Driving by Mason City Memorial Park people did a double take when they noticed the big chain saw sculpted salmon was gone from its base.
Have no worry, the Chinook salmon is safely stored in the Coulee Dam town warehouse, where it awaits some final changes to its rather stiff and upright stance. The town is trying to figure out a new mount for the fish - changing it from a vertical position to its original idea of a fish leaping.
The salmon and a companion wildlife sculpture were the result of a terrible wind storm that struck the area in the summer of 2012, toppling two trees in the park, breaking them off.
Mayor Quincy Snow, himself an artist, saw an opportunity to create something interesting and reached chainsaw artist Jacob Lucas.
The two sculpted trees were completed by the end of October that year, and the carving, which cost $12,500, was paid for out of hotel/motel tax money.
In August, 2013, the town decided that the sculpted tree trunks should be separated from their trunks, the trunks removed, and then the sculpted pieces replaced on special mountings.
As part of that $11,500 contract, also from hotel/motel funds, the fish was supposed to be slanted to suggest that it was leaping through the air and fighting its way upstream. However, this wasn't done and that's why it is now missing.
Present Mayor Greg Wilder plans to fix the fish, and remove its rocky base with something more characteristic of a fish sculpture.
How soon will that happen? Wilder wasn't sure.
The town started getting phone calls right after the city crew removed the fish sculpture.