RE: NANFA-L-- Around Pigeon Mountain

Crail, Todd (tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Mon, 18 Jul 2005 22:50:33 -0400

Thanks for the wonderful write up Casper. I've got a few I need to piece
together. Consider me now motivated by El Snorkelmeister (tm)! In any
case... If I'm convinced of one thing, and that's in your final sentence
there. There really is no black and white in this situation, is there?

Same song and silt here... Jeff G and I went and took a look-in-Fish Creek
last week in NW Ohio, which is a classic locality for musselheads. The stream
hosts 3 Fed mussels... The clubshell, northern riffleshell, and white catspaw
mussel, which theb white catspaw only now occurs globally in Fish Creek.

I was APPALLED-in-the habitat, but we only saw it on the Ohio side of the line
(which doesn't include the catspaw habitat), and it _did_ improve further
toward, and probably into, Indiana as we went. But where we were, it was so
disgustingly silt strewn and choked, I wasn't sure what we were going to find.

With the moraine as its source material, it has a lot of semi-sorted gravel
and rock material left in the channel, while sand and fine particles sort off
into lower gradients and on floodplains. The floodplains and riparian
cooridoor were nice, a lot of really nice log jams... Some massive sycamores
held the bank in many places, but it was like it flashed so hard (possibly
because of the sycamores holding the banks? :), it blew all the sorted
material flat, dissolving the habitat heterogeneity that may have been there
prior. And then fine particles settled into the gravel and compacted the
habitat into pretty much nothing, taking away verticle habitat in the rock

We ended up seeing quite a bit including a live clubshell and two live
rabbitsfoot (which is my new fav). There were hordes of live kidneyshells,
purple wartybacks and round pigtoes, many which were live and stranded, and
returned to what remained of a channel. It was like the whole thing had flash
flooded out flat with no geomorphology left. Blech. I didn't see a riffle or
pool I even FELT like seining until we got to a later locality that seems
maintained by higher gradient (our best hypothesis). Of course by then, we'd
been pretty jaded with what we'd experienced prior, so we didn't even bother
to have the seine with us. Will be interesting to go back.

Be even more interesting to get Jeffro on the West Branch of the St. Joseph
(the third order stream that Fish Creek also flows into) so he can see why I
was so incredibly disgusted by comparison. In short... The West Branch is my
new snorkel home in the Maumee :) More to come on that soon... I've got
photos, an exciting tale of a little purple mussel we discovered (and flashes
back to the Michigan Conference), and stuff from that which will actually
include some fish for once! lol

The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

----- Original Message -----
From: <>

> But for
> certain it is plain to see the difference between natural sheltered flowing
> water and disturbed ground pouring itself into a stream's substrate. Yes i
> we are seeing the disappearance of many, many species of our native fish.
> They have nowhere to go but where they are and have been for generations
> ages. Then we clear the forests, til the ground and pave the earth. We all
> build and drive. There are many of us.
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