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Yalobusha Historical Society – Jan. 16, 2014

Emily Jo Wiggins

Emily Jo Wiggins, director of the Visitor Education Center at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery adjacent to Enid Lake was the guest speaker for the Yalobusha Historical Meeting, Thursday, January 16, 2014.  Emily’s topic was native plants and also upcoming events at the hatchery located at Exit 233 on I-55 and native plants.

Emily shared that the Education Center at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery features a native habitat area, 10,000 gallon aquarium, exhibits, artifacts, fishing rodeo pond, an art gallery celebrating Mississippi’s natural resources, and the World Record White Crappie.   The hatchery is equipped to produce multiple cool and warm water species including: northern largemouth bass, southern walleye, paddlefish, alligator gar, white crappie, black crappie, Magnolia crappie, grass carp, blue gill and redear sunfish. Spawning usually begins in March and runs through June.  Most of the brood fish are held in 1 acre ponds year around though some, like flathead catfish and walleye are collected from local reservoirs.  Visitors may view spawning activities from the observation area in the hatchery building.  Upcoming events:

Nancy Fachman of Water Valley, MS, will bring some of her educational animals to the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center on April 13th at 2:00 pm.

Students across Mississippi are invited to get outdoors and participate in the 2014 North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Youth Art Contest! Each student must submit only one entry depicting a Mississippi native fish or wildlife species. Each student must submit a portfolio including entry form and artwork no later than May 15, 2014.

Interesting facts and benefits were shared about the red buckeye, cattails, river oats, and Black eyed Susans.  The Red Buckeye displays red, bellshaped flowers.  Rounded on top, this plants forms in clumps and has dark green glossy leaves except for the underside which is white.  This plant attracts bees and hummingbirds.  However, this plant is poisonous, thus no part should be ingested, although soap can be made from the roots and black dye can be made from the wood.  Many parts of the cattail have been eaten and used in a variety of ways.  References to them appear in written records dating to the 1600’s.  The rootstock is mostly starch and edible; it was ground into meal by First Nations.  The young shoots can be eaten like asparagus, the immature flower spikes can be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob, and the tip of the rootstock can be used in salads or boiled and served as greens.  Cattail pollen can also be used as a flour substitute in bread making, and was additionally used in Native American religious ceremonies.  Amerindians poultice jelly-like pounded roots on wounds, sores, boils, carbuncles, inflammations, scalds, burns, and to prevent chafing in babies. The Omaha tribe pulverized the root to form a paste used to heal burns and covered the paste with the cattails flowers.   River Oats a woodland grass is upright and clumps.  It has bamboo like leaves that are a blue green color turning yellow or gold in the fall.It spreads quickly, thus is used for controlling soil erosion.  Black-eyed Susans are used as a border or ground cover attracing birds and butterflies, and some claim is deer resistant.  

Thank you, Emily Jo, please visit us again.

Notes of interest:

Mike Worsham welcomed members and guests.

Debby Hughes gave the monthly financial report.

Julia Fernandez stated that World War II veteran Eugene Spearman will present a program about his experiences during his service in Europe February 20, 2014.  

Attending:  Debby Hughes, Joy Tippit, Susan Roach Wiggins, Emily Jo Wiggins, Eugene Trussell, Mary Sue Trussell, Gerry Jones Hood, Bobbie Hutchins, Bobby Hutchins, James Person, Julia Fernandez, Emma Hovey, Dave Hovey, Carl Vick, Mae Vick, Julia Thompson, Mike Ayers, Ralph Schmitidt, Pat Rodrigue, Lawrence Litten, Betti Litten, Kay McCulley, Jimmie Pinnix, Francine Pinnix, Thelma Roberts, Pat Brooks, Sue Chandler, Cliff Chandlerr, Granville C. Vaughn, Tom Cox, Linda Williamson, Lee Mize, Elizabeth Keith

Submitted by Joy M. Tippit

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