NANFA-L-- first snorkel of 2006
Thu, 4 May 2006 21:31:38 EDT

may 4.
i just got back from snorkeling crayfish springs in chickamauga, ga. flows
through chickamauga battlefield, part of the bloody civil war. i obtained
permission from the mayor as no swimming signs are posted. not much was observed.
stonerollers, sculpin, sunfish, bass, maybe a drum. lots of plants tho... i
was hoping for much more as it is quite beautiful and inviting.
i headed over to flintstone, ga where i have snorkled many times over the
years. rock creek which waterfalls off of lookout mountain just-in-the tn / ga
line. the years have seemingly made the creek progressively more silty.
something is going on in a big negative. however getting above a side stream
yielded very clean substrate. this was my first snorkel of the year and the temps
were comfortable in my full body wetsuit-in-least for the first couple hours.
darters seen were breeding and colorful snubnose, rainbows, redline, 1
speckled out of color, 1 greenside and several dusky of which i caught one to see
if it can accilimate to the cement pond. lots of bigeye chubs which are cool
to see in their simple elegance, plenty of stonerollers ( nicely colored )
and stripe shiners... the big males in pealescent breeding mode. one of the
biggest stripes ive seen dominated one edge of the pool. he was not building or
occupying visible nests as the substrate seemed to offer nice cobble in a
long swift curving flow against a steep bank. also cool were some of the
biggest hogsuckers ive seen... even bigger than the 2 redhorses that were trapped
in the same pool i was enjoying. the largest hogsucker and the red horse were
laying side by side and sometimes quivering. it did not seem like full scale
breeding tho. also i saw the biggest longear ive ever witnessed. plenty of
fry were seen along the edges and eddies. all and all a nice kickoff to the
snorkeling season.
i then stopped-in-a spring fed fishing pond and collected shrimp and
gambusia to feed rayman's bowfin and collected about a 1/2 dozen small shiner fry
that i will put in a planted 10 gallon and see what they become. hum... shiners
living in a pond. goldens? i dont get to snorkel this as the visibility is
nil. dissapointing in that rock creek lacks any diversity in shiners and
minnows...-in-least i have not seen any beyond the 3 mentioned.
casper in the tn drainage.
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