2012 NANFA Convention at Salt Fork State Park Ohio
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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: