> Here is the report of our exhibit at the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic back
> on March 26, 27, & 28, 2004. Pictures to follow soon.
> Dustin and I arrived at the fairgrounds, after work on Thursday, March 25,
> to set up our booth. Dave Graley, another NANFA member that lives here in
> Columbia was also there to help as well as my wife's cousin, Keith Crout.
> Keith is a taxidermist/contractor/carpenter and has won many state,
> regional, and national awards both with mounted and reproduction fish and
> birds. He had offered to build a stand for us to put our tanks on. I had
> also asked him to bring a couple of his fish mounts for us to hang just to
> get people's attention.
> We checked in and got our booth assignment and proceeded to set up. We
> a 50 gallon tank, a 38 gallon tank, and a small 1 gallon critter keeper.
> set the tanks up with gravel and sand, some driftwood, and hydro-sponge
> filters. I had filled several plastic drums with prepared water and we
> unloaded them and filled the tanks up. In the small critter keeper we put
> clump of java moss and some banded pygmy sunfish (Elassoma zonatum), and
> some pygmy livebearers (Heterandria formosa).
> Into the 50 gallon tank we put lowcountry shiners (Pteronotropis stonei),
> lined topminnows (Fundulus lineolatus), golden topminnows (F. chrysotus),
> blackbanded sunfish (Enneacanthus chaetodon), swamp darters (Etheostoma
> fusiforme), and savannah darters (Etheostoma fricksium).
> The 38 gallon tank was set up a piece of driftwood covered in brush algae
> and we put fieryblack shiners (Cyprinella pyrrhomelas), greenfin shiners
> (Cyprinella chloristia), yellowfin shiners (Notropis lutipinnis) of the
> and yellowfinned varieties to show the difference, and some seagreen
> (Etheostoma thalassinum).
> After we got everything set up, we decided to see what was going on and
> was here. To our left was 'Okefenokee Joe' !!! He is a real character
> quite interesting. Seems like everyone that came by his booth knew him or
> had some memory of him. He's been coming the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic
> for 18 years now. I ate supper with him Saturday night. The next space
> past him was a guy named Scott Jones. He's from Carlton, Ga and has a
> business called "MediaPrehistoria". He does presentations on archaeology,
> making arrow heads , fires, and tools like the native americans used to.
> had many of the old style tools and weapons on display and would give
> demonstrations on arrowhead making and fire starting. I honestly believe
> could start a fire with two sticks fast that I could set a clump of grass
> fire with a match. We were invited up to his place to sample the streams
> and beaver ponds around there. On the other side of our booth was the US
> Fish & Wildlife booth. We were talking with them and got asked to do some
> stream surveys in the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge and
> possibly Waccamaw NWR. Across the aisle from us was the Savannah River
> Ecology Lab booth with lots of cool amphibians and reptiles on display.
> American alligators, alligator and common snapping turtles, every venomous
> snake found in SC and many non-venomous snakes were here along with
> salamanders, frogs, toads, and tortoises. They had a Mole Kingsnake
> sometime Saturday night and never found it. I kept waiting to hear
> scream "SNAKE!" all day Sunday but they never did. Also in the building
> with us was the SC DNR booths including the Freshwater Fisheries guys.
> had a large tank on display with LM bass, striped bass, channel catfish,
> chain pickerel, longnose gar, bluegill, crappie and several other species
> it. I actually had a few people mention that our tanks, even though
> smaller, looked so much better than any of the other tanks at the show.
> Several fisheries guys mentioned they were looking forward to our
> later this year.
> When the show opened to the public on Friday at noon, the people
> opened. While most of the attention in our building was centered around
> reptile/amphibian booth across from us, we did have a fair amount of
> interest. Probably 8 to 12 people who showed real genuine interest and
> could quite possibly become new members. Hard to convince people that
> banded pygmy sunfish and pygmy livebearers aren't "baby fish" and then try
> to explain to me what they will look like when they grow up. Someone
> to convince me that the Heterandria were baby bass ("you can tell by the
> stripe down the side") and that the pygmies were baby warmouth (or mollies
> as some call them). With the Hets, I was told by this person that they
> would soon be large enough to eat the "mollies" so I probably shouldn't
> them together. Guess I need to redo some of my tanks.....don't want these
> "bass" knocking off my golden topminnows and blackbanded sunnies.
> Exhibitors were set up in five different buildings and many outdoor
> Many of these booths, set up in other buildings, were selling hunting,
> fishing, boating and camping supplies. Also there were several
> organizations represented as well. I believe I heard there were over 200
> exhibitors this year. The only attendance figures I heard were "in the
> of thousands". Still an impressive group to be displaying our fish to and
> great show to attend!
> Chip Rinehart & Dustin Smith
> NANFA SC
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