BHA Podcast & Blast, Ep. 148: Drew Phipps and The Restoration of the Candy Darter

America’s Midwestern rivers – the Elk, the Kanawha, the Ohio and all their vast systems of arterial tributaries – are home to a mind-boggling array of some of the most bizarre creatures on this planet. Among them, the candy darter, a tiny fish of such astounding beauty that its very existence begs questions about human perception, evolution and aesthetics: Why would a fish look like this? Why is it so beautiful? Join us for the return of one of the Podcast & Blast’s most popular guests, Drew Phipps of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Hatchery in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where a successful program to restore the candy darter to its original riverine habitats is bearing fruit. Listen to the end for a bonus tale of a junk store “swan gun” brought back to life and into the turkey woods…a mammoth 10-gauge black powder market hunting relic, best test fired with duct-tape, prayers and a 20-foot piece of paracord while hiding behind a block wall. Do not try this at home or anywhere else.


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About Travis Bradford

Travis has been in the outdoors since he was young, but its the fish inhabiting North America's waters that hold his attention throughout the year. When not fly fishing, he can be found with his golden retriever Sal and a camera in-hand chasing stories.

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