Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bragging From the Other Side of the World

Not to be outdone my good friend William Wu just had to send me these latest pictures of his recent fishing adventure in China. William Wu is not his real name, his Chinese name is Wu Haidong (Woo Hi-dong). In China your family name (same as our last name) is first followed by your given name. The correct way to display my name in China would be Anderson Dave. Most of the Chinese that speak English take on traditional English names to better relate to their English speaking customers. They also put their family name last as we do. It is really interesting to travel and see the variety of names that are used in China that seem very out of place. Names like Samuel, Lily, Tina, Jeffrey, Jasmine, Serena, Derek, Jane, Amy, Jack, and of course David.

William is holding a common Asian Black Carp which the Chinese call Qing Yu (Ching You). This fish comes from the same family of carp that have been introduced into our waters over the last 100 years or so. The common carp (shown in a previous post) is the oldest and most widespread of this species in the US. For some reason we did not learn our lesson and imported grass carp, silver carp, and the black carp to help the catfish farming areas of Mississippi and Arkansas keep the commercial catfish farming ponds clean. Unfortunately floods have released these fish into the wild and we continue to fight their trek northward. The silver carp are the ones that have been making the news lately in the Illinois River as they have a tendency to jump out of the water as a boat approaches. There are many documented cases of people getting injured by these flying carp, hitting them as they motor along the river. Black carp are not as common and apparently haven't established themselves yet, but it will be only a matter of time. These fish are considered a trash fish in the US however in China they are a delicacy and are sought after. William went with his friends on Sunday and reports that they caught quite a few fish and had a great time. Here William is holding a basket of small catfish.

As you see William is battling the fish with a pretty long fishing pole. The equipment is pretty much the same as we would use. As discussed earlier, carp in China are referred to as river fish as opposed to sea fish. William is actually fishing a private pond, instead of a river, where people go to recreational fish and to catch supper. The fishing is done with prepared bait, fished near the bottom. He reports that the charge for fishing is based on the weight of the fish that you catch and you pay approximately $0.005/gram. There is 454 grams to the pound therefore the charge is about $2.27/pound. I thought that this was pretty high until I remembered trout fishing at the Star Prairie Trout Farm in Star Prairie, Wisconsin. We caught a bunch of trout for dinner and had to pay the live weight. I looked up their current prices and it is $5.50/pound live weight for trout. Admittedly I would probably prefer trout to carp. He claims it took about 5 minutes to land the fish and it weighed close to 15 pounds, a real trophy anywhere. That carp cost William almost $35.00 USD which is really a lot of money for China and definitely a lot of money for a stinky old carp! On the other hand this fish fed William and his friends for almost 5 days. I am also including a picture of William and his daughter Wu Yiwen (We call her Rose) who like any child we know, is awfully proud of her dad and his trophy catch. You got to love that smile!

I was surprised to learn that this type of fishing in China is quite popular and after going there for over 8 years, I am definitely going to have them take me fishing during my next trip. It also shows that no matter where your are in the world, we are more alike than different. All I can say is, Nice Fish William!

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