NANFA-- NANFA Convention

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sun, 20 Aug 2000 22:36:40 EDT

The NANFA 2000 Convention in Jackson, MS, is history. Martin Moore is to be
commended (venerated?) for hosting and coordinating the convention. Friday
was a day of talks & presentations by fish biologists such as Rick Mayden &
Bernie Kuhajda of U. of Alabama, Neil Douglas of Univ. of Louisiana in
Monroe and Jan Hoover of the Corps of Engineers' research station in
Vicksburg, MS, and also a how-to presentation on garden ponds by Ken
McKeighen (ably assisted by his daughter Kendra...).

BG Granier was chief fry cook at the banquet Friday night, with key help &
direction from Bessie Granier. The winner of the "ID of Mystery Meat"
contest was Stott Noble of Birmingham, AL, for correctly identifying that he
was eating alligator snapping turtle. Stott claims it was a guess...

On Saturday we got to go in-country and get wet & muddy in the Yazoo River
system north of Jackson. We visited 2 sites on Short Creek at the end of a
seriously wet (not quite muddy) Mississippi dirt road. Most notably we found
a confusing welter of minnow species such as the Notropis longirostris
(longnose, orangefin, sabine shiners) group of species along with Fundulus
notatus (at least I think so!), rainbow darters, some other Etheostoma
species darters which I lost track of and some cute little bullheads. among
others. The very low water second site on Short Creek had a pod of smallish
gar which convincingly disappeared into an aquatic woodpile ahead of 2

Saturday night featured an after-hours visit to the Mississippi Museum of
Natural Science, which has a very impressive aquarium exhibit. It's not as
big as the better known aquariums but is at least as good per square inch.
Their native "minnow" tanks are guaranteed to stun any NANFA members, and
their tank with "primitive" fishes such as gar, paddlefish and pallid
sturgeons is a stunner. This has to be the top attraction for visitors to
Jackson (except for the Civil War buffs of course wishing to understand how
Federal forces overran the city and burned the Old Capitol, but that's an
entirely different story).

On Sunday the remaining attendees split into 2 groups for final field trips.
The largest group followed BG & Bessie Granier into Louisiana in such of
Pteronotropis hubbsi (or any other Pteronotropis not legally listed). A
smaller group of us went with Martin to the Strong River S.E. of Jackson,
down in the Delta. This is a delightful creek, with beach-quality white sand
banks and substrate. We found a variety of darters including a Percina
species (Dusky? we let it go), shadow bass, Fundulus notatus again, and the
longirostris-type shiners again. And then home, for me 'bout 5 hours to

So, it was worth it!

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

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