NANFA-- River Reef Report 8/2

kahley (
Fri, 02 Aug 2002 20:32:28 -0500

I am beat. The umpteenth day of 90+ temps and even the water
is hot. I saw new fish today. I was up in the "jungle" an area
of thick clumps of valseneria almost as tall as I. I was looking
for carp and reef fodder. Actually, it was the only shade around.
I wasn't wearing fins, which turned out to be a mistake because
that makes me way too clumsy. With the fins I can move with
almost no movement but it's hard to drag logs home in fins.
The valseneria is lush up there. I was floating between shore
and the plants when I ran outta 'open'. it was either turn around
and spook everything in the area or go through the grass.

This spooks me. I'm, getting better but pushing through weeds
that thick and tall is still...unsettling. As I broke back into
the clear, I saw an odd sunfish. Very pale, with just a hint of lemon
tone, but no spots or markings. There was only one that I could see
clearly, but there were others in the grass that seemed equally pale.

I was floating out of range of the little lemon when a movement caught
my eye. My first thought was a gar, because of the shape and the
impression of a very long snout, but we don't have gar in the Susquehanna
or at least I've never heard of it. It was striped vertically, mostly dark
with yellow green on top and more or less the reverse on the bottom, but muted
One top fin, waaaay at the back, near the tail and a stripe through the
eye. Could see the bottom fins as it was below me.
I slowly grabbed a hunk of weed so I would pivot in place and keep the
fish in view. It didn't seem to move a muscle but it stayed exactly where
it was. I suddenly realized that I had stopped breathing and had to start
again soon. With my breath came a slight cough and it darted into the
weeds. It wasn't more that three foot from me ...not more than two inches
into the weeds and I could barely tell it was there.. Talk about camouflage.
It was maybe 8-10 in long. I never did get a good look at the snout/mouth
but had the impression it was long. I'm thinking a young Muskie? Dunno

Something else new to me was a sucker type but without the pattern, in
fact, with just a fleeting glance, i didn't see apparent scales.
More mysteries and I'm just too tired to care. Larry is doing well. Some
of what was pink and raw is white. I think that's a healing, it doesn't look
fungusee. Curly didn't show up today. Nor did Moe. I think the heat is
getting to them as well. The new catfish is a reef returnee. Named EG,
it has a damaged jaw, (think of Edward G Robinson's mouth) a very old injury,
long healed before we met.. I remembered it from a couple seasons ago,
which explains the familiarity it showed with me.
I am too tired to even get out the Peterson's and that's saying a lot. We need
rain and a break from this heat. Not something you often hear a snorkeler say.
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