River Valley Outdoors

Updated 12:00 a.m., Sun April 21, 2019
PHOTO BY: Keith Sutton

Each year, scientists discover scores of new fish species, like a new species of giant arapaima recently found in the rivers of Guyana. These discoveries are important in ways we might never have imagined.

New fish discoveries could lead to medical breakthroughs

Are there still new species of fish yet to be discovered? You might think the answer to that is no. But researchers scrutinizing unexplored waters are discovering hundreds of previously unknown species every year. Recent findings have ranged from the weird to the beautiful, from tiny to gargantuan in size and from deep-sea dwellers to jungle air-breathers. Consider, for example, Lasiognathus regan, a previously unknown anglerfish found ... READ MORE

Fish with crazy names make swamp-fishing fun By KEITH SUTTON

You never know what you’ll hook when you’re fishing in a swamp, but chances are, whatever you reel in will have an oddball name. I thought about this last spring while panfishing in a river-bottom lake near St. Charles.

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3 surefire baits for catching spring catfish KEITH SUTTON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER

If you want to catch lots of catfish on your outings this spring, it pays to learn what those whiskerfish are likely to be eating. The three largest species of catfish targeted by Arkansas anglers — blue cat, flathead and channel cat — each differ somewhat in their preferences. Knowing what’s likely to be on the menu for each species this season can mean the difference between a fast-action fishing trip with lots of catfish landed and a...

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5 birds that love boxes — nest boxes, that is By KEITH SUTTON

Do you enjoy watching wild birds in your yard? Most Arkansans do, and now is a perfect time to enhance those opportunities by building and installing nest boxes around your property.

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Anglers share tales of the biggest crappie they ever caught KEITH SUTTON

During more than 50 years of crappie fishing, I’ve seen three crappie exceeding 4 pounds.

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Don’t toss those snow geese By KEITH SUTTON

“I killed 10 snow geese on a hunt near Stuttgart,” a friend called and told me recently. “Should I throw them away, or can you eat them? One of the guys who was hunting with me said they’re not fit for the dinner table, and I should just toss them in the trash.”

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For a special treat, serve fish ‘en papillote’ style By KEITH SUTTON

The next time you’re cooking fresh-caught fish for your dinner guests, consider serving a very special and impressive meal using the classic French cooking technique called “en papillote,” in which pieces of fish are sealed, then baked, in packets of parchment paper.

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Late winter serves up great fishing for largemouth fans By KEITH SUTTON

Many anglers fail to recognize it, but the last few weeks of winter can serve up some of the year’s best largemouth bass fishing. You’ll have to be able to tolerate the extreme cold, wind, rain and snow that can be part of fishing this time of year. But if you can, you’ll find that late February and early March provide excellent opportunities for hooking trophy-class largemouths.

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Try these tips to catch winter fish for the frying pan By KEITH SUTTON

Using the right techniques under the right conditions, Arkansas panfish such as bream, bullheads, crappie, rock bass and white bass can be caught year-round. The spring spawning season certainly is one of the most productive fishing times, but panfish can also provide exciting action throughout the winter.

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Down in the dumps: How to find rabbits in Arkansas By KEITH SUTTON

When I first saw the cottontail, its head was sticking out of the burner on the kitchen stove. But almost as soon as it appeared, it withdrew into the stove again, disappearing like a rabbit in a magician’s hat trick.

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Winter is a good time to watch for Arkansas furbearers By KEITH SUTTON

My job requires me to drive thousands of miles in Arkansas each year. To stay alert while traveling from one place to another, I spend a lot of time watching for wildlife along the roadways.

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How trout came to Arkansas KEITH SUTTON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER

If you had a time machine and could travel back to the early 1940s in Arkansas, you would discover at least one thing very different about the clear gravel-bottomed rivers of the Ozark and Ouachita mountains. They had no trout. None. Zero. Nada.

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From bass to walleyes: Facts you should know By KEITH SUTTON

When many Arkansas fishermen think about fishing, their thoughts naturally turn toward largemouth bass. After all, no other species of game fish is more popular in The Natural State.

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Three fun ways to hunt squirrels this winter KEITH SUTTON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Squirrel hunting can be a humiliating sport. I should know. I’ve been hunting these animated nutcrackers in Arkansas woodlands for half a century, yet somehow, they still manage to humble me on many hunting trips.

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How not to get lost in the outdoors

It can happen to the best outdoorsman: The trail disappears, directions get confused, a change in the weather forces you away from familiar landmarks. You can’t seem to get your bearings. Suddenly, the thin tether between you and civilization has broken. You’re no longer just “getting away from it all.” You’re lost.

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