NANFA-- Getting Back

Joseph W. Gardner (
Tue, 14 Mar 2000 14:27:58 -0500

Hi all,

I just got back from a missions trip to Guyana. Be happy to discuss off-list the
details of the optical/evangelism trip.

In the ditch in the front of the missionaries home, I caught some wild guppies and
a different livebearer which looks somewhat like a Poecilia picta. There was also
another livebearer with lots of orange to the body and a pattern to its caudal fin
- I don't think those pictures will come out but I hope they do.

Also saw quite of few anableps - hope the picture comes out.

I also got a chance to fish 'Guyanese Style'. Out behind the missionaries, there
is a vast sugar cane plantation. After obtaining permission, we went fishing.
The individual cane fields are surrounded by canals. Each canal is probably about
40 feet across and up to 5 feet deep. A net is placed at one end of the cane
section in an 'L' shape with plenty of 'billow' in back of the net. The
importance of the ':L' shape will become clear in a moment. Then about 2 football
fields away from the net, a bunch of us got into the water (mostly Guyanese and
three members of the mission group including myself) and started beating the water
toward the net. This process to about 15 minutes. When we got close enough, the
master fisherman or head fisherman began to pull on the net which then closed up
on the fish and then finished hauling in the net. We caught lots of good sized
fish for supper, including pirhana. We got 3 of the pirhana which were about 6-7
inches from the front of their mouths to the back of their tails.

I also learned how to cast a throw net. With the throw net, we caught bigheads
(plecostomus sp), longtails (a long thinner bodied pleco type), a loco loco (looks
like some sort of Steatogenys or Sternarchogiton sp. - hope to be better able to
tell when the pictures come back) and some good sized bluish-silvery fish. Again,
I hope to be able to tell better when the pictures get back. I am springing for
the CD/3.5 format to see which looks better.

I was also able to obtain some seine material - they sell it by the pound down
there. It looks like nylon string and one pound has about 3/4" eyes and the other
pound has about 3/8" eyes. I am hoping to make some good nets out of this stuff
before summer. I'll let you know how that goes.

I talked with one of the Christians in the local church. He is a net maker and is
willing to make throwing/casting nets. The complete net is comprised of the rope,
the net (with whatever sized 'eyes' or net openings you want), and the lead
weights at the bottom of the net. I thought the cost was reasonable - $5,000
Guyanese (about $28 USA) plus the cost of shipping for a 5' net. The smaller the
net openings, the higher the cost because he hand makes the nets from string. He
ties all of the knots, constructs the nets and beats/places the lead weights on
net by himself. I got a net with 3/4 inch 'eyes' but he is willing to as small as
1/4". The smaller the 'eyes' the longer it takes to make and the net gets a
little bit heavier due to all the knots. If anyone is interested in obtaining one
of these nets, please contact me off-list.

I am looking forward to going back to Guyana sometime in the next year
(hopefully). I've been asked back in part to look at some economic potentials for
the local national church.

Just wanted to pass on this information - It was a great trip and I hope to go
back soon. If anyone has questions, I'll try to answer them.

I am mailing to all the lists I'm on. Please forgive the extra mailings if you
get them - my apologies. Take care. Joe

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