Summer is flying by! I celebrated my 60th birthday on July 3rd with Bourbon and BBQ as any old fish-guy would. Thank-you to those who came by and helped me mark the occasion.
On July 12th, we departed PDX for Madison, Wisconsin to enjoy the “Combo Plate”, which was the conventions for the American Cichlid Association and the American Catfish Association. The flights were tolerable but the company was fantastic! If you get the opportunity to attend these events, do it! I made excuses for years about how I was too busy and there were plenty of more important things for me to do. The truth is there is no better time to join fellow hard-core aquarists to talk fish and enjoy some of the best company to be found. You’ll go for the fish, but you’ll return year after year for the friends you make there. I met so many new folks this year, I couldn’t begin to list them all. On the first morning we were there, I managed to get my roomie up early enough to go have breakfast and we met a fellow we had heard of named Ivan Mikolji. He wrote and provided photographs for a beautiful book entitled “Fishes of the Orinoco in the wild”. Ivan has had many adventures in the amazon and plans for a series of books to follow. There were a few copies of his book available at the convention and I was lucky enough to score an autographed copy.
While we were in Madison, our friend Erik Osborn held the club picnic at his home outside Mulino and I have reports that everyone had a good time. Thank-you Erik. We continue work on Fishtoberfest and have a string of speakers coming to the club as well. Dean Tweeddale, of Dean’s fishroom fame, will be speaking to the club at the August meeting. He has a “system” for breeding and raising fry that he will discuss and he might allow some question and answer time to share even more of his vast experience with attendees. We look forward to seeing Dean.
We have decided to publish a periodic column on the GPAS website to discuss recent and upcoming aquarium events and the people we meet along the way. My wife had the idea and, since most of her ideas are good ones, I’m gonna run with it. The summer started off with a bang when we hosted Hans Evers for a couple talks. Steve and Marcie organized a whirlwind tour of the Northern Oregon Coast for myself, Steve, Hans, and Stephan Tanner of Swiss Tropicals and Amazonas fame. We started from Vancouver and drove to Depot Bay for whale watching. There was one young Humpback whale that obliged us and we followed it for about an hour as it gorged itself in waters teeming with krill. The boat ride was pleasant as the water was calm and the tide low. Depot bay has a narrow inlet that was a bit exciting to exit and enter.
After whale watching, we stopped at my favorite coastal restaurant in Depot Bay, Tidal Raves, and enjoyed a delicious meal and lively conversation. After lunch, we headed north up 101 towards Pacific City and a quick pint in the sun at Pelican Brewery. The beer was cold, the sun was warm, but we had miles to go before dark. Again, we headed north up 101 making frequent stops for Hans to take photographs of the scenery and many native birds (Hans is a rabid birder). Our final stop of the day was in Manzanita for dinner and an overnight at a nice rental home. We started early with breakfast and then again headed north to Cannon Beach for the promise of more seabirds including puffins to photograph. Cannon Beach is a well-known Puffin hangout. Below is a picture from 2021 of Steve and Viral Surati in Cannon Beach with one of the larger Puffin specimens.
We made a final stop at Fort George Brewing for another quick pint before racing back to Portland so Hans could talk with employees of the Wet Spot and the Cichlid Exchange about Clown Loaches. Saturday, we enjoyed a relaxing BBQ in Salem prior to Hans presenting his newest talk on Cory catfish and changes to the Genus names to GPAS. The following day, Steve and Hans headed up to Seattle for his next talk to the GSAS. Thank-you Hans