NANFA-- River Reef Report 8/30

kahley (
Fri, 30 Aug 2002 09:50:13 -0500

Sitting here, grinding my teeth, waiting for the temp
to top 60 <sigh>. My wetskin has not yet arrived and
I just know these last cool days have done dastardly things
to the water temps but the wind won't be too bad and there
should be some sun so I'll be heading out to shiver in da
river soon!!

More catching up. After posting that Larry was on the
mend, two days post op <g>, that was the last time I
saw him. We were sorta of talking about whether fresh
water fish stay localized to a specific area...even as
attractive an area as the reef. Well. yes and no.
There are some homebodies that only leave when there
are too many people, mostly sunfish and rock bass and
younger bass, but when the supply of minnows is gone,
the larger bass move off at least during the day Also,
the catfish retreat from the action and heat of high summer
into the undercuts and cool spots. I can provide "shadow"
but not true, cool shade.

So it's not unusual for the catfish to go AWOL in August,
but they usually cruise back to get some handouts from'
time to time. Not so with Larry. Maybe he didn't learn his
lesson or there was some damage I did appreciate but there
has been no sign of him for weeks.

Curly, who usually lives full time at the reef is also among
the missing. This hurts since he has been a regular and
very social with me for many years. I think he's pretty old.
Cat fish eyes aren't bright to start with, rather a hazy grey
appearance but his have been clouding even more so I'm
thinking cataracts.

We also have two new or returnee catfish. I mentioned EG,
memorable for his crooked mouth who reappeared but also
a BIG boy who has earned the name of Butch for his bully
boy ways. I watched him chase Curly off for three days running.
Curly put up no fight at all, just scooted at the first sight of Butch
so I'm assuming he just isn't up to defending his turf.

I figured he was hanging under a falling tree, down stream
and cruised down to check him in the other catfish's usually
summer home. Sure enough, there he was but the instant I
tried to slip him some goodies, Butch came cruising out of the
shadows and ran him off. I did swim a circuit of both islands
over the next week and saw no sign of him...bummer.

Butch has also tried running Moey off with mixed success.
She still zips in from time to time. She's faster than he
and clever, using the cover of the reef to sneak up for a
quick treat. Last Tuesday, the last time I was there, I
saw her, EG and a new character, One Eyed Jack. He
is blind in one eye, in fact, I can't really see an eye there
at all. He's hand shy for sure, content to suck the bottom
for the leftovers. I guess a bottom feeder would be the best
suited for success with one eye. I don't hold much hope for
the good size bass that showed up with an eye wound though.

Arrgh...I just loaded the visible satellite picture and we seem
to be stuck on the cloudy side of the front. I guess that will
give me some time to upload more pics. I bought some space
on Yahoo, (my choice because I want the album to be public
so I can show all my friends what keeps me wet all summer long).
I hope it wasn't a mistake. It seems they need more server
capacity....things take a long time to upload and load.

BTW....I'll know for sure when the latest pics come back, but I
think the Fuji disposables work better than the Kodaks. And
thank everyone for the cheaper camera suggestions. The housing
idea is interesting on an initial price point because it adds close up
capabilities and flash but we're back to the cost of the disposables
that go into in. Money may be a big issue next year as the camground
where I dock has been sold and I fear I may be ousted unless I lease
a campsite for the season. That is gonna hurt bigtime but I really like
being just five minutes from the reef rather than wasting 1 hr plus in
traveling time each day. Plus there is the issue of the new bridge,
more on that later. One the last roll, I tried cutting photo cost by
ordering just prints and online access, rather than the CD too,
from walmart but they still haven't given me access to the full
"high resolution" downloads! The small and medium
are just too grainy when you try to crop and blow up for detail.

Grrrr....and that roll has a great shot of EG, head on which shows
why he got that name. I'm still kicking myself for leaving the other
camera on the pontoon, that day. It had the Larry shots on as well as
any hope I had of the walleye pics. That was a pretty slim hope
in any case, if the shots I do have are any indication...just too dark
in there without a flash. The day I lost the camera, we had a lightning
strike close enough to be visible so we very quickly pulled anchor
and ran. I totally forgot about the camera which I had stashed between
the bottom of the boat and the pontoon. It's cooler down there, yet still
handy but it must have been washed off the pontoon, either on the trip
home or the next trip out, since by the time I realized it wasn't in my
pack and what I had done it was no where to be found <sigh>

Hopefully, that snag will survive the winter. If it does, hopefully they may
come back as it's a minnie rich environment...sorta like living in an
apartment next to your favorite restaurant <g>. And hopefully I'll
have flash capability next year as well. You listening , Santa?

Just reloaded the vis.sat.pic. Looking pretty iffy for today.. I can
handle water and air under 70 degrees if there is at least some sun.
Just a favor, if I may ask? Everyone west or south of Pa, set up
your biggest electric fans and point them this way to blow these
clouds off the coast, Please? <VBG>We missed all the rain by
30 miles so it's just not fair that we get stuck with the clouds.......
I may sound greedy, asking for still more snorkeling but we had
no access for most of June because of the flooding. I envy
you southerners...planning trips in
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