Miscellany

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Ask The Ombudsman

Q: I have lots of honeybees visiting my hummingbird feeders. What can I do to prevent that problem?

A: It is common for bees and wasps to visit hummingbird feeders, especially in late summer, fall and early spring, when natural nectar sources are more limited. There are hummingbird feeders on the market that are “bee proof” because the nectar is contained low enough in the feeder that bees cannot reach it, but, with their long beaks, hummingbirds can. You might try reducing the sugar content from a 1-4 ratio of sugar to water to a 1-5 ratio. It may also be helpful to change the locations of your feeders every other day or so. The birds will relocate them more quickly than will the bees.

Agent Notes

Catfishing during the dog days of summer

THE DOG DAYS of summer are now upon us. So how does an outdoors enthusiast beat the heat and still have a productive outing? One of the best ways, next to a relaxing float on your favorite stream, is nighttime catfishing. Catfish are most active from dusk to dawn when the air and water temperatures are cooler, making this your best chance to get out of the heat and still catch a mess of fish.

Productive methods for catching catfish include pole and line, trotline, limb line, bank line and jug line. You can use up to three unlabeled poles; however, trotlines, limb lines, bank lines and jug lines need to be labeled on durable material with the name and address of the user. If you are using trotlines, limb lines, bank lines or anchored jug lines you must check them at least every 24 hours. Unanchored jug lines used in impoundments must be personally attended at least every hour. Unanchored jug lines in streams must be personally attended at all times. When using any of these methods you cannot exceed 33 hooks in the aggregate. The exception to this is on the Mississippi River where you can use no more than 50 hooks in the aggregate and not more than two unlabeled poles.

When fishing for any species it is important to know the daily limits. Catfishing is no different. The statewide daily limit is 10 channel catfish, five blue catfish and five flathead catfish for a total of 20 fish. However, on the Mississippi River the daily limit is 20 channel catfish and blue catfish in the aggregate and 10 flathead catfish. Bullhead catfish are considered to be in the “other fish” category, of which the limit is 50 fish. These are the statewide limits and regulations, further limits and regulations may apply on your local lakes or streams. Please refer to the Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations for catfish identification and specific area regulations.

Eric Long is the conservation agent for Reynolds County. If you would like to contact the agent for your county, phone your regional Conservation office listed on Page 3.

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