I am a new member and very eager to learn about observing, collecting,
identifying, and keeping our native fish.
I am lucky enough to live on a gorgeous 40 acre lake in NW Wisconsin, Martel
I moved here a year ago from Seattle, WA.
There are only 3 year-round residents on the lake and 5 summer cabins. No
one uses motors on the lake. I spend a lot of time canoeing and 98% of the
time I'm the only one out there. The lake has a marsh area, is 20' deep at
most, tea-colored, somewhat turbid waters, great for swimming. We've got
loons, beaver galore, and a family of 7 otter.
The area I live in has a huge variety of waters within a short drive - deep
lakes, really deep lakes - Lake Superior 70 miles away, big rivers - the St.
Croix, slow small rivers, sandy creeks, rocky creeks, cranberry bogs.
I got sucked into native fish by spending time on my lake looking into the
water this Summer. Along the shore I noticed small fish swimming back and
forth over cleared nests underneath shallow underwater branches. After
wading in and observing quite a few I saw that the male, guarding the nest,
was about 4" long, narrow but blunt, dark with 2 light vertical smudges. The
females flitted among the males' nests and had a strong horizontal stripe. I
looked all over the internet to identify that fish with no luck. Maybe I had
discovered a rare fish! I was a little crestfallen when I finally IDed my
rarity as the elusive flathead minnow, but I was hooked.
I kept aquariums as a youth - freshwater tropical, of course. I had a
subscription to TFH (still have the mags from '63) and even bred bettas. I
dreamed about being expedition up the Amazon with Axelrod and Vorderwinkler.
I am thrilled to live out a childhood fantasy in my own neighborhood.
I'm in no hurry to start an aquarium. I have a lot to learn.
I'm a book person so I've got a small library started and am saving up to
get Becker's Fishes of Wisconsin. Until then I am reading the online
I'd love to get in touch with Wisconsin and Minnesota members to soak up
some knowledge and go on collecting trips.
I'm glad I found NANFA!
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