… I got to talking with an elder but still very agile gentleman, 74 year old Kent Thompson, who said he is a scientific mind that is bored easily with silly conversation. He is always thinking higher and deeper about things that other people take for granted. A trained mechanic, Mr. Thompson says he has received training also in hydraulics, as well as a stint at the Zamorrano agricultural center in Honduras. He was trained in mechanics under an expatriate, Rick Bell, who was at the time the engineer for B.E.C. He also worked for a number of years at Big Falls, along with Godwin Hulse, who is now a Minister of Government. When they experienced some hydraulics problems, a gentleman came down from Wisconsin and conducted training for him in hydraulics.
Mr. Thompson has invented a contraption which he hasn’t named yet, but he thinks it is a unique and very useful piece of equipment that could cut feed costs tremendously in aquaculture.
He has built a small pond (about a tenth of an acre) on his land in St. Paul’s Bank where he grows some Tilapia, and his idea came from his observation of the many flood flies that always swarm at night during particular phases of the moon. Knowing that fish often feed on various fly larvae, it occurred to him that if he could design something to capture a large number of these insects that are attracted to any light around the pond, he could use them as a supplement to the expensive pellet feed he has to purchase for his Tilapia.
Putting his mechanical knowledge and experience, as well as his fertile imagination to work, Mr. Thompson has designed and built a very interesting yet simple piece of equipment that he says is capable of capturing over 50 pounds of flood flies in one night. All it uses for energy are a couple flashlight batteries to allow the specially positioned light fixture to attract the swarming flies into a metallic cone that tunnels them toward an empty crocus bag at the narrow end. The whole two-part structure, about eight feet long, is made of sheet metal; and he says that at night when he turns on the light, sets the canopy cover at the correct angle, and adjusts the interior lens to focus the light beam towards the narrow end of the cone, the flies come zeroing in by the thousands to fill the crocus bag as many as ten times a night.