Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Catfish and more turtles

A reader named Benjamin wrote me with the following observation and suggestions, per animal husbandry, LA River:

Your entry on Taix, and the Frenchies duck-hunting, makes me wonder. Are there too many mallards now on the LA River? What if they are polluting the river? They have to poop somewhere. Do they get eaten by coyotes? Are they safe to eat? Mallards are like pigeons on parts of the river. River carp taste okay. I do wish they would stock something else, like catfish. A few damns and catfish and talipia and turtles, and lots of nesting areas for mallards.

Well, I know where they can find the turtles. There are about a thousand red-eared sliders at Echo Park Lake. Just charter a turtle bus and drive them down to the LA River. Note that many of these are abandoned pets -- or the descendants of them, so be extra nice to them, please. As for coyotes and ducks, if you borrow a film producer and a screenwriter and go down to the lake -- maybe the river, too -- to talk ideas at 2 or 3 a.m., a coyote may appear to eat a duck. Don't forget to bring a Page 6 reporter.

Duck poop: that's a good question. I assume it's being washed down to the ocean, but I can't say for sure. Nor do I know whether said mallards are year-rounders or migrants, which would probably make a difference in terms of pollution. About the carp, Benjamin, are you saying that they taste good to you? Or that they taste good to coyotes and waterfowl?

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