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About Keiththom

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    Duskystripe Shiner
  • Birthday December 10

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    Cedar Hill
  • Interests
    Anything outdoors. Falconer, Herper, fishing, hunting, photography, columnist for American Falconry Magazine.

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  1. Unfortunately, Tonto suffered an early death due to a rattlesnake bite.
  2. A few pics of a Timber I found a couple of days ago. And a moccasin.
  3. I suspect you're right. I detest tournaments. Any time you mix harvesting wildlife with money, it seldom turns out good.
  4. Typically what we see in some species, in some areas, are that reptiles and amphibians will spend time in one area during the summer and "migrate" to more protected areas to hibernate. Where this is especially evident are spots where swampland joins rocky bluffs. The snakes will move down in the swamp during the summer. Then when temps cool, they move back up to holes, cracks and crevices in the rocks for protection during hibernation. Here is a Moccasin and copperhead I shot recently.
  5. I'm searching rocky outcrops. Places where they congregate in the fall for hibernation. Here is a Pigmy I found:
  6. After spending a LOT of time climbing steep rocky hills, getting bit thousands of time from mosquitos, scrapping off buckets of seed ticks and spending a small fortune on gas, I'm starting to see some results. Here are some of them: Here is a baby timber and a very large adult.
  7. Probably worse. At least when you poach a deer, you do it to for meat. When you kill something like a rattlesnake, you do it because you don't believe that species has a right to exist. “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: What good is it?” ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
  8. Still haven't located a timber. I did find this pigmy while searching for them.
  9. I set trotlines Thursday night on the Big River in Cedar HIll. I live next to this river but don't fish it much. The river was dropping which is always bad. I only caught 1 channel cat. I baited up again on Friday and we caught a 2 lb, 3 lb, 4 lb, two 6 lb, 2- 7 lb, 2 - 8 lb, 12lb, 13 lb, and a 17 pounder. 93 lbs of fish. I used live sunfish for bait.
  10. Yeah, doesn't help much. But still pretty neat! The only time I've found them is when I'm not looking.
  11. It's a national issue and one that at the moment is probably unsolvable. If anything, we are moving in the opposite direction in this country with protective agencies under attack. How can you tell a farmer to reduce fertilizers? And as populations grow, and they will, there will be an increase in nutrients / pollutants/ sewage for algae to thrive on, reaching the river systems. All of this will mean more pollution, less diversity, and fewer fish.
  12. From most of the data I've seen, rattlesnakes do not travel far from their den sites. Probably 100 yards or less. Some den sites will be communal, and others not so only one snake will use that site. Reptiles make use of pheromones / scent to find each other. Timbers drop live babies around August - September.
  13. It sounds like, like myself, not many here have seen a rattler in some time. They are more difficult to see in the hot weather of July and August. Easiest to see in the fall. But if anyone runs across a den site this fall, and wouldn't mind divulging the information for an old herper and photographer, I'd appreciate it!
  14. I wish that were true, but like I said, I watched the same progression in the lower big river. The algae bloom here is now permanent. I've also fished / been on the upper meremac, Big piney, and Current river systems in the last few weeks. They have went through the same low water periods but do not suffer from an over abundance of algae. It's true that a flood will do some flushing, but what you see at low water tells you a lot more than what you see after a good flushing. A healthy river system is largely devoid of algae bloom. The bloom that you see on the Gasconade is showing that the river is stressed and getting too many nutrients usually in the form of fertilizers, livestock runoff and / or raw sewage.
  15. It's been years (about 13) since I've gotten up to the Gasconade. It was easily my favorite bass fishing river. I had an opportunity to get out on it a little yesterday for some light fishing and site seeing. What I saw was disheartening. In the years since I've been there, the river has degraded considerably. One of the ways I judge a river's viability is by Seining. You can really see a river's diversity by running seines. (I make a habit of seining river systems a lot.) Although I didn't have a lot of time, I was generally disappointed in our seining results. But what concerned and disappointed me most was the algae bloom prevalent everywhere I went. Just walking in the water, you had to pull off the strands of algae that clung to your legs before getting back in the boat. My nets pulled in a lot more algae than fish. Seining is always difficult and predictably bad when the river is filled with an over-abundance of algae. The algae covers the bottom and smothers out the ability of minnows and other life to reproduce. When minnow numbers plummet, the bigger fish soon follow. And great globs of algae were everywhere here at Bell Chute and up river. I've watched the same progression occur during 50 years running the lower big river. It went from a clean stream teaming with fish to what it is today - algae choked and devoid of diversity. Pull a net through the lower Big river and all you'll catch is algae. I really hate to see the Gasconade follow the same progression. I considered it the best bass fishing stream in the state. The Gasconade is the longest river in Missouri and it meanders through so much farmland. These farms produce a great deal of fertilizer runoff which probably contributes to the majority of over-fertilization of this river. There are still bass to be caught here for sure, but the future looks pretty bleak for this river and fishing. I haven't been on the upper stretches around Falcon for even longer. I suspect the river is in much better shape up that way. So - I have to cross off the Gasconade as my favorite bass stream, at least in this stretch, from here on out even though I did pull in few nice fish.
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