Re: NANFA-L-- s & n carolina sites

Michael Lucas (
Tue, 11 Apr 2006 19:29:16 -0400

Had a great trip through Va and in NE South Carolina. I stopped-in-Stony
Creek in VA on the way south Sat late morning. Had a tough time getting
shiners with a ten foot seine by myself but I did the riffles with my dipnet
and got several nice Roanoke Darters. Got em all home alive, put them in a
twenty high with sand and stone substrate, good number of rooted plants.
Within an hour they were in a breeding frenzy. Some larger shiners were
starting to nose into the gravel I assume to snack on caviar, so I removed
them. Smaller shiners appeared to not notice and when they occassionally
swam to low the male roanokes would quickly move them back to higher water!
Three males seemed to be active one about 1.75 inch, one about 1.25 in and
the last about .75 in. great colors. The little guy was getting more action
then the larger two mostly while they were chasing each other. The active
females would slide between small stones and just lie on top of the sand or
smaller gravel and wait for a male, if one came close they would sometimes
flick their tail fin or their snout as if to say hey big boy I'm over here.
A male would sometimes come from the front nudging the female on top of her
head, then might lie across her forming a cross but eventually lieing on top
head to head tail to tail. The male would wrap his tail around one side of
the females tail and his head along side her head on the opposite side in
kind of a weak S shape. Then they'd both start a frenzied vibrating which
lasted 2-3 seconds. Meanwhile sand would be flying and I assume eggs
deposited and fertilized. I wonder if the little guy is capable, though he
was colored up though not quite as nice as the other two. The active
females coloration changed to kind of dark brown bars/spots on a medium
gray backgound. The less active females background color was lighter and
the spots more blackish and less like bars. Actually they were also
somewhat thinner and may not be roanokes-in-all. They would get in the
frenzy-in-times with the male roanokes taking all action offered. I saw the
larger male get two females-in-once-in-least twice, one time two
females waited side by side the other time just as the male and a
female began a second female snuck right along side and under the male and
all three vibrated wildly. I'd been up with little sleep since Friday so
when I attempted to get the eggs out of the sand I saw some eggs but had
major problems keeping them in sight so I abandoned that and hope some eggs
survive any possible predation. I'll be moving the fish tonight. On my last
trip to W Mart I was intrigued by the clear plastic paint tray liners and
picked one up as a possible tray to hold sand/gravel for darter spawning so
it could be easily removed after spawing. But I haven't yet tested it to
ensure it is not toxic to fish. Hopefully I can condition them up again
soon as my basement is still some what cool and try the tray method. Got
some nice fish in SC as well and nicer weather on Sunday but for now gotta
go move some fish. What's a good medication to aid in keeping darter eggs
from fungusing?

Mike Lucas
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