RE: NANFA-- July 21-22 Conasauga and Tellico snorkeling

Jay DeLong (
Thu, 2 Aug 2001 13:11:59 -0700

> If snorkeling was what you were looking for, you
> went to the right guy. (Did you happen to notice the gills beginning to
> form just behind his ears?)

Steven, more than that-- he communicates underwater with fish! I think he
talks to them. I could tell when he was doing that because sometimes bubbles
would rise up all around him :-) He had a 4" or so aquarium dip net and
managed to catch hogsuckers, tangerine darters and even some minnows. He
had a green net and I had a white one. Needless to say, all I caught were
glimpses of fish :-)

Etnier in Fishes of Tennessee states that the tangerine darter is easier to
catch with a dipnet while snorkeling, rather than seining. I could see why.
They were in deeper water that would have been tough to seine. Plus,
they're quick and agile swimmers for a darter. But if you snorkel with
them, their curiosity (or hunger or something) brings them right to you and
with a little patience you can get them in your net. Both of us had
tangerines underwater in our nets that escaped and swam right back to us.
Again, these darters were often swimming mid-water with minnows. I should
add that the way we were netting them was harmless to them, and we released
them after photographing them. It is listed as a Species of Special Concern
in Tennessee.

> I'm hoping
> Dave will bring his fish viewer so I can give you something better than my
> bag shots. Depending on the light, I may try the underwater pics too.

Bag shots will be okay if that's all you have, especially if you have a
macro lens. I didn't have a macro lens, else my photos would have been much
better. I got as close as my camera would permit.

Can't wait to hear (and see) about the Sipsey!

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA
"It is horrifying that we have to fight
our own government to save the environment."
~Ansel Adams

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