"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Water Worries
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres
Well, the rains and snow came pretty much on schedule for winter, even if the season will not arrive officially until just past midnight on December 21. So our water problems were terminated . . . right?
Wrong! Dead wrong! Our water problems are just worsening!
As my columns--first “Lines and Shots for 45 years, then “All Outdoors,” since 1999--have noted from time (almost immemorial) we are not treating water worth a hoot, the fluid of everything that “liveth and creepeth” upon the earth.
As those columns have pointed out from time to time, I am not worried about pollution of water so much as I an concerned with simply having water in good quantities. We can stop pollution, we’re doing that to some extent, but the first thing you know, we’ll be depending on water from the stems of plants for the next drink. 
This is not a “flash-in-the-pan" type thing. I can recall a big water conference on conserving streams and rivers as far back as the 1950s (can’t remember the date) staged by the Izaak Walton League of Indiana, at (then) Indiana Central College, with many bigwigs in the conservation movement participating and many others attending.
I can’t remember who spoke, but I do recall that Bill Barnes, a stalwart of the (then) Division of Fish and Game was a speaker, as was I (on water levels of streams and rivers).
My pitch, at a time when water table troubles already loomed on horizons of streams and rivers, regardless of the fact that the Department of Natural Resources were telling us there were no problems, was that the level of these waters were already low. As proof, I cited the fact that 20 years before, streams flowed free and I (in my fishing jaunts) often sat with my back against trees at water’s edge and dangled my feet over the roots of the trees into the water. But even then, I pointed out, the water was 10 feet below. It’s even worse now. Some streams are nearly dry beds in summer, or potholes at best.
The gist of the whole schmear is that it is late . . . probably more than half a century late . . . but that we had best do something to keep the water here longer when it falls instead of shunting it off to the Mississippi River and the ocean. We can go--we had better go--from there.

APPRENTICE LICENSE--There’s a move underway to legislatively create an apprentice hunting license (maybe fishing, too) to help get more people in the field to give hunting a try.
The concept came up at the meetings of the Summer Study Committee (on legislative matters). It now appears that Rep. Robert “Bob” Bischoff, Lawrenceburg area, chairman of the panel, has said he will introduce a bill on the matter in this year’s session, which reconvenes in January.
For several years Indiana’s efforts have been to bring dwindling youth into the hunting program with such a license in order to get them to give the activity a try and strengthen hunting. Our efforts are aimed at those who have passed a hunter education course. If passed, the new setup would apply to all persons born after December 31, 1986, the hunter ed course not being necessary.
More on that as it develops.

ROLLED DUMPLINGS--A recent column that briefly mentioned squirrel dumplings has spurred interest in my recipe (actually, it is my grandmother’s recipe, improved, if that’s possible). It will be found (with picture) on this website, (http://bayoubill.com) under the heading of “Bayou Bill’s Rolled Dumplings.” Look in “Wild Recipes.”
The recipe is adaptable for fruit, bean, or meat dumplings. 

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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