Viticulture

Caught cuddling the carp

by
January 11, 2017

Cyprinus Carpio - the perfect fish for a dog to lie on....but you don't get caught!

The Boss caught the Golden Leave-it-There rolling on a dead carp on Monday and he wasn't happy.

We were on our way back from a swim down on the sandbar we hounds were well ahead, with the whiff of breakfast urging us on, when the Leave-it-There doubled back.

He hasn't got a bad nose, I'll give him that much - he must have caught a touch of perfume on the breeze and shot off down the river bank, then up behind The Boss as he walked along the track.

Now, a half-smart dog would wait until The Boss was out of sight, or he'd sneak back later on, but not the Leave-it-There - he belted into the scrub with a spring in his step and rolled onto the carp, which some dumb fisherman had thrown across the other side of the track - about three quick steps from The Boss. 

We could hear him bellowing from the house. The Leave-it-There copped a stinging whack on the rump from a length of wattle but he had that grin on his face when he turned up for his brekkie, smelling fiercely in a way that only another dog can appreciate. 

We were envious of his find but that faded pretty quickly when the Missus came out with the Woolmix and lined him up with the warm water hose. 

It's only us dogs that truly enjoy the carp. Nobody else likes them much, although The Boss tells me they eat a lot of them in Russia and Eastern Europe, even farm them.

In Australia they've messed up a lot of our rivers because of the way they stir up mud on the bottom and sift out food with their gill-rakers. There is talk of a new herpes virus being used to clean them up - Mr Pyne got all excited about it last May and Barnaby called them the rabbits of our waterways, but nothing has happened since.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-01/herpes-to-eradicate-carp-in-murray-river-pyne-says/7373736

The Boss says they're doing more work to see how a massive carp kill could affect the river, a bit like the blackwater does. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of dead carp would drag oxygen out of the water in the same way and could kill everything else as well.

These things are always complicated, he says. There's people making a living out of harvesting carp for fertiliser - they could have a bumper year but after that, they're out of business!

Even though The Boss doesn't like them, he reckons they're a good contest on a fly rod and popular among anglers in Europe and the USA. Out here they get active on the surface when the gum leaf skeletonizer - Uraba lugens - makes an appearance and can be good sport, he says.

And he doesn't like the way a lot of fishermen just leave them on the river bank to die. He reckons they should kill them and throw them back in the river for the shrimp to eat - the best way to do that is the Japanese method, Ikejime.

That's where you swiftly spike the fish above and behind the eye, hitting the brain and killing it instantly. The fins flare and the fish relaxes - he says all fish eat better, killed that way.

As he's telling me this, he's eyeing me off, as if he thinks it might work just as well on a dog! Woof.

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