Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Utah Lake: The Cornucopia of the Apocalypse

When people consider our poor abused Utah Lake, they rarely consider anymore what a thriving supply of food that it is capable of producing. Still-high (though dropping) levels of phosphorus ((I pause at this moment to admit painfully that I am a contributor to this unfortunate condition. I remember for instance playing dodgeball as a boy and knocking a fluorescent bulb from its fixture in the garage. I can still see it floating down and see the streams of runoff carrying my poisons to the lake...oh the shame! I swear to you oh lake. I will make right this wrong.)) and other pollutants make fishing in the Utah Lake a catch-and-release endeavor at best. As dirty as these waters are though, were we to be pushed to harvest their bounty by oh say... the END OF THE WORLD!!!, there is plenty to be had.
To begin, we have over a dozen native species of fish and over a dozen introduced species. There is an abundance of delicious Channel Cats, White Bass, Bullhead Catfish, Walleye, Blue Gill, Perch and others right now. The biodiversity of the lake's fish population is even greater now since the genocide of the pesky carp that crowd it so. Carp too though are quite edible in apocalyptic conditions. Battered and fried,  you're at least a step up from fast food chicken nuggets.
Garnish with wild onion, rose hips, wild mint, willowbark or watercress from the shores and since it's the end of the world, let's go ahead and harvest some of its scores and scores of birds! Large and small, the lake is filled with over a hundred species of birds. Ducks, geese, herons, pheasants, doves, songbirds, finches, wrens, loons EVERYTHING! ((And they can and are at times eaten. I'll never forget the story my sixth grade teacher told me about his outing to the lake where he and his friend shot birds with pellet guns as children, grilled them over a fire and ate.)) Now there's not a lot of meat on a Red-headed Blackbird but this is the apocalypse. Nose down! And nose down for beaver, skunk, muskrat, lizards, salamanders, frogs, toads, and numerous other hybrids.

They all look delicious don't they. And guess where the meats for these delights came from?
Not the Utah Lake. BUT Honestly, is there any reason why you wouldn't believe me if I told you the first one couldn't be White Bass cake, why the second couldn't be pheasant curry, and the third, something made from Western Tanager breast?
But I think it actually will take the Apocalypse to get humans convinced that there might be other edible meats than five or so animals we devour by the tens of millions and somehow believe our grocery stores offer variety.

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