2012 NANFA Convention at Salt Fork State Park Ohio

Brian Zimmerman

First off, I want to thank all of you who attended the convention this year and helped put it together. I feel it went very well. Second, I want to apologize for taking so long to put together a recap but I hope you all enjoy it anyways!

The convention started off Thursday September 13th with a demonstration of electrofishing and trawling on the Muskingum River at Lowell Lock and Dam. We had two electrofishing boats there one from Ohio EPA and one from ORSANCO. One did a nice demonstration and showed off fish right below the dam in front of the crowd while the other offered rides a little down stream at a nearby boat ramp. For many attendees this was a once in a lifetime experience to see how the professionals catch big fish, otherwise known as cheating... Probably the highlight catch was the state threatened blue sucker!

dam

sucker

boat

boat

Also at this time Justin Baker and I demonstrated the use of a mini Missouri benthic trawl with our boat from Ohio State University. We took a few people out at a time and let them try their hand at pulling in the net to see what we had captured.

sampling

trawl

trawl

While all this was going on others were out in the river with various seines and dipnets and all together we had a rather impressive species list of over 40 species for the site:

Longnose Gar
Gizzard Shad
Mooneye
Central Stoneroller Minnow
Gravel Chub
Suckermouth Minnow
Sand Shiner
Mimic Shiner
Ghost Shiner
Emerald Shiner
Spotfin Shiner
Bluntnose Minnow
Bullhead Minnow
Grass Carp
Quillback Carpsucker
Quillback Carpsucker
River Carpsucker
Highfin Carpsucker
Golden Redhorse
Silver Redhorse
Smallmouth Redhorse
River Redhorse
Northern Hogsucker
Smallmouth Buffalo
Black Buffalo
Blue Sucker
Channel Catfish
Flathead Catfish
Mountain Madtom
Stonecat Madtom
Rock Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Largemouth Bass
Green Sunfish
Bluegill Sunfish
Orangespotted Sunfish
Eastern Sand Darter
Banded Darter
Greenside Darter
Rainbow Darter
Logperch Darter
Slenderhead Darter
Freshwater Drum

Back at the lodge some of the large fish caught by the electrofishing boats were put in a large traveling aquarium set up for display by ORSANCO. This was enjoyed by all and gave us a chance to watch some big fish that most of us would never keep at home.

Alivia

ORSANCO

gar flathead
bass
Then that evening Justin Baker, Marc Kibbey and I gave a presentation welcoming everyone to the convention. We also went over our work through Ohio State University to update distribution maps of all species of fish found in Ohio. We finished out the presentation with what to expect the rest of the weekend and what species should be seen on the rest of the field trips.

justin
Several of us then gathered in the hospitality room and told fish stories until we finally got too tired and went to sleep.
Friday morning we began the presentations with an introduction from our President. We then had a wonderful day of presentations with a wide variety of topics. Presentations rapped up around 4:30pm and we had a break before we moved out to the balcony of the lodge for a banquet. As we finished up our meals Dr. Todd Crail gave a wonderful presentation full of great video of interesting and mind boggling behaviors of some of our favorite and very colorful native fishes.

banquet

Todd
After Todd's presentation we had the annual auction that in my opinion went very smoothly. Thanks to all who brought so many great donations that I just had no idea were coming! I will have to admit I felt a little unprepared ahead of time and was concerned about the number of auction items but the attendees came through in a big way bringing plenty of items to auction off!

auction
After the auction there once again was more storing telling and late night talking with excitement and anticipation of the field trips on the final two days.On Saturday morning we all traveled to the confluence of the Walhonding River and Killbuck Creek. We used the big tank from ORSANCO as a gathering point before leaving.

gathering
gathering
Everyone got to spend some time sampling at this site before most of the group headed down river (including myself) in canoes provided by the Ohio Scenic River program (thanks Natalie and Bob!). A smaller group headed off to do some collecting in the Kokosing River and Wakatomika Creek. Since I was on the canoe trip I'll stick to that. We caught 45 species of fish with nothing but minnow seines in a 6 mile stretch of the Walhonding River, very impressive! Here are some photos of the trip and the list:

Bowfin
Grass Pickerel
Northern Pike
Bigeye Chub
Spotfin Shiner
Silver Shiner
Rosyface Shiner
Sand Shiner
Creek Chub
Bluntnose Minnow
Streamline Chub
Gravel Chub
Western Blacknose Dace
Common Carp
Mimic Shiner
Central Stoneroller
White Sucker
Golden Redhorse
Silver Redhorse
Northern Hog Sucker
Stonecat Madtom
Brindled Madtom
Mountain Madtom
Flathead Catfish
Yellow Bulhead
Mosquitofish
Brook Silverside
Rock Bass
Orangespotted Sunfish

Bluegill Sunfish
Green Sunfish
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
White Crappie
Black Crappie
Blackside Darter
Logperch Darter
Variegate Darter
Johnny Darter
Banded Darter
Bluebreast Darter
Greenside Darter
Fantail Darter
Rainbow Darter
Eastern Sand Darter

canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
canoe trip
Saturday evening after returning to the Lodge we watch a documentary on Ohio's Scenic River program and since we were all exhausted from the days events there was less staying up and talking that night.Finally Sunday morning we all met once again for one last field trip, or should I say 4... The group split up with one trip led by Justin Baker going to the eastern edge of the state to the Ohio River and some direct tributaries. One group led by Mark Binkley went to the Killbuck Creek drainage, one group led by Marc Kibbey headed for the Scioto drainage, and lastly I took a group to the Licking River and Wakatomika Creek drainages. My group went to 4 sites and had another impressive list of fish that were captured:

Gizzard Shad
Central Stoneroller
Southern Redbelly Dace
Redside Dace
Spotfin Shiner
Silverjaw Minnow
Bigeye Chub
Striped Shiner
Common Shiner
Emerald Shiner
Ghost Shiner
Silver Shiner
Rosyface Shiner
Sand Shiner
Mimic Shiner
Bluntnose Minnow
Bullhead Minnow
Western Blacknose Dace
Creek Chub
Quillback Carpsucker
Golden Redhorse
Silver Redhorse
Channel Catfish
Stonecat Madtom
Brindled Madtom
Mosquitofish
Brook Silverside
Trout-perch
Rock Bass
Green Sunfish
Bluegill Sunfish
Orangespotted Sunfish
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Largemouth Bass
Eastern Sand Darter
Greenside Darter
Rainbow Darter
Bluebreast Darter
Fantail Darter
Johnny Darter
Variegate Darter
Banded Darter
Logperch Darter
Slenderhead Darter
Blackside Darter
Dusky Darter
Mottled Sculpin
After this trip several people came back to my home for a tour of my aquariums. They seemed quite impressed and we once again talked fish until well after dark and then the convention finally came to an end! Thanks once again to all who attended and helped make this such a successful event! It was an honor to have hosted this years convention but it was a lot of work and went by so fast for me I hardly got to enjoy it. I hope to see you all in May at Cumberland Falls KY! I know I am looking forward to just participating and enjoying the event rather than running the show. 
© 2005-2016 North American Native Fishes Association