Oct 302012

Trophy Paddlefish

This looks to be taken below the Osceola Dam which was removed when Truman Dam and Reservoir was built. While the primary paddlefish spawning beds were over gravel bars between Osceola and Warsaw, paddlefish on spawning runs would accumulate below this run-of-the-river dam, making them vulnerable to snaggers.

We’ve not run across an authoritative history of the sport of snagging. The two areas most associated with snagging in the 1950s were the Osage River above Lake of the Ozarks and below the big Corps dams on the upper Missouri River. If anybody knows of any articles on snagging before the 1950s or had personal experience – we’d love to hear about them.

Every week we will post an unpublished image that relates to the Osage River, its ecology, history and development.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.

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  1. My buddies and I snagged for spoonbill in the Osage below the mouth of the Pomme in the late 50’s. We would rent a wooden jon boat at Fred’s Fishing Camp at Fairfield and motor down to the Osage. While we never spent much time in the Pomme, a few did and a few spoonbill were taken there, There was also a good run of white bass in the Pomme and the Little Pomme, when it had enough water and we would turn to them when the spoonbill fishing waned. I can remember Fred telling me that they were surveying and talking to land owners about a lake to be built that would flood Fairfeild. This would have been about 1957.

  2. i was 10 yrs old in 1958, lived in Osceola and cleaned the rental boats owned by Andy Lyles. I spent many hours at the dam whether working or fishing. I remember men standing in the boats, below the dam, snagging successfully. several men drowned while doing this while we lived there. i left Osceola in 1960, and didn’t return until I was grown. when i saw the smooth,flat lake,the rolling bank where the old boathouse used to sit next to Dutch and Betty’s bar and grill, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I realized the meaning of the statement, “you can never go all the way home. ”
    I loved everything about that special,history-filled,romantic little town with the dam as a centerpiece. i still hold the memory as a jewel in my past.
    Ridge Harper
    Ronan, Montana

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