Re: NANFA-- (no subject)

Fri, 30 Aug 2002 14:49:14 -0700 (PDT)

Wonderfull wonderfull . With good timing you could
bring them along to the convention in Bama too .
--- wrote:
> On Saturday August 25, David Rabelius joined Dustin
> Smith and myself, in
> Charleston, to do a little fish collecting. David
> is from Sweden, is
> interested in killies and livebearers, and had never
> been collecting in the
> US before so Dustin and I took it upon ourselves to
> show him the diversity
> of fish life in our state. It is so cool to live in
> a state like South
> Carolina and be able to collect anytime of year from
> among the wide variety
> of fish found here. Anyway, back to the trip.
> We met a prearranged location, David having driven
> down from the Raleigh, NC
> area and Dustin and I from around Columbia, SC.
> David had only arrived in
> our country the night before but was very eager to
> go collecting with us so
> he got in his rental car and left early Saturday
> morning to meet us. After
> discussing which fish he was most interested in, we
> formulated a game plan
> and headed out. Dustin lead the way and I rode
> along with David in case we
> got separated. We each carried a small two-way
> radio to discuss our route
> and interesting sights along the way. Our Swedish
> guest seemed to find our
> rambling on the airwaves very humorous.
> Site# 082502-1
> After instructing David on the hazards of the area
> such as snakes, gators
> and fire ants, we reached our first stop. This was
> a public boat ramp
> located on a stream just off of the Cooper River.
> In addition to being a
> public ramp, it is also a "Wildlife Viewing Area"
> which, in my experience,
> usually means gator viewing area. Fortunately,
> there were no mean & nasties
> to be found. This area was loaded with cabomba and
> hornwort as well as
> other emergent vegetation. The bottom was mostly
> mud but fairly firm with a
> few soft spots. We soon started dipnetting and
> David caught his first
> bluefin killie. I wish I had a camera and could
> have taken a picture of his
> face. Few children look happier on Christmas
> morning than he did at that
> moment. We were pulling up bluefin and rainwater
> killies, bluespotted and
> banded sunfish and lots more that he had never seen
> or seen only in
> pictures.
> Site# 082502-2
> Our next stop was at another public boat ramp, but
> this one was smaller than
> the first. The water level here was about three
> feet higher than when I
> visited it the previous week while scouting some
> areas. We didn't do very
> well here but did manage to find a few Heterandria
> formosa, some juvenile
> Fundulus species that we haven't ID'd yet and
> several juvenile sea bass of
> some kind. Plants seen here were more cabomba and
> some nice looking Lobelia
> cardinalis in full bloom. We quickly loaded up and
> headed on.
> On our way to the next spot, we stopped at our old
> good luck fast food place
> (BK) to grab a bite to eat. We all enjoyed the
> discussions about not only
> the differences in our two countries but the
> similarities as well. With our
> bellies full, we headed on.
> Site# 082502-3
> Our next spot was again near a public boat ramp. As
> we waded out into the
> water Dustin saw or heard a decent sized gator
> splash into the water.
> Showing no apparent fear, we headed on in too.
> Right away we were getting
> golden topminnows, least killies, bluefin killies
> and bluespotted sunfish,
> just to name a few. On a previous visit here, we
> had found much thicker
> vegetation including the non-native water hyacinth.
> This time there was
> much less vegetation and almost no water hyacinth,
> which makes me wonder if
> there is a spraying program to eradicate or control
> it. No further gator
> sightings were made. (NOTE TO BRUCE: we wore no
> waders at all this
> day....shorts and old sneakers only)
> Site# 082502-4
> For our next sampling site, we decided we would
> check some brackish water
> spots in an attempt to locate some mummichog,
> sailfin mollies and pupfish
> for our new friend. We stopped at a site on the
> Ashley River. Up until
> this point, the weather had been very nice. Temps
> were in the lower 90's
> with the sunny shining but not beating down on you
> like happens so often at
> this time of year. As we got out our seines,
> dipnets and buckets, we
> noticed that the tide was going out. Walking down
> the path, through the
> marsh grass to the waters edge, hundreds of tiny
> fiddler crabs scurried out
> of they way. Unrolling the seine, we could see many
> small fish swarming in
> the muddy shallow water. We walked out a little
> ways and made our first run
> up to the shore. When we lifted the net, it was
> filled with a mass of fish,
> shrimp and crabs. Most of the crabs were blue crabs
> and many of the shrimp
> were large enough to eat but, not having the proper
> equipment or permits to
> keep these, we tossed them back. As we got to the
> fish we noticed that most
> were mummichog. These must have been breeding as
> all were extremely
> colorful, many having bright yellow bands on the
> tails and very brightly
> colored fins. Also found were a Fundulus species
> that we haven't yet
> identified and some kind of small tonguefish
> (similar to a flounder). The
> Fundulus is probably either majalis, luciae or maybe
> even confluentus. We
> will post pics for help with the ID later. Every
> seine run we made was with
> the same results. Shrimp were so thick in this area
> that they were hurting
> our bare legs when they collided with them. As we
> prepared to move on, we
> noticed a thunder storm off in the northwest headed
> towards us. We thought
> we had time for one more stop so off we went.
> Site# 082502-5
> As we traveled to the last spot, the t-storm hit.
> Thunder, lightning, heavy
> rain...just what you would expect from a thunder
> storm at this time of year.
> When we got to the boat landing, the rain was easing
> up. We radioed one
> another and decided it was about to stop and since
> we were already wet, we
> might as well go ahead in the rain. We got out of
> the cars, walked around
> to the back of Dustin's vehicle to get the gear out
> and a bolt of lightning
> cracks down in the marsh, less than 1/4 of a mile
> from us. I immediently
> squatted down, Dustin ducked and started running
> back towards the car and
> David was standing there looking around. He didn't
> know whether to be
> scared or enjoy the fireworks. Dustin looks at me
> and laughs saying "what
> are you doing down there?" All I could think was
> "duck and cover, duck and
> cover". We decide it might be better to wait in the
> cars for a bit longer.
> Soon after we get in, we look down the tidal creek
> and see two guys in a
> small wooden boat with no more than two or three
> inches of the boat above
> water trying to move upstream against the water
> flow. When I asked them
> later, they said that bolt of lightning hit less
> than 100yards from them.
> Anyway, one guy was operating the electric motor on
> the boat while the
> other, sitting in the front, was paddling for
> everything he was worth. They
> obviously didn't want to be out there any longer
> than they had to. They
> finally got to the ramp where they pulled the boat
> up onto the ramp and ran
> to their truck. The rain soon stopped and we headed
> on out into the water.
> Here we found many more shrimp and also inland
> silversides. By now it was
> getting late and David had a good four hour drive
> ahead of him so we divided
> up the fish, said our good-byes and headed on. We
> had
=== message truncated ===

Bill Hoppe
Yellville Arkansas
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