What Did We Miss?

What Did We Miss? Diver swallowed by whale

Every week, I go on WWAY News and give a comedic report on the weird or obscure news stories that need more attention. This week’s stories are:

  • Utah replenishes fish populations by dropping thousands of fish from the sky.
  • Goldfish dumped in a Minnesota lake have grown massive.
  • Michael Packard, a Cape Cod lobster diver, was swallowed by a whale and spit up on land.

 Watch “What Did We Miss?” on WWAY News every Thursday at 5:30 am and 7:30 pm. Watch earlier episodes here. 

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How goes it? I’m Wills Maxwell Jr and this is What Did We Miss? Here I tell you the stories you might not have heard and if you have heard them… Uh, I didn’t tell them to you. What, you’re going to other places for news now? Couldn’t we have talked about this first?

First up, we head to Utah for a look at their time-tested way of repopulating the lakes. Since the 1950s, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have used planes to dump thousands of fish into the lakes. It’s really incredible to see. They released a video showing over 35,000 fish being dropped from the sky. Take a look at this beautiful slow motion footage of… Okay well that’s just… that’s just fish going from one bucket to another. Let’s try to get that air footage, folks. Typically, fish are restocked through pipes or by car but a lot of these more remote lakes require aerial restocking as is seen in THIS video of… them emptying… another bucket. Y’all, we have the cool part of this story, right?  Anyway the aerial process is quick for the fish and they enter the lake with a high survival rate. Okay here we go, check this out. That’s what it looks like when 35,000 fish suddenly remember they didn’t pack a parachute.

Speaking of lake restocking (You wouldn’t believe how often I use that segue) Officials in Burnsville, Minnesota are asking residents to stop dumping their pet goldfish in the ponds and lakes. See, goldfish are an invasive species there. They compete with the natural wildlife for food, eat everything up until they eventually look like this. Last time I saw a fish that big, it was mounted to a wooden board singing “Take Me To The River” They have found close to 30 gargantuan goldfish. They uproot plants, cause more algae to grow and this leads to poorer water quality. People, please remember: Goldfish don’t belong in these ponds and lakes. They belong in little plastic bags at a carnival game. I played that ping pong ball toss game as a kid. No one warned me that if I won, my prize would be responsibility.

We keep our aquatic theme to meet Michael Packard, a lobster diver with over 40 years experience, who was swallowed by a humpback whale. This man has changed the game for fish stories. Everyone’s usually like “I caught a fish *this* big” and he’s like “A fish *this* big caught *me*.” Packard was diving when he suddenly felt himself enclosed in the mouth of a whale. The whale held onto him before eventually surfacing and spitting him out on land. I feel like this is my fault. Last episode I said “Show me something more biblical than a plague of locusts” and God was like “Deal” 

“I was actually in his mouth maybe 30 seconds. I still had my regulator. I was breathing. I was wondering, one of the things that went through my mind was ‘Oh my god, what if he does swallow me? Here I am breathing air… I’m breathing air until my air runs out?’ Crazy stuff.” I know nothing about this man, what can I tell you though is…. he was doing something he should not have been. I’ve never seen a story where a person gets swallowed by a whale for doing the right thing. This man either lied to the blue fairy about skipping school or isn’t trusting that his friend is capable of helping him find his clownfish son. I’m sure this was a harrowing experience for Mr. Packard but he’s also very lucky, he could have been swallowed by a goldfish.

I’m Wills Maxwell Jr. and that’s what we missed.

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