July 27, 1999 Virginia Regional Field Trip
by Michael Thennet

Hello all,

For our second trip, Bruce Hahn of Arlington, VA, acted as host and guide for a trip to his track of land at the Cedar Creek and Mulberry Run confluence (N. Fork Shenendoah drainage). In attendance were David Snell, president of the Potomac Valley Aquarium Society (PVAS), Barbara McClorey, Andrew, Mark Cook, Mike Aloa, Bruce Hahn and myself.

The location was beautiful. Cedar Creek was crystal clear,lined with cliffs and loaded with underwater structures and caves. The day began with a little angling prior to actually entering the water and collecting with seines and dipnets. Species angled were Green Sunfish, Redbreast Sunfish, Rock Bass and Smallmouth Bass.

After a little angling we headed upstream slowly sampling the pools and riffles. The species present were Eastern Silvery Minnow, Bluntnose Minnow, White Sucker and Spotfin Shiner. The following were juveniles collected in among vegetation: Fantail Darter, Yellow Bullhead, Redbreast Sunfish, Green Sunfish, Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Largemouth Bass and Mottled Sculpin.

It was at this time that I had my first chance at snorkeling in a stream. It was amazing! Especially around structure such as vegetation. Various species of fish shared the underwater gardens as a refuge and territory. Prey hungout with predator, of course not too closely. Juveniles hid among the foliage.

I was truly amazed that above and out of the water my shape would cause fish to scatter and hide. Once in the water, they considered me structure or cover, coming in many cases just a few inches from face and body.

Following lunch and the fish cull, I passed out NANFA new member packages and provided a few copies of American Currents to the non-member attendees. At that point, some attendees visited Turkey Run (N. Fork Shenendoah drainage), located two miles away. Due to an already dry season, the run had become small pools where fish population had become concentrated. Here the species easily sampled were the Rosyside Dace, Blacknose Dace, White Sucker, Largemouth Bass, Fantail darters and Mottled Scuplins.

From Turkey run some more of the attendees had to leave and the rest of the group made its way to Paddy Run about five to six miles away where Rosyside Dace and Blacknose Dace were sampled. Then it was off to Orndorf's Trout Farm which is the same trout farm that stocks our local Four Mile Run in Arlington, VA. The farm had many different spring fed stream/reservoirs filled with Rainbow/Golden (xanthic form) trout organized according to their stage of maturity. Here, Bruce was able to order an almost 3 lb. trout (pay by the pound) for dinner that evening.

All in all it was a highly productive day for all involved. I would like to thank Bruce Hahn and all the others who helped make this trip enjoyable. I am really looking forward to the next field trip, whenever and wherever that may be.

So long from Virginia,

Mike Thennet