This is a story about a big fish, a big fish tale and a big catch.
The Brennan family of Overland Park might call it “The Legend of Big Bruce.”
Our story started last summer when the Brennans were fishing from the bank at Shawnee Mission Lake in Johnson County. Dad and his two sons were talking and they turned away from their fishing rods for a moment, only to hear a loud splash.
A fish had hit and towed one of the rods into the lake.
“We started speculating about what type of fish it was and how big it was,” said Joe Brennan, who was fishing with his sons Corbin,7, and Carson, 9. “By the end of the night, we even gave it a nickname — Bruce.”
They returned to the same spot this spring and hoped to meet up with Bruce again. Same story. A fish hit so hard that it pulled one of the rods out of the holder and into the lake. This time, though, dad grabbed the rod before it went under. He handed it to Corbin, and the fight was on.
“I think we got Big Bruce,” Corbin shouted.
A few minutes later, he pulled an 8-pound wiper to shore. He posed for a photo and then released his catch.
Was it the same fish? Probably not. But try convincing a 7-year-old that it wasn’t.
You saw a what?
Kansas landowners last weekend captured images of a young black bear roaming the southeast part of the state.
That ranks as a rare sighting, but not necessarily an earth-shaking one.
“It’s common for yearling bears to disperse into new areas, seeking their own home range,” said Matt Peak, a wildlife biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism. “Missouri biologists have reported seeing a lot (of bears) lately.”
The young bear was captured on video June 20, then photographed a day later 16 miles away.
Celebrating Missouri’s prairies
A Prairie Days event this weekend will celebrate the days when native grasslands covered much of northern Missouri.
Most of those grasslands have disappeared over the years, but they still exist at the Dunn Ranch and the Pawnee Prairie Natural Area, where the celebration will take place.
The event will start at 8 p.m. Friday with a social gathering open to the public at the The Nature Conservancy’s Dunn Ranch headquarters, 16970 W. 150th St., Hatfield, Mo. Biologists will talk about prairie history, grasslands management and wildlife restoration projects. Movies also will be shown.
On Saturday, birding hikes will be held from 5:30 a.m to 7:30 a.m. at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Pawnee Prairie Natural Area. Later in the morning and continuing into the afternoon, there will be activities at Dunn Ranch.
One of the highlights of the event will be a tour of the ranch’s bison herd, native wildflowers and grassland birds.
Prairie Days will be sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Nature Conservancy and other conservation partners.
A fish for the record books
Jonathan Randall of Smithville is in Missouri’s record book.
Using a bow and arrow at Smithville Lake, Randall shot a 9-pound, 10-ounce river carpsucker, a new standard in the “alternative methods” category that includes methods other than a pole and line.
Randall’s fish replaced the former record of 7-pounds, 12-ounces taken at Lake of the Ozarks in late April.
To reach outdoors editor Brent Frazee, call 816-234-4319 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@fishboybrent.