OUTDOORS with Bill Wehrle: Sixth state-record fish catch of 2021

BILL WEHRLE, LCL Outdoors Sports Columnist

By BILL WEHRLE, LCL Outdoors Sports Columnist

Missouri angler Steven Henson of Bonne Terre became the state’s sixth fish record-breaker of 2021 June 1 with a 3-pounds, 14-ounces river carpsucker he pulled from the Mississippi River using rod and reel.

It is considered a sport fish, but is rarely taken on hook-and-line. The previous record for this species was caught on the South Grand River in 2008.

Eight new Missouri fish records were taken last year and, with six recorded already in 2021, it appears this year might be an even-better record-breaking year for Missouri anglers.

The river carpsucker is the most abundant and widely-distributed carpsucker in Missouri, mainly occurring in the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and their major tributaries in northern and western Missouri. Maybe there’s an even bigger one in the Grand River!

The Fourth of July is tomorrow, but the holiday weekend, of course, wraps over to Monday. Hopefully everyone in Missouri’s outdoors has a great – and safe – time.

The Missouri Department of Conservation took the occasion to caution outdoorspersons to be careful with fireworks, campfires, and other sources of fire that could cause a wildfire. An out-of-control fire can cause large devastation in a very short time.

The MDC’s cautions include not lighting fireworks in any area where sparks could ignite dry grass or leaves (less likely around here at present, given the recent weather) and always have an approved fire extinguisher and a water supply to quickly douse sparks or flames. Also, if away from home, check with local authorities ordinances for bans or restrictions on fireworks and open burning.

Don’t burn outdoors during adverse conditions. Dry grass, high temperatures, low humidity, and wind can make fire nearly impossible to control. Again, check for burn bans before burning. A person who starts a fire for any reason is responsible for any damage it might cause.

Driving off- road, particularly through dry grass or leaves, could allow the hot catalytic converter on your vehicle to start a fire, especially if you happen to stop over some tinder. Always carry a fire extinguisher in any vehicle operated off-road and check for the presence of spark arresters on ATV exhausts.

If you make a campfire, clear a generous zone around fire rings. Store unused firewood a good distance from the campfire and never use gasoline, kerosene or other flammable liquid to start a fire. Keep campfires small and controllable. Keep a rake, shovel, and bucket of water close by. Extinguish campfires each night and before leaving camp, even if just for a few moments.

Enjoy the great outdoors and sitting by the campfire, but don’t destroy it by burning.

Trenton’s spring/summer trap league ended June 19, but they will still have open hours for those of us that want to shoot clay targets to keep our shooting eye tuned up and ready for the fall hunting seasons that will be opening in just a couple of months.

Shooting targets is a lot of fun, there are no limits like there is on game, and there are no birds to clean. Can’t beat a deal like that!

For more information on their summertime open hours, call Dick Thompson at 660-359-1964. Also ask him about signing up to shoot their fall league that starts Aug. 19.

In the meantime, get out and catch some bass, bluegill, crappie, or catfish whenever the weather isn’t too hot to be comfortable.

Have a great holiday!

(Starting today, Bill Wehrle’s “Outdoors” column will appear in the LCL every Monday)