about sharing beers going down I-85....well maybe not.
     
  15. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    No, his post didn't mention an accident but I felt that it probably was an accident for the spill came from an individual. I agree with John, once the state or feds act, it will be blown out of proportion. An individual wouldn't be able to recover. Probably the reason I feel like I do was because of my last two years before retirement. Besides being responsible for the operation for two petrochemical plants, I was responsible for the companies Utilities, Pollution and Control division for the entire company.
     
  16. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Ole: How did you handle that? My gut would have been crawling the minute I got out of bed in the morning. How can you be responsible for the actions of some guy on the end of a pipe somewhere? You would have been the fall guy wouldn't you? Gotta give you credit. John
     
  17. cubedweller

    cubedweller New Member

    Messages:
    454
    State:
    MO
    I think it was mighty good of you to think calmly and logically that day -- because yes, the damage had been done, and the only other damage that was left would've been to the farmer's family and livelihood.

    I would've definitely given him a friendly and sincere heads up that had there been some out-of-towners that day, his ship would've been sunk and to keep an eye on that lagoon's water level and/or reinforce the retaining portion.

    Those trout sound enchanting. Haven't mixed it up with a wild trout since I was 17, and that was in a mountain stream pool in Leadville, Colorado.
     
  18. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    In this particular part of the state there are places few and far between that have the capabilities to handle stocked trout. Water temperature and water quality mainly. The state gets permission from private landowners to stock and advertise these spots. It is entirely voluntary on the owners part. Which is amazing to begin with, because of the problems inherent with allowing total strangers access to a private treasure.

    Since I have been fishing these spots, many years now, these spots are under increasing pressure from the public. The damage done, the garbage and litter, the use of the streams as a toilet has increased every year. People are also getting meaner and dumber. One way to shut down a pool is to put fish carcases in the water above the pool. I have fished a couple of nice spots I like a number of times and have come up empty. I know how to fish them and I knew there were trout there. I walk above the pool a distance and sure enough some guy had limited out, gone upstream, filleted his fish and then put the carcases in the water. Until a coon or other scavenger pulls those carcases out, that dead trout odor flowing into the pool shuts them down. The "I got mine, you suckers are done." philosophy.

    These particular streams are owned as I have said by a limited number of people. They have all known each other their entire lives. There is an unwritten over the fence agreement that if the state comes after any one of these owners or any other landowner for any reason they will pull the plug on this resource and tell the Govt. to stick it where the light won't shine. Ergo, if you want to fish for trout head for Colorado cause there won't be any more fishin' here. That had a little bit to do with my decision that morning.

    John
     
  19. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    On the other hand, if it weren't for the State, and the Feds, there would have been no sewage lagoon at all. The sewage would have gone straight to the stream, and there would have been no fish to die.

    I'm old enough to remember the bad old days, and they weren't pretty.

    Would this have been any different if the offending culprit was Tyson?
     
  20. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Dave. That is a point well taken. I also have seen the sun come up and go down more than a couple of times. I can remember, as you have commented, when things were pretty ugly environmentally. I didn't like it then nor now. Sometimes I don't really think things have changed a lot, different problems and no easy solution.

    If, when we got to point source and the kill had been deliberate, I would have dialed 911 then and screw the consequences for this guy and anyone else. In this instance, because of my "personal" relationship with these people, I made the call to help clean it up and not say anything. Perhaps if more of this "personal" relationship existed in the world today, things would be solved a little easier and be made better for everyone.

    As far as Tyson, or a wood processing plant or the local municipal waste water facility, yes I would have turned them. I have no "personal" relationship with them and even if an accident, I would hold them responsible. I guess it boils down to what is in my backyard I will cover with my own commonsense.

    Thank you for commenting. John