Re: NANFA-L-- Collins River Collecting + Nothonotus

Todd D. Crail (tcrail at UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Fri, 7 Oct 2005 12:45:54 -0400

I can appreciate the greenfin. I had really hoped to get to see one last
Thanksgiving when were in Cades Cove around the Smokies. It had rained
really hard and I never was able to get into the mainstem of the Pigeon or
the Little River, for that matter. Which was fine... I ended up finding
some sweet localities for saffron shiners, and it totally rocked to be
getting redline and snubs 100 yards away from one of the helicopter launches
and behind Kroger in Pigeon Forge :)

In any case... I used darter head shapes (finch beaks are so over rated) to
teach my lab on systematics and phylogeny. I made sure the Nothonotus head
shape had a sinister grin, like he knew something the other head shapes
didn't ;)

The locality is the Shelbyville Dam right where SR64, SR10 and US 231 go
across the Duck. There's a city park there and you can pull right down by
the river on the gravel left below the dam. _Really_ ugly site with
_really_ spectacular fish. We caught about a half dozen coppercheeks with a
seine in early spring when we weren't real adventurous to get out in the
faster water. I'd imagine that signals a comparatively large population as
we only saw them in hauls when we really pushed the limits of safety.

It's also been said that this is a good place to see ashy darter with a
snorkel. It looked like there were limestone ridges out in the channel
forming a deep pool which we didn't go near in our waders with spring
discharge, but you'd be far more mobile with a snorkel in lower flow, and
might get a looky at one. Also a huge population of blenny darter at this
site. Can't think of any other endemics. Well... There's that cf.
Ulocentra. It was, of course, littered with redlines and speckled darter.
I wish I had my list here... I think we saw 12 species of darter at that
site. It was something impressive. It was a 20 something species list and
nearly half of them were darters.


----- Original Message -----
From: "matt ashton" <ashtonmj2003 at>

> Did you find the Coppercheeks at that locale? I figured that would be one
of the more harder to find Nothonotus' for me even with spending so much
time on the Duck. I've probably seen them too with as much mussel
snorkeling as I've done there this year and not known it. If I knew a place
though I'm heading out there soon.
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