NANFA-L-- The Big Darby Blues

Crail, Todd (tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Mon, 25 Jul 2005 14:38:19 -0400

We went to the Big Darby this weekend. I'm sad to say that the Fox Riffle
(Trautman's Riffle) has been homogenized by last winter's floods. The riffle
is now a flat, slow, small material impacted, run instead of loose rocky
material from the bridge all the way around the bend. Hopefully, with
consecutive floods and macroinvert activity, the habitat will heterogenize and
we'll get to see all that diversity packed so tightly again.

There were the most Hybopsis and Erimystax chubs and hogsuckers I've seen on
the Darby in this area, which is evident of the habitat change... But we had
to WORK to find darters there, which is sad, since last fall we could
seemingly put a small aquarium net in and pick up mountain madtoms, bluebreast
and variegate darters... And then walk a few meters and catch the chubs and

We did go around the corner downstream, and a series of fast riffles have
formed in the wash out below the bend (about a half mile down from the former
riffle exchange). There we found spotted, bluebreast, tippecanoe darters, but
the bluebreast were in amazingly low numbers. And it is so wide and flat
there that moderate pulses are going to just chisel the channel more open and
flat as it pulls away material.

It was horrible to see huge relict pistolgrip and threeridge mussel valves 4'
up the bank. I can't even imagine what the current is doing through there at

It made me sick to go back to my sister's neighborhood in Hilliard (Columbus
suburbs) and see all the downspouts on the houses getting run through tile
under the ground (no side yard recharge so they can pack suburban houses even
more tightly), through the curb and out into the street. Who approves these
development plans anyway? I'd like to have some words. Whoever you are, your
detention ponds aren't working!

This is definately a case where the habitat gets more compromised when taken
OUT of agricultural production without any industrialization. Amazing.

Reporting from the Chanelized and Silted Darby Madness, Circleville, Ohio
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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