RE: NANFA-- return to the valley

Nicholas J. Zarlinga (
Mon, 12 Aug 2002 08:07:38 -0400

With the frequency that you snorkel, do you ever use a video recorder to
record any of your experiences? At the conference, there was a person who
showed a video on snorkeling Michigan lakes. As you know, she wrote a book
about it. She was very effective in her presentation; albeit a bit "bunny
huggish" to many of us, however very effective to her main audience,
families interested in nature. She gives presentations at nature centers
and the like around Michigan. I think with the diversity of the streams
that you explore, your presentations would be very interesting, and
valuable as a record of steam degredation from an underwater
perspective-the most important viewpoint. Also, do you keep notes on where
you snorkeled and what you saw? Finally, you alluded to behavioral
differences in different species of fish. I think that you have the
workings of a very interesting book on fish behavior in the natural
habitat, very different than most of the ID books around. This could prove
extremely valuable as the different species, in general, are declining year
by year. Most of what the fathers of natural history did in the 18 and
1900's was to just identify and preserve specimens with a little on their
habitat requirements. Your observations would go a long way to preserve
behavior and habitat requirements (the IDing is pretty much complete) for
future generations. If you haven't started, I think that you should try to
develop this interest on a very different level.

Nick Zarlinga
Aquarium Biologist
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
216-661-6500 ex 4485

"Fish worship... is it wrong??" (Ray Troll)

On Monday, August 12, 2002 1:11 AM, [SMTP:Prizma at]
> i just returned from a weekend wander w/ my daughter of seven. we started
> sampling ice cream at the famous mayfield's dairy in athens tn and
checked on
> a mapped little spring that flows from near a small house. guthies
spring. i
> kept trying to locate it using the gazateer but the map road numbers were
> incorrest. finally i got true bearings and confirmed them when i spied a
> totally vine covered ancient springhouse. years ago the owners had filled
> the spring run to make a "nice" front yard for the house. well their well
> went dry at the original spring house. hum... i wonder why:). the spring
> burst forth downstream 50' from the culvert ditch side that runs
> the backroad. i did not get in it but looked like there were a few orange
> side daces dashing about. im always thinking flame chubbs in these parts
> i sure understand why they are decimated with all the spring and the
> runs tampering that takes place. next time i will kick net it, who knows
> maybe a few flames will be there but i doubt it. we headed on to etowah
> and the swinging midway drive-in to catch the new scooby do flick which
> followed by the spider movie, 8 legged freaks. it started putting fear in
> little girl ( she was covering her eyes and asking me when it was ok to
> :) so we cranked the van up and headed toward my buddies cabin near the
> tellico river.
> after a good nights rest and no bad dreams we drove across the state line
> the cherohala skyway. a very fine drive. scenic overlooks. impressive
> it gets to almost 6000 ft at hooper's bald. then drops down to about 3 or
> 4000 at the joyce kilmer and cherokee state forest. we hiked back to a
> called rattlers ford that i use to camp at. it has been over 3 years
since i
> last had visited w/ my son and a friend of his. a wonderful clear
> stream flows along the campsite. most excellent. giant hemlocks. riffles,
> pools and boulders. we put on masks and i quickly noted warpaint shiners,
> green fin and greenside darters, molted sculpins, hogsuckers,
> river chubbs ( a big different than i see at home ), rainbow trout...
> brooks, a unknown saffron type shiner ( cant id ), colored rosy side dace
> longnose dace. the longnose dace were very sleek and much bigger than i
> remember from the citico. they tended to stay under rocks in the riffle
> very large fleshy nose. nicely colored. the green fin darters lacked the
> bright green fins i had remembered from before. some of the stonerollers
> developing the pattern of blueish tubercules on their heads. i turned
over a
> few rocks to look for hellbenders but only found a couple unknown
> and sculpins. i had seen a couple small hellbenders here a few years ago
> along w/ a dead one resulting from a trout fisherman. no bass or sunfish
> seen in the 100 yard stretch we explored. the time years before i had
> mystified on the ids but this time i was only skunked on the shiner. i
> like to spend more time working the length of the stream but i wanted to
> spend most my time teaching my little girl. we had a nice evening
building a
> twig tower campfire and watching the sky for persied meteors and
> during the day we had also watched a perfect dragonfly be ressurected
> being long doused in the cold mountain stream water. we put a magnifying
> glass on the little beast to study its intricate body parts, dried it off
> a warm rock, blew off the water with our breath and watched its body
> pulse back to life. beautiful creature, yellow banding and bright
> green eyes. dissappeared into the sky.
> the next morning we broke camp early and hiked back to the van. i wanted
> check this stream's exodus just above the point where it flowed into
> santatelee lake proper. i was amazed to see tangerine darters at this
> at one point i had 7 in my glass and another 2 just over a stonework. the
> reddist tangerine males were in the intense rapids and their back dorsal
> were flayed a bit. dark, blackish were the two dorsal fins. very honcho.
> warpaints and the unknown shiners once again. large black tailed bass
> here. i rarely see tangerines expressing fear nor concern. they always
> confident and inqusitive. yet all the river chubbs were hiding under
> at 10 am. not like yesterday afternoon when they were very active at the
> other locale. hum. could the bass have been in hunting mode? there were
> several very big cruisers about.
> one thing that very much impressed me after seeing so much silt in my
> travels. these massive boulders, stones and gravel were relatively silt
> i could easily see how so much more habitat was available for all the
> critters. deep boulder pockets, lots of hiding places. very deep silt
> pools. if i could have dove down im sure beneath many of the large, flat
> rocks were hellbenders. i would love to return to this area and spend 2
or 3
> days checking out all the niches including the lake and its exit flow,
> cheoah river. very nice camping is along the banks of both the lake and
> feeder streams. some of these streams are quite large. many springs i
> would flow in offering different habitats.
> we headed to robbinsville nc for some lunch by driving along the lake and
> found the dam that allowed but just a small stream that was exiting this
> mountain lake.
> after lunch in robbinsville ( has anyone ever read peter jenkins' walk
> america? this is the town he was run out of because of the locals
> which eventualized into death threats against his dog and presumably
peter. )
> we made it down to andrews nc ( just south of which lays murphy nc where
> distraught white boy after being runoff and then nearly wasted w/
> for several days in an appalachian trail shelter found love in a black
> families offering ) ( great story, and true... peter j walked all across
> america and found more than most of us will ever experience. ) ( he began
> walk over despair for our country after the vietnam war ) ( awesome
> experiences he had )
> anyway it was back to the valley river where my nw ga and nc trip had
> concluded. this was the river fritz r had urged me to check out. that day
> been mirred in cold, murky, leech infested water. not a good experience
> the whole.
> now the water was clear, cool and inviting even tho the substrate was
> silty. the river flows thru a plethora of farms, fields, houses and man's
> work. thus the silt i believe. cerulean and i worked our way much futher
> upstream and saw in all: rainbow trout, redline and gilt darters, creek
> chubbs, big eye chubbs, hogsuckers, stonerollers, sculpin, warpaint,
> whitetail and a emerald type shiner(s), blotched chubbs, massive
> carp, bass, rock bass and redbreast sunnies. redhorse type suckers tho im
> getting concerned on seperating and iding properly out the carp. no
> orange side dace or gambusia. a very good locale that merits a full day.
> had thought i had seen a blotch side logperch in the murky water on my
> visit but i now believe it to have been a gilt. i dont know why i did not
> consider that possibility then. they do look somewhat the same and have
> same get up and go behavior. the blotched chubb id im sure of after
> memorizing the body marking and characterisitcs and comparing them to
> peterson's and the range maps. i observed over 6 of them at only one of
> many snorkle sites we tried. they were just below a small dam probably
> created by kids piling up boulders. 17 species for sure in about an hour
> a half of snorkling. i know i could go 20 to 25 if i spent the day there.
> we headed on back to chatt making stops along the way. mostly the ocoee
> river. an odd assortment of dams, lakes, wooden tresseled water shutes,
> manmade concreted kayak runs, nearly dry stream flows and bridges make up
> length. very clear water in places upstream tho probably devoid of most
> as the water rages for kayakers intermintently and then is abruptly
> for power production on some kind of schedule. recently a rock fall took
> a portion of the water shute which runs high along the ridge. it directs
> river water in and through the shutes to turbine generators. the upper
> river was modified and used for the whitewater portion of the atlanta
> olympics a few years back. all the structures, parking, roads and welcome
> center still remain. interesting area to explore.
> we have returned home a bit after dark tonight and i should be in bed. my
> little snorkler enjoyed herself when the water was not too cold and the
> not too slippery. she excitedly got to watch while snorkling sparing
> whitetail shiners and gilt darters coming to her hands. the conasauga
> about 80 degrees this time of year so a trip there would be ideal for
> much warmer. she had a couple shiver fits but were quickly eased in the
> sun of today. all and all a fine long weekend. school starts this week
> her which will limit our excursions.
> good night all.
> casper
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/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
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/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
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