Previous rains had left Sycolin Creek, in Loudon, Virginia, a little swollen. Rapids were faster and the pools a little deeper. The earlier morning was plagued with some dense fog and drizzle. The morning drizzle eventually gave way to a partly cloudy by 1100, then Sunny by 1300. Overall, it turned out to be a nice day.
The trip consisted of a small group, John Deford, Henry Deford and myself, due to schedule conflicts but was still very productive in more ways than one. The list of species sampled were Greenside darters, fantail darters, mottled sculpins, blacknose dace, longnose dace, bluntnose minnow, spotfin shiner, central stonerollers, creek chub, green sunfish and crayfish. The greenside darter males were highly colored in blue, red and green hues typical of spawning. Also, the central stoneroller males were highly colored and fully armored in their spawning headdresses. Its no wonder the central stoneroller is called the "hornyhead" by many. A very appropriate name, especially during Spring.
Henry took home couple male greensides, a group of adult stonerollers and a mottled sculpin. I took home a group of three fantail darters, and a small male central stoneroller. Has anyone every kept a central stoneroller before? As I understand, they require a stream setting, lots of algae and multiple feedings. Please let me know if you have any experience with this species.
Finally, when we were culling the catch and preparing to leave, a Stream Management group showed up. They set up a table, brandished data collection sheets, writing utensils and everything else scientific. After saying good bye to the Defords, I went over to the group and introduced myself. I discovered the group was lead by Cliff Fairweather, a Naturalist with the Audobon Naturalist Society, who was conducting a small survey of Sycolin Creek's aquatic insect life. Mr. Fairwearther was courteous enough to let me talk about NANFA and our recent sampling trip. Luckily, I had multiple issues of American Currents in my vehicle which were distributed throughout their group. I showed them my personal information inside the front cover of the publication, invited them to check out the NANFA's web page and to call me concerning any upcoming local trips or meetings. I would have joined them for a little while, If I wasn't so tired.
Pretty funny how things workout. Hopefully, I get a few calls and NANFA gets a some new members. Anyway, Spring is definitely here in the Mid Atlantic region, so get out there and have some fun.
So long from VA,
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