NANFA-- Tennessee fish

Rick Phillips (
Sun, 6 Apr 2003 17:52:56 -0400

Went out to check out what was up with some Tennessee fish today. I first
visited Renfro Creek, a small stream in Hawkins Co. just southwest of
Kingsport. This is one of two fairly low elevation streams in the area where
I have collected Saffron Shiners and successfully kept them for long periods
of time in aquaria. It is an interesting mix of fish here with things like
Saffrons which I typically associate with swift, coldwater streams (often with
trout) mixing with things like Rock Bass. Once I was looking around in this
stream in late April-early May and wasn't seeing a whole lot. I came around a
bridge support where the road crossed overhead. I looked around the support
and in a small riffle about 6 feet wide were hundreds of fuschia-yellow-lime
green Saffrons spawing in the sun. Looked like one of those tourist films
from Alaska where you see all the red-colored salmon spawning in a river! I
collected half a dozen...I still can't get over those colors in the sun.
Didn't see any there today. A few stonerollers, striped shiner, rock bass,
and blacknose dace (colored up pretty nice).

I moved on to one of my favorite streams, Timbertree Creek in Arcadia just
north of Kingsport. This is a wooded, low gradient stream coming out of some
hills. Among the tree roots along undercut banks is found one of the few
remaining Tennessee Dace populations in TN/VA (it's right on the state line).
Last year about the middle of April I witnessed masses of these highly
colored, scarlet-sided beauties spawning over stoneroller nests. I have some
video I promised to send Casper as soon as I dub it over to VHS. Maybe he
will share this with others at the meeting this summer. Stonerollers were
busy carrying rocks to build nests today. I caught two beautiful male
Tennessee Snubnosed Darters, splashed with gold, red, orange and blue-green.
Saw two Tennessee Dace, but they were not yet colored up. Saw a couple of
Saffron Shiners which were starting to show some color.

That's about it for my day. Can't wait to get over on the Clinch and catch
some longears. Good fishin' to all.

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