Apr 252013


Drawing from Scientific American (19th century)

Living paddlefish are somewhat hard to draw and preserved paddlefish are even harder.  Their physical representation has been poorly illustrated.  They’re not only hard to draw, they are near impossible to mount. Their habits are even harder to observe. A large fish in muddy water is a difficult subject for accurate scientific description. Their spawning was first observed and described in the section of the Osage now under Truman Reservoir.

“It wasn’t until 1961 that anyone actually observed paddlefish spawning when Charles Purkett, a fisheries biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, saw them release eggs and milk over flood gravel bars on the upper Osage. “

(page 204, Damming the Osage)

662-osage-old-paper-paddlefish cover

(Above) A tract from an anti-evolutionary organization, Does God Exist? September /October, 2002.  In this issue, they discuss the impossibility of the paddlefish being a product of Darwinian adaptation. Cover art does not bear out their conclusion that “God shows us His wisdom and engineering ability in such beautiful creatures as this one.”

Every week we post an unpublished image that relates to the Osage River, its ecology, history and development. None of these have been used in Damming the Osage, but they relate to the themes of the book. A brief caption identifies the location and our thoughts on its significance and meaning. Feel free to use these images for personal use if you credit “Collection of Leland and Crystal Payton.”  For commercial use, email us for details and a modest fee for a higher resolution image. We have thousands of historic photographs and brochures as well as our own contemporary photos.

If you have comments or additional information on these images please use the form below.

If you would like to receive email notifications of the Vintage Image of the Week, please provide us with your email.

Leave a Reply