Site #6: Boat ramp on east side of Newnans Lake just off FL 234, N of Rochelle.

The place was a real Kodak moment. The concrete ramp, flanked by a narrow wooden dock, terminated in a blackwater channel leading out to the lake. Nearby cypress trees had long beards of Spanish moss hanging over a wide grassy area that provided easy access to the water. Species collected/observed included:

Flag fish (Jordanella floridae)
Least killifish (H. formosa)
E. mosquitofish (G. holbrooki)
Sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna)
Bluegill (L. macrochirus)
Golden topminnow (F. chrysotus) - many of these were melanistic
Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)- dead one
Flag fish
(Jordanella floridae)


Working the boat ramp to Newnans Lake. L-R - (Front) Dustin & Fritz; (Middle) Charles, Dan, Chip, & David Smith (Mobile, AL); (Far background) Harvey  

Examining the catch.
L-R - Dan, Dustin, & Charles

They tried to find an access onto Lake Weir to look for the Lake Eustis pupfish, to no avail. After searching for awhile, they decided it was time to head to Tampa for the night, lodging at the Shoney's Inn near the University of South Florida. They were greeted by Allen Boatman (Lutz, FL).  After unloading and showering, the group re-assembled for the evening meal, carpooling to a seafood joint called Shell's. Allen gave interesting (not to say geographically accurate) directions to the restaurant. Those in Steven's car actually found the place through a combination of methods, like cosmic vibrations and a chance sighting of Charles' truck.

For a brief time, it looked as though seating a party of nine on a Friday night might take awhile. However, the man in charge (who looked more like a bouncer) convinced them to split into two smaller bunches, and got them to tables in almost no time. The fare was good and the company was even better.

Returning to the motel, the expedition gained another member as Doug Dame (Interlachen, FL) arrived. Bedtime came early for most of the travelers, some of who were operating on as little as two hours sleep from the previous night.

Saturday morning dawned chilly with an overcast sky, perhaps hinting at the ominous national news that came a little later in the day. As many took advantage of the continental breakfast supplied by the motel, the parking lot began to fill up with fishheads.

The original members of the fish chase were joined by the FL delegation (many from the Suncoast Killifish Society) including Allen Boatman, Ben Klein & his dad Sig (Tampa, FL), Tim Clark (Bradenton, FL), Jim Cormier (St. Petersburg, FL), Mike Jacobs (St. Petersburg, FL), Michael Lobello (Valrico, FL), NANFA Central FL Representative Charlie Nunziata (Seminole, FL), Bill Shields & his son Andrew (Tampa, FL), and Brian Skidmore (Tampa, FL). Mike was an instant hit with Super Bowl numerals (in honor of those amazing Bucs!) shaved into his hairdo. Eleven vehicles lined up and resumed the quest.