Site #6: Boat ramp on east side of Newnans Lake just off FL 234, N of
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
|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
Working the boat ramp to Newnans Lake. L-R - (Front) Dustin &
(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
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.