Cryptid Profile: The Herrington Lake Eel-Pig

Back in 1925, Kentucky Utilities set out to build a damn by flooding the Dix River, a tributary of the Kentucky River. The resulting dam would be known as Dix Dam and the soon to be created lake would forever be known as Lake Herrington. At the time, the dam was regarded as an major engineering accomplishment as it was the largest earth filled dam at the time. Upon completion of the dam, Lake Herrington filled up and took on a maximum depth of 249ft (making it the deepest lake in Kentucky) and covered 2,335 acres (nearly 4 miles).

Like every large man made Lake in North America, Lake Herrington is known as an excellent spot for fishing. The lake contains a high number of different species of fish including catfish, hybrid striped bass, crappie, and bluegill. But there is said to be one aquatic creature in the lake many fishermen hope to never encounter face to face, a creature known as the Eel-Pig.

Almost immediately after the creation of the lake, people from the surrounding area claimed to see the Eel-Pig swimming within. The creature is most often described as being roughly 15ft long with a body like that of an eel and a skin tone/pattern reminiscent of a speckled fish. It is said to be as fast as a boat at times, and also possess a stubby pig-like snout and a somewhat curly tail which are both seen poking out above the water when the creature is in the area.  

While many people have claimed to see the Eel-Pig since the 1920’s, the creatures existence wasn’t thought of as possible until a sighting was made in 1972 by a University of Kentucky professor. Lawrence S. Thompson, who owned a lake home on Herrington, stated that he had seen the Eel-Pig swimming around the area on multiple occasions and that after his many sightings, the species of the creature remained unknown. Upon hearing the news that a university professor had witnessed a monster in the lake, the newspaper The Louisville Courier made quick work of setting up an interview. Asking the professor if he truly believed that what he had seen was a real monster, Thompson responded by saying, “it’s only a monster in the sense that one would call an alligator a monster if they had never seen one before.

While sightings of the Eel-Pig are said to continue, there have been no sightings as prominent as Professor Thompson’s in 1972. This means that for over 92yrs, nobody has figured out what the monster is or was. There are however many theories as to what the Eel-Pig could be. These range from the always outrageous to the possibly believable. Some people claim that during the flooding of the Dix River, Kentucky Utilities inadvertently opened up passage to a series of underground limestone caves in which this species of Eel-Pig already existed. Others think that the monster is actually a prehistoric relic that originally lived in the Mississippi River but made its way down the Kentucky River while following a food source. The monster then became trapped in Lake Herrington after Dix Dam was built. Both interesting and entertaining theories, but realistically improbable.

Other more grounded theories include possibly misidentified alligator gar or other fish species, a real pig that was seen swimming in the lake and misidentified as a monster, a simple prank that took on a life of its own, or an out of place alligator. While it is easy to laugh off at first, it should be noted that out of place alligators often turn up in unlikely places across multiple states. It is really not that hard to believe that an alligator made its way up the Mississippi River and eventually down the Kentucky River into Lake Herrington. Ample food sources with no natural competition in an area can lead animals down many strange paths that they might not originally go.  

While the Eel-Pig may seem like nothing but a local legend or funny story to some, others feel it is a legit living creature that has just not been identified yet. Like most other lake and river monsters, this one also draws a line between believers and non-believers. Whatever it is though, it doesn’t seem to be bothering anybody and simply enjoys living its life unbothered in the cold dark water of Lake Herrington.

-The Pine Barrens Institute 

Over a month ago I asked for some folks to send me some sort of fanfic drabble prompt, and I did one of them from by pal Healthbloge, and now here’s the other. It took waaaay longer even though much less happens in this “story” but hey, I had a life-changing exam to deal with at the time. Whatevs.

@supernovakirby, here’s your vaguely KakaSaku piece! The one I told you is mostly about Sakura going fishing, but then I extended it because I could, and here we are. KakaSaku and a slight undercurrent of a fear of the deep sea and stuff like that. 

Writing something almost canon-like is dark territory…


They sent her to the Land of Waves, to a far-off and wet corner where there was no economy and the longest and most curious finger of the reigning government could barely even sense that a human civilization patch existed in that thick fog. She was here to go fishing.

And fish she did. Sakura was equipped with an old, forcibly-aged piece of crap fishing rod and forcibly-aged piece-of-crap clothes. She had scraped up a handful of outfit with input from Ino. Her last conversation before leaving home in February had been a back-and-forth dialogue about clothes and ugly shoes, mostly Ino’s ugly shoes. They laughed and laughed before Sakura left, with a bag of ugly clothes. The most pleasant goodbye she’d had in years. Thinking about it made her feel warm.

February was eight months gone, and Sakura was somewhere near a fishing village with no name. She was alone and lived in a shack the size of three small closets that she built herself by the nameless lake. She built it after she passed through the voiceless town and made peace with its thirty-one illiterate locals. Though they had spears pointed at her at first and made many a threat about seductive witches and her strange “blood”-colored hair, their suspicions could not hold after she cleared cataracts from the elderly and burned the symptoms of pneumonia off of their sick children.

Now, they let her be, and now Sayuri the strange southern medicine woman got occasional visits by appointment. The visits this whole month had been few, and thank goodness for it. Eight months was the timetable she had been given before leaving home. Was it nearly time? How close was the estimate? Sakura thought about it all the time, and stayed out most of the day fishing, as usual.

She watched the lake, and listened to the creatures around it. It was the method of the mission, anyhow. “Sayuri” would “meditate” by sitting and fishing, but underneath this façade, Sakura Haruno waited and watched. In accordance with the objective, most of her days were made up of sitting against a large rock, a nearly concave rock, clearly a seat of many fishers before her, and listening to the water while holding a fishing pole in her hands.

She heard small animals moving and breathed softly, listening for the soft, soft footsteps of a human who intended to be hidden. She listened, for months, but never heard any such thing. The villagers’ tromping down her road was easily distinguishable, and they had yet to be an enemy in disguise. But she’d be a fool not to prepare for it daily.

For that reason, she only rarely allowed her mind to wander. In between her long stares over the water and many soft breaths into the mist, in between mental judgments of fish-sound or rabbit-sound or owl-sound, she did, occasionally, drift. And among the hours and hours of quiet and water lapping and nothing changing at all, she would think about something else 

Sometimes she recalled passages from books, or conversations with her friends, or tried to recite songs backwards. She was alone, sometimes bored, currently jittery. It was near.

The pole hadn’t shook or vibrated for near two hours. And tomorrow was a Monday. Her mind was the only calendar; she’d judged any written records to be a bad idea. On this Sunday evening, she fished the lake, for hours, as usual. Watching the water, and feeling its vibrations. She thought about learning to paint, and perhaps painting fish whenever she got home. She didn’t even really like fish. At all. So maybe the long reeds instead. No matter what subject she thought of painting, nothing felt suitable. Or comfortable, all of a sudden.

Around this lake that felt as though it had become hers, reeds grew without direction, silver crickets made pleasant noise in defiance of any season, and some pale and sleepy pink blossoms constantly drew her eye and made her think of Ino. The lake’s wide expanse wasn’t entirely visible thanks to the mist and this quality alternately made Sakura feel protected and not. Today, she felt…tense.

It was something like six in the evening, she deduced. And so warm, for November. The crickets were a bit louder than usual. At one point a fish actually slipped its head above the surface to bat its lips at a fly on the surface and Sakura started so hard her fist put a hole in the rock ground next to her. her. All the cricket noises stopped. Sakura growled and pretended she wasn’t embarrassed.

The crickets started up their careless noise again, but her shoulders remained taut. She inched her legs out from where they were curled up against rump until they eventually stretched down along the rocky ground and onto the lower bank where some dirt was scattered. Another foot or two further, the lakewater lapped forward and back and again. A breeze pushed it a bit further up. She shivered.

Eight months, it had been. Doing this. Day after day. Was Ino’s hair longer, or cut shorter by now? Sai could have sold a hundred paintings, or moved to his new place at last. She thought about Naruto, too, maybe he would have laughed when she punched at the ground just now. She stopped short when the fishing pole bobbed.

Her hands squeezed the pole. A bite! Finally, something! It was pulling down, almost straight down.  She reeled in the line, quietly, just in case. The fish pulled back, again, further, and Sakura yanked the pole back.

Once it came up over the surface and splashed sideways back into the water like a helpless drunk. An idiot’s smile had fully bloomed on her face, and she almost laughed.

Quite suddenly, the fight stopped. The line went slack and whisked back towards her. Sakura could nearly see the shadow of the fish floating near the surface, like a slack and weak fishing line itself.

Sakura instantly stood up and observed the rest of the lake, or what she could see of it smothered in mist. Multiple shadows had appeared on the lake surface, a dozen, twenty, more. They came side-up or belly-up, instantly dead. Their mouths hung open in something like shock, or displeasure.

Sakura threw her worthless fishing pole onto the ground, and began walking up the shore. Around the shore. Around the whole lake, if she had to.

Eight months? Almost exactly eight months. This had to be it. Oh, god, truly, it was time.

Surely it was, for if it wasn’t, there was another unseen force killing the marine life, and something unexpected had come to this place without her notice.

‘Are you here? Please!’ she thought, or perhaps said aloud. The shoes Ino had helped her work into a state of purposeful, convincing wornness were soaking up lake water. Again and again she spotted dead fish or dead frogs on the surface, but nothing more. No change, no people, no attackers? What was this? What else would there be?

Her hands didn’t shake, but her heartbeat was so strong she felt it in her throat. Dead, dead, oneo of them missing an eye and blood dribbling out of the mouth. So many. She spotted a blue-striped reed bass that had given her the slip three weeks before. Ha, the damned thing died and good riddance. The thought wasn’t welcome.

Just as it slipped out of her peripheral vision, she saw, and stopped. Her body was shaking, hands and shoulders and feet and everywhere else. It was true. It had worked.

Some thirty feet out into the lake was the shape of a man, wading forward. His torso was slathered with underwater weeds the color of a corpse’s skin. His clothes were unrecognizable, and dark. Underneath the sounds of the water being pushed, she heard his breaths. The only sounds left in this place, she thought. His face was unmasked and gasping.

Sakura went immediately forward and smiled. “Kakashi!” she said. She waded forward, but only a few steps. He was walking forward at an even pace. Unchanging. “It’s Sakura. I’m here to retrieve you. Do you understand? Are you all right?”

One of the reeds clinging to his shirt slipped away. It was small, but weighted with water and it plopped as it sank into the water. It was small, but it bothered her that he did not react at all. In small steps he came towards her. She stopped moving. The water was up to her knees.

“Speak to me. Prove to me that you’re Kakashi Hatake.” she told him, louder than before. “Do you understand?”

One arm, and the opposite arm and shoulder suffered some sort of strong twitch. They tried to rise up or reach, but couldn’t. The head lifted slightly. It was no walking gait for a human, unless something was gravely wrong. But she wasn’t swayed either way. Sakura remained in her spot, and repeated herself. She also added, “What did you say to Tsunade when you left, Kakashi? Tell me now.”

Another step forward and another, smaller piece of underwater plant slid off his shirt and reached for the water. And this time, the head raised up again and stayed up.

He spoke, thank God. “Prommissse ttooo…” Sakura reached forward slightly. Her eyes had widened at his guttural, weak voice.

Kakashi’s legs began to shake, and his steps were suddenly small and fast. Desperate. He could reach her in second. She prompted him again with, “Tell me your promise or you’ll never leave this lake.”

“Wrrrite newsscrolll!” he gasped. Sakura closed the final few steps of the gap and held him up before he could fall face-first into the shallow water. His body was soaked through and it immediately spread onto her own clothes. She could hardly care about that, or that he smelled like a fish barrel. His muscles were twitching and even his chin bobbed slightly against the back of her shoulder. 

With one arm over his shoulder and the other around his hip, she walked backward, carrying him out. His feet and legs dragged on the lake bottom. He put forward no effort to helping himself through this last stretch, and did not object when Sakura turned him and lowered his body till he sat down. There was no convenient rock here for him to lean against, so she lowered him again till he lay in the dirt. And within seconds that was soaked, too. All throughout, he breathed heavily through a gaping mouth.

Sakura felt at his neck for a pulse. She expected and received a count easily in the 180s, like the man had been sprinting with wolves at his heels before he came up through the water. She tore away the remaining reeds, and moss bits, and pieces of broken shells—and teeth? Small, needle-like fish teeth—till only his odd clothes remained. A plain, perfect black tunic that she imagined slaves wore to work in fields long before the founders who built Konoha had lived. Pants of the same make, but the ends were shredded in ribbons so thin and fine it seemed even the motion of his walking could have shaken them off. Sakura lifted some of them with two fingers, and saw Kakashi’s bare ankles.

It wasn’t present on his feet, but from the ankles upward, her old sensei’s leg was smothered in thousands of red punctures, each one miniscule as a fish’s single tooth. Dozens. Hundreds. Were they fish teeth? Fish bites? Even Tsunade’s long-ago examples hadn’t been so small. She wasn’t familiar with what creature had done this.

She grazed one finger across his calf. Fifteen or twenty bites fit under her index finger alone. At the drag of her finger, Kakashi’s leg spasmed weakly and his toes attempted to curl in.

“Do they hurt, sensei? Itch? Burn? Tell me what happened.” Sensei, like old times. An accident, but she only cared about it a little. She looked up from his spotted calf. “Can you even speak?” She went up and over his legs and pelvis and hovered over his face. Oh, she hadn’t seen this face in a year. His mismatched eyes found her with a great effort.

“Blink twice if you can’t speak. If your voice is strained.”

“I’ffnn.” Perhaps he tried to nod, or perhaps his head and shoulders had twitched.

“What does that mean? ‘I’m fine?’ You’re not. Stay still, I’ll soothe your throat.” Her right hand hovered over his throat. The neckline of the tunic was soaked and old and ruined enough that it sank down and left parts of his pectoral muscles exposed to air. They weren’t solid and lovely muscles anymore, not wholly anyway. He’d lost weight and muscle mass everywhere. His collarbone, shoulder, even his nipples had been bitten through. Some had bled, she could see, and scabbed and been torn open or had the bloodflow run off by water.

While she observed, she gathered a smoother, warmer bundle of chakra between the spaces of her fingers, and moved small, soft threads into his throat. There were fewer bites there, but his throat was indeed swollen. He would need to cough up some bits of moss, too.

He was trying to nod again, it looked like. The fool. Maybe he was hallucinating as well. That would put these bites into another class of wound entirely. She pressed down on his left shoulder right her right hand and said, “Stop moving,” offhandedly.

But he tried again, stronger. This time she looked and frowned at him. “What is it? What are you doing?”

She saw the attempt immediately after. It seemed pathetic. He jerked his shoulder only to try to jerk the arm up in turn, to reach up at her. Sakura saw what he was wanting, and helped him put his arm around the back of her neck. And—with no discernible wounds on his torso, in the stomach—she reached her own under his left shoulder and pulled him up until he was in a sitting position, embracing her. He felt warmer than he had moments before. 

His right arm came up of its own strength and slapped down across her back as well. His face pressed into her shoulder and the touch of his face and mouth felt so strange after such a long time, but worst of all was that he shook. Oh, he shook and shook and held so tight that she was scared.

“Actually…hhherre. You’re here?” he was trying to say.

“I am.” He sighed into her shoulder. His hands were weakening already. They kept a soft grip on the fabric of her shirt. It had been months. “I’ve been here since February, waiting for you to show up.”

“I missed you. Missed you.” He leaned forward into her, pressing his face to her shoulder, her neck. His hands made one final stand at grasping the fabric of her shirt, and fell simultaneously. Sakura shivered for a moment. His own tremors had stopped.

“I worried that you were dead, wherever you were. She didn’t tell me where you went.”

“Sakura, what’sss…th’month?” She told him it was November, though the weather might not make it seem so. “Oh. Oh, it’s…been longer th’n I thought.”

Sakura fought down a second bout of shivering when she realized that his clothes were still dripping, still soaking her own. She gently pushed his head up and out of the crook of her neck, and laid his whole body down again, slightly aside from the puddle that marked where he’d just laid. “Where were you? It wasn’t in my own mission objectives to know where Tsunade-sama sent you. But that’s over with now. Please tell me. If you want to. How did you get to, to the bottom of this lake?”

“One of the…the…a fish, that I followed. It knew this way. I followed.”

His weak body and hazy eyes left her guessing as to whether his mind was still clouded by fatigue or wounds. And he wasn’t giving anything else. Sakura considered stripping the tunic off of him entirely. Somehow it was still waterlogged.

“What does that mean? You were swimming in this lake, with the fish? For a year? It’s barely a mile across.”

“I don’t know. It w’s underwater. Caves. The fish from in there wouldn’t fit in this lake. An’ I couldn’t find him. So I’m, mmm—” Her old sensei’s eyes began to roll back in his head. Sakura grabbed for his head immediately, but they were already coming back down. The eyelids followed. “Sakura. Less’go. Please.”

The mission was nearly over with. The only piece left now was a long walk home. She touched his throat again and cooled its swelling with her own chakra, and did the same over his left shoulder and pectorals. That alone would take her close to an hour to do thoroughly. The bed in her “shed” might not fit him. The fisherfolk might think she summoned a spirit to live with her.

Kakashi’s own chakra was just as depleted as his physical state suggested, and he even fell asleep before five minutes had passed. Sakura smoothed over every spray of bites that she could find. She removed the strange tunic in the end and threw it into the lake, where it promptly sank. The dead fish remained on the surface, but a few birds did come by to peck at them.

“I can’t wait to go home,” she told him, as though he could hear. For now, she finally heard the sound of her own chakra swirling in a patient. She heard the familiar water lapping and thought of a thousand things to do once she finally returned home.


Meh, I’m satisfied with the “story” just fine. I’m also super-satisfied that I got some practice with remembering what my own writing “style” looks like. It’s hard coming back to writing things after a long period of nothing and seeing that all the words you put forth look like bland cardboard. 

The main idea I attempted to put forth here was that Kakashi was on a mission to pursue either a large, powerful fish who could hopefully be contracted into being a summoning animal. Unfortunately, he found that this fish lives in a strange, supernatural waterworld where fish the size of whales roam around, and the fish in question, Kakashi found, was already eaten by another fish twice that size, and really, humans should just stay the hell away from this place. The one door to teleport him out of there wouldn’t open up for months either way. So he floated in there like a li’l fish, stealthily hiding from big fish till he could swim home.  Oh yes, and Sakura was meant to assist/carry him on his journey home, so she was dispatched to nonchalantly wait by the “exit” and see him home safely. And Kakashi is extremely happy to see a familiar face and get the fuck out of Dodge at last. 

Now, Kirby just asked for a KakaSaku story, and for the longest time this thing sat with just that long description of Sakura going fishing every day. This story’s about 3,000 words and I wrote 2,300 of them in one sitting of about 3 hours. Aughh, feels good. What a great Friday. 

Fish Architecture: Body Shape

Picture a fish in your mind. 

Did it look like this?

or this?

what about this guy?

All of these species highlight the incredible diversity in fish body shape and form. In this post we’ll talk about the 7 most common kinds of fish body shape.


Most fishes are fusiform in body shape. Characteristics of a fusiform body include being very streamlined and torpedo-shaped. Most fusiform fish often live in open water, and often have tail fins that are deeply forked to enable fast swimming. Some examples of fusiform fish include: tuna, most sharks, striped bass, mackerel (picture 1), and swordfish. 


Compressiform fish are compressed laterally (from side to side), and include many species of reef fish, moon fish, and flounder. They are able to to swim very quickly in short bursts, and are often found living in and around flora, coral reefs, and other narrow places.

French Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru)


These fish are compressed dorsoventrally (from top to bottom) and live mostly near the bottom of their environment. They are often predators or scavengers feeding mainly on benthic organisms. To propel themselves, they move their fins in an up and down motion; similar to a bird flapping its wings. Examples of depressiform fish include skates, rays, toadfish, goosefish, and angel sharks.

Spotted Eagle Ray (Aetobatus narinari)


From the latin word for eel, anguilliform fish, appropriately are called the eel-like fishes. They have elongated bodies, blunt or wedge shaped heads, and tapering or rounded tails. They will often have long dorsal and anal fins, and sometimes are completely lacking paired fins. Their slender shape allows them to resist current forces as they move through the water. Anguilliform fishes include eels, hagfishes, loaches, and lamprey.

American Eel (Anguilla rostrata)


Similar to anguilliform, filiform fishes are also elongated. However filiform fishes are also very, very thin and sometimes thread-shaped. Snipe eels (picture 2) and pipe fish are some examples of filiform fishes.


Taeniform fish are ribbon shaped and laterally compressed. this shape is useful for hiding in crevasses, but doesn’t make them particularly fast swimmers. Some taeniform fish include oarfish, gunnels, and cutlassfish.

Giant Oarfish (Regalecus glesne)


These fish are arrow shaped and look somewhat similar to fusiform fishes. Often, sagittform fishes are lie and wait predators, only able to swim quickly in very short bursts. These fishes include gar, pickerel, pike, and barracuda.

Great Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda)


Much like their name implies, globiform fishes are very round. They are slow swimmers, and some species have modified their fins to use for walking across the bottom of their environment. Because of their slow speed, many globiform fishes employ defense strategies such as poison, sharp barbs, or sophisticated camouflage in order to prevent themselves from becoming lunch. Globiform fishes include frogfish (picture 2), lumpfish, and pufferfish.

Ur emo zodiac shit

Aries: The stripes on Mikey Ways bass
Taurus: Patrick Stump’s sideburns
Gemini: Josh Dun’s ski mask
Cancer: Revenge era Frank’s hair
Leo: Naked Brendon Urie
Virgo: Mikey talking about a waycest fic
Libra: Pete Wentz’s eyeliner
Scorpio: Hayley Williams’ mini bangs
Sagittarius: Pete Wentz poll dancing
Capricorn: Mikey Way trying to talk during an interview
Aquarius: Ray Toro’s hair from the bullets era
Pisces: “I just got so emo I fell apart.”-gerard way

At age 18 a curious Yvon Chouinard learned the art of fly fishing. This eventually led him to the centuries-old Japanese technique tenkara—or “simple” fly fishing. He’s passed this knowledge on to experienced and novice anglers ever since, and recently penned Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel, with co-authors Mauro Mazzo and Craig Mathews. But Chouinard’s passion for nature and fish also translates to direct action. A self-proclaimed dam-buster, Chouinard co-produced the film DamNation, to explore how our river ecosystems are endangered as a result of man-made dams, and how we can all be part of the solution.

You just got back from the premiere of DamNation at SXSW?
Yeah, we had 400 people show up, that’s pretty good.

Why was it important to make this film?
I was taught that if you make a mess, you’re responsible for cleaning it up. Somehow corporations and governments are immune to that kind of thing. They pollute a river and they walk away. They build dams and when they’re no longer useful it’s left to the taxpayers to clean it up. That’s wrong. So I wanted to establish a precedent, starting with dams, that if you build something massive like that—divert a river, or whatever you’re doing, you need to put money into a trust so that when it is obsolete, you have to restore it to its original pristine condition. If that should ever become law they’d never do these massive things again.

The other reason for making this film is that I’ve been a dam-buster all my life. Patagonia’s been involved for a long time in trying to take out dams. Our first victory was Edwards Dam on the Kennebec in Maine. It was preventing hundreds of miles of salmon tributaries from going up there. But it was a local issue. We decided to make it a national issue by coming out with full-page ads in the New York Times.

A lot of interest was given to the thing and it came out. It’s gone, and salmon are now roaring up there, as well as shad and striped bass. It’s amazing there. We were involved with the Elwha Dam even though it was absolutely hopeless at that time. Now it’s gone and the fish are back! So we’ve had some of what I call “concrete” victories.

Most of us in the US grow up going to see these dams, not really understanding how bad they actually are. So what was really nice about the film was that it shined a light on the destructive nature of dams.
[The film] makes a good case for taking out obsolete dams and harmful dams. We need to make a stronger case for not building any more dams and talk about the unintended consequences of existing dams: things like preventing sand from reaching the coastlines, which is very important, especially with the rising seas in the future. We’re losing the beaches. And then we’re losing nutrients. The Colorado doesn’t reach the Gulf of California anymore; two-thirds of the Gulf is a dead zone. All the big fish are gone, because there are no nutrients. And the Aswan Dam of the Nile has killed the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean is a dead sea.

Within a decade or two, there won’t be a single river in China reaching the sea. The whole South China Sea will be another dead zone. We’re killing the oceans with these dams, because the nutrient cycles are being stopped. Then you’ve got evaporation. In the film we talk about how 8% of the total water behind Glen Canyon Dam is lost to evaporation every year. That’s a lot of water.

We’re having a big drought here in California and people are talking about building dams again. That’s not the solution. The solution is to replenish our aquifers. The Ogallala Aquifer is under the whole Midwest and responsible for all that agriculture. It used to be, on average, 30 feet under the ground. Now it’s 300 feet. In another decade it’ll be gone. And it’s fossil water. It’s millions of years old. So it’s not being replenished. Instead of building dams, why not replenish our aquifers, which is completely possible to do.

The film makes the case for protecting these areas and rivers so we can actually enjoy them. You just made the book Simple Fly Fishing, which talks about fishing on rivers that are healthy and the beautiful art of simple fly fishing, or tenkara. What’s so special about tenkara?
The book is a metaphor for society. The overlying problem is growth, which is what no one wants to address. Whatever gains we make as a society in cleaning up our act and becoming more so-called environmental are completely erased by growth. Whether it’s population growth, the growth of companies, or the growth of consumerism. We’re not getting anywhere. In fact, we’re losing, every single day. The only solution is to go back to a simpler life.

You perfect a sport when you can do all of these things with less stuff. The most impressive ascent of Everest was by the Swedish guy who bicycled from Stockholm to Kathmandu and then soloed Everest and bicycled back to Stockholm. That is cool, as opposed to this huge multinational guided thing with computers and internet cafes at the base of Everest. I’m really stoked to see some of the routes I did on Capitan that took us nine or ten days being soloed by guys in their gym shorts. That’s the way sports should go.

Unfortunately, fly fishing has gone the opposite way. The industry has made people so insecure that they feel like unless they have a $1,000 rod, $500 reel, and multiple ones, they won’t catch a fish. They have reels with drags on them that can stop a truck. So it’s an industry based on enticing people to consume more and more. Which is the problem with our society. We need to get back to a simpler life where we consume less. We buy used clothes, we patch our clothes, we make things last. We buy less, but buy better quality that’ll last a long time and hand it down to our kids. That’s what tenkara’s all about. The technique goes back to 210 ad, when it was first written about. That’s the way I and a lot of people in my generation learned to fish. We bought a bamboo pole, or cut one, and put a line on the end with a worm and we caught fish. Tenkara is a pole with a line on the end and an artificial fly. I started doing this as a novelty. Then I realized the combination of the flexible pole and being able to control the action of the fly—which you can’t do with a stiff fly rod—I can make that fly dance in front of a trout’s nose and he can’t resist it. I’ll go out with some of the best fly fishers in the world, and at the end of the day, they’ll maybe have caught 10 fish, I’ll have about 50.

In Simple Fly Fishing you ask fly fisher Lefty Kreh to describe in two sentences how to cast a line. Can you describe in a couple sentences how to use the tenkara system to catch a fish?
I could teach somebody to cast in three minutes. It’s that simple. If you want to turn someone into an angler, they have to catch fish. They can’t go three days without catching a fish (laughs). As soon as they catch
that fish, they’re hooked. I was just down in Argentina and I had a waitress in a lodge and I promised to teach her fishing. I gave her a three-minute lesson casting a tenkara rod. I told her what to do, and she went out, she landed two rainbow trout! Two twenty-inch rainbow trout all on her own. So it’s a metaphor for society in that if we have to go to a simpler life, it won’t be an impoverished life, it’s going to be a great life.

A lot of people learn a sport without ever learning the basics. A lot of climbers learn to climb in a climbing gym. Then they go out on a real crag and they don’t know how to place protection or anything. They never learned any of that stuff. Fishing’s the same thing. People start out and immediately take a casting class or they go out with a guide. Unless the guide is a real teacher, your mind just shuts off. It’s like being driven by a chauffeur to a place in the city 10 days in a row. Unless you actually drive there on your own, you’ll never be able to do it because your mind shuts off while that guy’s driving you there.

Tenkara teaches you the absolute basics. The most important thing is that it gives action to the fly, instead of this dead object that’s floating on the surface with no drag. The thing is dancing around like a real fly does. If you get it in front of a trout’s nose, it’s a killer.

Fishing is such a male-dominated sport, women may be intimidated to pick it up. You look through fishing magazines and there are women fishing in their bikinis. To fish, you either have to put on a bikini, or deal with the burly tattooed guy.
It’s not only male-dominated, but if you look at magazines and stuff, all the guides, they all have these great big bushy beards, they have tattoos, and they’re talking about ripped lips, and it’s become this testosterone-laden sport, where it used to be the gentle, contemplative sport. It’s you against the fish now. And it’s crazy! Women look at that and say, “Gee, that’s not me.” But 38% of our business right now is women’s fly fishing stuff, because no one else is paying any attention to [what they want].

Your wife doesn’t fish. Has she tried the tenkara?
No, she doesn’t want to poke holes in a fish’s mouth. But you know, catch and release causes very little damage to the fish. There’s the rare occasion where you could kill or hurt a fish. But I’ve caught the same fish in two different casts. I’ve caught a steelhead, released it, cast again and caught him again.

The fish was probably so annoyed.
You’re tormenting fish, no doubt about it, but it’s pretty harmless for the good that it does, which is to create anglers who really care about the environment and clean rivers and stuff like that. If you don’t have any relationship with a river, then you don’t care whether it’s polluted or not. It does a lot of good in that respect. If you really didn’t want to hook a fish, but you like the idea of outsmarting one, you just put a fly on that doesn’t have a point or barb. The fish will tug on it and that’s it. You get the same enjoyment.

Can you talk about the idea of “reading the river” and how it’s important to fishing and being able to catch something?
Like I said, I could give people a three-minute lesson and then they can really start catching fish—if I tell them where the fish are. It’s like robbing a bank: that’s where the money is, but there better be money there! It’s the hardest thing for people to learn, and that’s something they have to learn on their own, studying and even going out with guides who point out where the fish are. But that’s the enjoyable part—learning.

You’re known to go off on your own when you’re fishing. Is that a good time for contemplation?
It takes an incredible amount of concentration to be a good fisher. You have to really study the water flow and think like a fish: “Where’s the fish going to be in this kind of water? What insects are likely to come out at 2 o'clock this afternoon?” It’s very intense.

People say, “I don’t fish because I don’t have the patience.” That’s a different kind of fishing. That’s throwing a worm or some bait and sitting there waiting for something to bite it. Fly fishing’s not like that. It’s a completely proactive thing. Each person is in his own world. You may as well just go and do it yourself. Plus you want to get to the good places before your buddies.

Do you consider fly fishing a sport?
I don’t think it’s a sport. A sport belongs in the sport pages of a newspaper. Climbing doesn’t belong there, and fly fishing doesn’t belong there. It’s a passion. With the tenkara, if you catch a big fish, you have to replace that reel with physical action. You have to run after the fish, you’ve gotta do all kinds of stuff to get that fish in. But that’s the fun of it.

Does Patagonia have a particular fishing ethos that’s different from other companies?
I think we’re more concerned about protect- ing resources than a lot of companies. There are 30,000+ manufacturers of fishing gear in America. Of those, only 13 belong to the global organization 1% for the Planet. You’d think a company that’s dependent on having clean rivers and healthy fish populations would feel more responsibility to do some- thing about protecting them than your average taxpayer, but no. It’s really a crime.

Then, I’m interested in getting people into fly fishing because they’ll be advocates for protecting their resources. Right now, it’s a dying sport. Kids are sitting at home, playing their Game Boys and they’re not out. Especially urban kids, who have a long ways to go before they can catch fish. I’m particularly interested in getting women and their daughters into fly fishing. There’s tremendous interest from women, if it’s done right.

You started fishing with your brother back in Maine. Were you fly fishing?
No, I didn’t get into fly fishing until I was 18 years old when I was in the Tetons. One of the mountain guides, Glenn Exum, who owned the Exum Guide Service, was teaching his son how to fly cast. I was watching him out in the meadow and he looked over at me and said, “Hey. Come on over here, son.” He taught me how to cast, and that was it. I put away my spinning lures and became a fly fisherman.

The last time we talked you said you had to survive off cat food one summer because you were so poor—
—that was the summer!

So once you learned to fish, you didn’t have to eat cat food anymore?
(laughs) I only did that for one summer. I mean, I ate porcupine and ground squirrels. The butcher shop in Jackson would save bones for me. I scavenged a lot of different things. And yeah, I ate fish.

From top: Yvon Chouinard, 2013. Photo: Jeremy Koreski; Yvon Chouinard on the Henry’s Fork River in Idaho fishing for Rainbows, 2013. Photo: Jeremy Koreski; Salmo Salar, no reel no problem, Iceland. Photo: Malinda Pennoyer Chouinard; Don’t fence me in. Yvon Chouinard wrapping up a bad day of fishing. Still beats workin’, Wilson, Wyoming. Photo: Tim Davis

anonymous asked:

So I started to notice something from replaying the games/watching the show. Many water pokemon can be found in both fresh and sea water and the show often shows trainers letting their pokemon play in lakes. From a biology perspective can you think of anything that would allow pokemon to live in both types of water? I know in real life theres fish like salmon that go back and forth between the ocean and rivers during their life but that seems more of a gradual change vs a sudden change.

Nice question! Whilst there are a good few strictly marine water pokemon, and (I think) some strictly freshwater pokemon, it is definitely true that for many, you can find them across aquatic habitats, from oceans to rivers. Do we see this in nature?

Whilst the majority of both seawater and freshwater animals are Stenohaline i.e. animals that can’t tolerate a change in salinity, quite a good few animals are Euryhaline i.e. animals that can tolerate a range of  salinities. For example, as you mention, Salmon, and other fish such as striped bass are Anadromous i.e. they migrate from the sea to freshwater to spawn, whereas other animals, such as eels are Catadromous i.e. they move from freshwater to the sea to spawn.

For these migratory species, adapting to the different salinities is a gradual process, for example salmon smolt (a juvinile stage) that hatched in freshwater, spend time in brackish intermediate estuarine water between the sea and river in order to gradually adapt to more salty conditions.

However, other Euryhaline animals include those that live in habitats such as estuaries, e.g. bull sharks and mud snails, mangroves e.g. white spot jellyfish and crab eating frogs (and evidently, crabs)  and rockpools, e.g. lots of shore crab species and gobies. The salinity in these habitats changes quite regularly - and thus many of these animals must be able to adapt to changing salinities, sometimes multiple times a day with the tides, so this is not neccassarily a gradual proccess. 

Even so, most animals can’t survive such changes. Why is living in a different salinity such a dangerous thing? Well, to understand this you have to reach your mind back to school biology, and to the magical phenomenon of osmosis.

Remember, water will always want to move to where there is a higher solute concentration. When we are talking about salinity, we are obviously talking about the conentration of salt ions.

For a saltwater shark, it’s blood is isotonic to its surroundings i.e. it has a similar salt concentration to that of the seawater.  This means that there is no osmotic pressure for water to exit it’s cells to the outside sea water, or visa versa. Sharks, as well as hagfish, are osmoconformers in that they maintain an internal environment that naturally matches their external environment. Most marine invertebrates too are osmoconformers with blood and bodily fluid salt concentrations matched to seawater. The issue is, that if you move these animals into freshwater, suddenly their blood and body fluid is a lot saltier than the outside environment, and thus there is a high osmotic pressure for the water around them to move into their bodies and intuitively, pressure builds, cells burst, and byebye animal. (Bullsharks are the only euryhaline sharks, and they can only survive in brackish and freshwater due to highly specialised kidneys)

What about fish? Teleost fish (the group of bony fish that you think about when you hear the word fish - so like from salmon to sardine etc etc.) are osmoregulators i.e. they maintain a constant internal solute concentration regardless of the outside water concentration. Freshwater fish have a body solute concentration much lower than seawater, but still more concentrated than freshwater, so there is still an osmotic pressure for water to continually move into their body.

Fun fact, the common ancestor of all teleost fish (so basically most modern fish you can think of) actually evolved in freshwater and then moved back into the sea, so even marine fish will have relatively dilute blood concentration similar to freshwater fish, meaning that there is a strong osmotic pressure for water to leave their bodies into the higher solute concentration of the saltwater around them, leaving them in danger of becoming severely dehydrated (this is what kills freshwater fish that are put in saltwater)

How do teleost fish maintain their internal body concentration? The diagram below this explains this, and it includes simple behaviours, including drinking lots of seawater in the case of marine fish, and never drinking anything in the case of freshwater fishes.

SO to finally answer your question, it would be possible for water type pokemon to be euryhaline i.e. live in both freshwater and saltwater if they use the strategies of real life euryhaline animals.

For osmoregulators, such as fish Pokémon (as well as cetaceans etc.), a gradual change in osmoregulatory behaviour and physiology, as seen with migrating species such as salmon, can allow them to live in both freshwater and saltwater habitats.

For osmoconformers, such as shark, and invertebrate pokemon, either speciealised kidneys are required (for shark pokemon), as with bull sharks, or the pokemon must be able to withstand matching and conforming their internal solute composition to that of the outside environment (for invertebrate pokemon) as with shore crabs.

TL;DR Its plausible that water types can adapt to both saltwater and freshwater conditions.

Shauna Lyon reviews Flatiron restaurant élan: 

“Technique is where élan really shines, in dishes like the striped-bass filet, with crisp skin and a deep red-wine sauce, and a smoky oolong-tea-infused duck breast, perfectly rare. … Zucchini blossoms with lemon crème fraîche are ethereal, and tomato-watermelon gazpacho with lobster tastes like pure summer.”

Photograph by Joaquin Trujillo


From Weekly Only Star magazine 

TV 2/28  “Arashi ni Shiyagare” (NTV) 10:00pm~


Watch these two take a trip to LA and Vegas!
Where they thoroughly enjoy the “star life”

For the “Arashi’s Holiday Sneak Peek SP,Volume 2” (title pending), the episode follows Ohno Satoshi and Matsumoto Jun on their trip to America.  The two travel to America to learn from the home of entertainment, and during their stay they have a lot of free time.  So they thoroughly enjoy their holiday by shopping and driving around Los Angeles, chowing down on some delicious hot dogs that many celebs are crazy about, and more.  Ohno looks back on the trip and comments that “going shopping with MatsuJun in America, I really felt like I got a taste of the star life (laughs).  This episode is a must-see.

 From there, the two move on to Las Vegas, where they separate and further enjoy their holiday.  Ohno heads to Lake Mead, the holy land of fishing, to attempt for the first time in his life to fish a giant striped bass.  On the other hand, as Matsumoto sets out to enjoy a tour of the “best ride, best food, and best view” ……!?  “I think you’ll be able to get a glimpse of the two of us liberated and taking in the fresh air overseas.  Look forward to it.”  As this comment (by Matsumoto) suggests, pay close attention to the honest reactions these two will show us on this episode.