May 27, 2012

A Fish Tongue Twister…



(Happy Eleventh Birthday, Dawson!)

Good poetry aside, you might say “fins find fantastic food five times a day.”*

I took on the challenge, as a writer, to improve the poetry, although my genre is not poetry. However, the thought of creating a tongue twister is irresistible.

The initial poetry was excerpted from the article, 50,0000 King Salmon Come to Sodus Bay. The bay is located on Lake Ontario somewhere near Rochester, New York, according to my husband Monte. It was being stocked with fish to entertain sportsmen.

The wind was gusting at 40 mph and there was a brief white-out from some lake effect snow. Not the typical conditions for April 21st, however the 50,000 kings delivered to Sodus Bay appeared to be content as they were transferred from hatchery truck to net pens.

I wonder—how can you tell if a fish is content or not? I’ve visited the spillway at the Linesville State Fish Hatchery in Linesville, Pennsylvania, on Lake Pymatuning. The carp were several layers thick—thick enough that ducks walk on their backs. People stop to ogle them. Many feed them scraps of bread, torn from week-old loaves purchased cheaply at a shed, so they can watch them hungrily battle for their morsels. Somehow it reminds me of the concentration camps of World War II. This doesn’t speak of content to me.

Water temperature is critical to the transfer and Sodus Bay registered 43 degrees, while hatchery truck was 39 degrees…within the 10 degree window preferred by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) biologists.

…Actually, they don’t have a complete set of fins. The rear dorsal has been clipped for future surveys. Biologists will use this information to see how far the salmon roam. But…they will have a steady meal, eating fish pellets five times a day.

Manna became boring to the Israelites. Do fish pellets become boring to the salmon? Maybe they, like the fish in Linesville, jump for morsels of bread to brighten up their diet.

Anyway, I digress. The point is to improve on the tongue twister:

Fish fins find fantastic food five frenzied feedings forever for fulfilling fishermen’s fine fantasies…

On many of our May jaunts to Northern New York (Pulaski) we pass a point where there is a big bend in the road and then a cement bridge. It is salmon time of the year. This LOC issue 2012 lists the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby (May 3-May 12) . This premier spring kick-off classic, offering a $12,500 Grand Prize for the largest trout or salmom caught overall, also sports over $30,000 in cash and prizes overall. More than 60 percent of all the winning fish come from the waters off Niagara.

No wonder Pulaski was crowded and celebratory the time we passed through during this fishing derby. At other times there is invariably a fisherman or two on the bridge.

My thoughts return to my home community in Southwestern Pennsylvania where I read about Loyalhanna Creek being stocked with trout, and where I see enthusiastic fishermen on bridges and in the creek the first day of fishing season in early April.

Fish fins find fantastic food five frenzied feedings forever for fulfilling fishermen’s fine fantasies…

I invite you to improve on this tongue twister—I’m certain some of you poets can do this task better than I—and place your tongue twister in the comment box below.



The “Meow” Chorus: A cat symphony on a Greyhound Bus






*50,000 King Salmon Come to Sodus Bay, Empire State Lake Ontario Promotions, LOC Derby News, Vol. 9 No. 1, Spring 2012, pp 6

585 545 4247


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