NANFA-- the Nocomis incident

Jay DeLong (
Mon, 14 Aug 2000 15:03:16 -0700

A few years ago I was helping a class at Clemson University in northwest
South Carolina sample a small stream. Mostly we were getting common fishes
for that drainage: turquoise darters, mottled sculpins, redbreast and
bluegill sunfish, yellowfin shiners (or whatever they really are!), rosyface
chubs, juvenile bluehead chubs, some others.

The students became a bit bored with the thousands of shiners and juvenile
chubs, until one time a few of us were holding the middle of the seine down
with our feet because the water was swift, when BAM!-- something hit the
seine with a heavy force. We all felt it and I shouted "Pull up the
seine!". I thought it was something large like a redhorse sucker. Well, it
was a mature male bluehead chub. He had hightailed it downstream and never
saw the seine (I guess that is the idea...) I photographed it and the photo
is at That fish renewed the
students' enthusiasm and we put the seine down and located a chub nest
nearby. They carried their renewed enthusiasm back to the lab where I
located some sources on chub nests and tubercles.

One publication in particular had a great discussion on minnow tubercles--
their likely uses and values. That book suggested a lot more potential
values to their tubercles than any of us had imagined. I've since tried
unsuccessfully to find that book, and I don't remember the title, author, or
anything, except that I think it was in textbook format and one or two pages
of one chapter dealt with minnow tubercles. If anyone knows of such a book
I'd like to know about it please.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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