The Odessa Record -

This Week in Odessa History

Problems with Crab Creek fish; fires and wheat sprout affect field crops


August 3, 2017

100 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

August 3, 1917

Crab creek fish reported dying: Reports from J.B. Webster and Mrs. T.J. McDermott plainly show that there are large numbers of fish dying either in Crab creek or the channel in Sylvan lake. In an interview in with Mrs. McDermott who lives on the creek a short distance from the foot of the lake, she stated that dead fish were so numerous near their place that in a stretch of water not more than a couple of rods in length she counted over fifty dead fish, and that they were getting so numerous that the water was slightly tainted.

The fish were mostly suckers although an occasional trout and other species were found and of all sizes from fourteen inches down. One peculiarity that Mrs. McDermott mentioned was that most of the fish have their gills torn out although that probably was done after death by mink or other animals. The fish may have been poisoned  by something thrown in the creek, but if so it has had no effect on the McDermott chickens which are living high on fish at the present time without any visable bad effects.

A couple of years ago Dr. Ganson made an examination under microscope of some suckers taken from the creek and pronounced them diseased, but he says that would have caused the death of an occasional fish and nothing like the destruction that is now going on. There also appears too many dead fish for to have been left from a charge of dynamite that some miscreant might have placed in the creek for trout unless a number of shots were used.

If suckers were the only fish affected it would not matter much, for suckers have been the bane of the trout fishermen for years and nothing would suit the sporting fraternity better than to see something clear the creek of that useless species of the finny tribe which only eat food that could be used by edible fish, but when the trout begins to die off it is a serious matter and one that should be looked into at once. 

20,000 fish for Pacific: The largest consignment of fish ever brought overland for planting in waters adjacent to Odessa, came from Adams  county Saturday in a train of automobiles in charge of Game Warden D.C. Holmes. The cars were donated for the trip by Sol Reiman, W.N. Schoonover, Walter Deets, Volmer Frick and Carl Friberg, which with the Warden's  Ford brought 17 cans of bass and crappies, over 5000 fish were planted into Pacific lake. The round trip to the lakes from which these fish were taken is 90 miles but in an automobile the fish come through in good shape. Arrangements have been made whereby Adams county receives eastern brook trout in exchange for the bass and other game fish taken from her waters and Mr. Holmes has been making regular trips for fingerlings for planting and up to date has not put into Pacific lake 38 cans, which an occasional count shows an average of about 300 fish to the can. He hopes  that before the roads get too bad to get about 20,000, most bass fry, for Pacific which has proved an ideal lake for planting game fish since the first were planted there three years ago. 

Creamery installs emulsifier: Most people have seen cream churned to butter, but mighty few have ever seen the unsalted butter transferred back to sweet cream. Yet this can and is being done everyday right here in town since the Odessa Creamery installed their new Perfection Emulsifier the first of the week. Scarcity of the sweet cream for ice cream purposes is responsible for the new machine. Before it was put in the creamery was obliged to pay as high as $2 a hundred for milk from which they separated their cream which brought up the price of butter fat to fifty cents a pound, an advance of nine cents over the regular market value. With the new machine unsalted butter even though it be made from sour cream can be turned back into sweet cream which can not be distinguished from cream in its original  state. The reason of this is that butter fat does not sour or taint easily, both of these properties come from the milk that is found mixed with same. This cream that is turned back from the butter  can again be churned to butter if desired Mr. Kleeman has figured that he saves three cents a pound on all the cream he uses for ice cream purposes besides being always certain of having a plenty of material to supply  his trade which he did not have before.

75 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

August 3, 1942

A weather observation balloon, dated September 16, 1941, from a weather observation point in New Jersey was found almost a year later, July 30, 1942, on the Sam Schafer ranch, 13 miles southwest of Odessa. The remnants, showing the starting date, were sent to Davenport with Special Deputy Sheriff Keller for transmission to governmental agencies. 

A doe deer was seen at the Welson Mills ranch north of town Tuesday morning by A. H. Luiten while making a delivery trip. 

Mr. and Mrs. Herman Timm, Wilson Creek, were Odessa visitors on Monday and reported that their son, Jack, while scuffling with Ray Stroup of the Tommy Middleton home in Stratford, twisted his right leg, tearing tendons loose. He will be laid up approximately six month and is unable to continue with harvest work.

Mrs. George Schiewe, chairman of the Red Cross knitting and sewing program for Odessa, reminds all her workers that their work should be completed and turned in to Mrs. Schiewe before August 15 for shipment to central offices. 

Charles Wilskie and Harry Fink spent Monday at Seattle, called to consult with civil service authorities. Mr. Wilskie, who will take training as a radio expert, also enlisted in the signal corps of the army reserve, it is stated. Mr. Fink has made no decisions.

Harvest this year is extended longer than had been anticipated owing to the heavy crop. The huge combines are traveling in slow speeds in order that the machines may handle the wheat. 

Reporting for army induction on Wednesday were five men from Odessa, including Arthur Schauerman, Donald Marquardt, Joseph Brisbois, Glen S. Porter and Reinhold Yuckert.

Freedom from the bugs that troubled elm trees during the past two years is noticed in Odessa this summer. A spraying program, with equipment furnished by the city, has been the cause. Two sprays were used, one early and one at the height of the growing season.

Augest Loeffelbein killed a five foot rattlesnake near the Con H. Eckhardt home on Sunday afternoon when Mrs. Harry Fink, discovering the snake, called on him for assistance. The snake was about to make its get away under a porch when Mr. Loeffelbein cut its head off with a garden hoe. It was found to have five buttons and a rattle. 

A dinner was held at the W.W. Deife home on Sunday in honor of Cpl. Harold Deife, young officer home on furlough from California. 

Unknown persons shot and killed a dog belonging to the Mrs. R.K. Schoonover family on Sunday. Fronting the Schoonover property is a highway turning place, and motorists have a habit of stopping there for target practice, a dangerous pastime for the residents there.

50 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

August 3, 1967

Stubble burn at Homberg farm: Seven to eight acres of stdubble burned at the Lamar Homberg farm Friday just after noon when ignited by truck exhaust. A rapid response by neighbors kept the fire contained to the stubble until the local fire trucks arrived to extinguish the flames. 

No standing wheat was lost in this fire in an irrigated field. The heavy straw, which has a tendency to hold some moisture, and the help of neighbors is credited for containing the burning to a limited area. 

Shelter survey underway in state: Lincoln County will be involved in a census bureau survey to identify fallout protected areas in every one, two and three-family dwelling in Washington State, according to Ed Atwood, Lincoln County Civil Defense Director.

The survey already is underway as of August 1, and will continue until the task is complete. 

Personal interviews will be used in the towns, communities, and rural areas of Lincoln County. A few simple questions will be asked about the type of house involved and its construction features. 

For the past five years, the national and state office of civil defense and local and county governments in Washington State have conducted a shelter survey of offices, apartments, schools, dams, mines and similar structures. The figures already compiled show 2,189,102 shelter spaces in 2,335 structures. Generally these spaces are concentrated in downtown business districts.

After determining the degree of fallout protection in each household, the census bureau will mail a special civil defense booklet to very home advising the amount of fallout protection and how the family can upgrade its shelter. 

When the total Washington survey is completed and the finding analyzed, the Federal government will furnish statistical area summaries of homes with fallout protection to the state and local governments. No personal information about individual houses will be revealed by the census bureau, Mr. Atwood advises. 

25 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 30, 1992

Winter wheat sprout threatens crop loss: The rains which drenched the Odessa region in mid-July have caused winter wheat sprout which puts at risk from 60 to 70 percent of the remaining winter wheat to be harvested. 

The first danger signs were evident last week, after a series of circumstances had set up conditions which were ideal of wheat sprout to occur. 

"We're starting to hear of it," said assistant manager Mark Cronrath of the Odessa Trading Company on Tuesday. "We haven't received back any grades of wheat yet which would show that it has happened, but we have seen sprout in wheat samples brought in by growers in the region."

For wheat farmers, grain dealers, exporters and flour millers wheat sprout would have far reaching ramifications. In fact, Cronrath said, it could upset the wheat export market of the Pacific Northwest. 

"The trade is very concerned," he said. On Monday the telephone in Cronrath's office rang all day long as anxious exporters called to survey the effects of possible wheat sprout damage.

"The Japanese Food Agency is not shy about walking to another competitor if it can't obtain the quality of wheat it requires from us," Cronrath said. Australian and Canadian sellers are ready to step in, and once lost, the market is difficult to retrieve.

There are strict limits on the amount of wheat sprout which is acceptable in a shipment. Even a small amount of wheat sprout seed can ruin baking quality Cronrath said exporters deduct 4 cents for each one-half percent of sprout found in samples. 

Historically, discounts for sprout infested wheat range from 2 to 6 cents per bushel per .5 percent of sprout, said Andrew A. Thostenson, interim agronomist for Adams County Cooperative Extension. Along with sprout damage, the wheat also may have a greatly reduced test weight per bushel. Low test weights, usually 60 pounds a bushel of less, are discounted 1 to 3 cents per bushel per pound. 

Thostenson gave this hypothetical example of the potential loss a grower might suffer as a result of wheat sprout:

Assuming the market price was $3.50 a bushel for #1 quality wheat, that the actual sprouted seed amounted to 10 percent, that the test weight was 54 pounds a bushel, that the sprout discount was 4 cents per bushel per .5 percent above .2 percent and that the test weight discount was 1 cent a bushel below 60 pounds, on a 1,000-bushel semi-truck load the loss to the farmer would equate approximately $860. An example of the proportion of sprouted which could be included in an shipment, one Portland exporter, making a rough calculation, told Cronrath it would take 1.5 million bushels of clean wheat to acceptably dilute 30,000 bushels of contaminated wheat.

Much of the Odessa region's irrigated winter wheat may be close to a pre-sprout condition, it is believed.

Two years ago, when wheat sprout was a threat but confined largely to the Palouse region, only 10 percent of the crop remained to be cut. This week in the Odessa area, with irrigated wheat still not harvested for the most part, and elsewhere in the Inland Northwest 60 to 70 percent of the crops is at risk of suffering a wide range of damage, all the way from a small percentage of to total ruin. 

The key to avoiding wheat sprout is to get the crop harvested as quickly as possible, Cronrath said. When harvesting, growers should try to cut areas of lodged wheat separately. Dry, windy weather is the best antidote for the pre-sprouted  wheat. Lodged wheat, often lying on the ground, tends to provide a greenhouse effect for wheat sprout. Downed wheat has been a problem in the Moses Lake region this year, where, according to preliminary estimates, 8.6 of the crop has wheat sprout. 

"Wheat sprout is yet another negative in a year of disappointment," Cronrath said. This, added to low test and high dockage levels faced by growers will add to deductions on the price of wheat. News of the wheat sprout problem had no immediate effect of the price of wheat in Odessa, which stood at $3.68 a bushel for soft white varieties on Wednesday.

With the wheat plant about three weeks ahead of normal rate of maturity when the harvest rains hit earlier this month, conditions were right for wheat sprout.

Thostenson said seed is considered sprouted. Often this cannot be detected by the naked eye. Rather, he said, it must be evaluated by certified state grain inspectors using microscopes or other magnifying instruments.

Cronrath said the Odessa Trading Company and other grain dealers are still awaiting results of samples of suspect wheat sprout samples sent in for analysis.

Elevator operators throughout the Inland Northwest are scrambling to prepare for the intake of sprouted grain, Thostenson said. He believes that discount schedules among grain dealers may vary significantly. 

Producers who have home storage should have their grain graded before dumping it into a bin with grain harvested prior to the rain, Thostenson said. 

Pop singer Dan Seals to be fest attraction: Dan Seals, nationally known country/western/pop singer, will be the featured attraction at the Deutschesfest's Sunday concert on September 20.

Seals was signed for the show Monday after weeks of searching for a top-rated star to keep Deutschesfest crowds in town on Sunday afternoon. The  Odessa Chamber of Commerce had felt that a name performer could make Sunday afternoon, usually the doldrums of Fest time, as big a day any during the three-day event.


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