Yesterday, I took a 3 hour trip from Baton Rouge to Theodore, Alabama; the
home of the world famous Tim Wolfe! After enjoying catching up on all the
new stuff in Tim's fish-room, we then toured the greater Mobile, Alabama
area in search of some world-class guppies at the home of Gerry Roberts, and
then had a pleasant visit with Dick Stober of NANFA fame!
Dick graciously gave Tim and I a tour of his fish-room and home, and later
presented us with some vintage American Currents from the good old days, and
I must admit that I was impressed by the editions of American Currents from
the 1970's! We should reprint all of the well informed, knowledgable
articles by the people that were the driving force of NANFA and also
acknowledge each and every one for their valuable contribution to our
What a history story lesson we could get from the founders of NANFA, like
Dick Stober and John Bondhus and past and present members! If only we could
interview each and every one and compile a history of each one's story about
the workings, trials and tribulations and successes of the then fledgling
club that is now known as the North American Native Fishes Association!
After Tim and I returned from our visits, we supped on fresh Louisiana
boudin (a Cajun concoction of pork and rice, well seasoned, (NOT HOT) in a
sausage casing and perused some of Tim's fish magazines before we retired
for the night. Of course, we shared a few chilled Bud's before and during
After a restful nights sleep, we got up at 7:00 AM and drank about two pots
of coffee, downed large portions of scrambled eggs and then set off to do a
bit of collecting.
First stop was Alligator Bayou, the place where Tim and Rodney Harper found
a huge alligator skull a few years ago. Thankfully, the water and earth
temperatures were not condusive to reptile collecting as I forgot to bring
my "Crocodile Dundee" knife! Tim and I collected amongst the weedy areas
that were closest to the banks and came up with the Blue-spotted Sunfish,
Elassoma zonatum, Lepomis puntatus, Lepomis gulosus, many Fundulus chrysotus
and Fundulus notti and an individual Alabama chub-sucker!
The next stop at the headwaters of Alligator Bayou yeilded two more Alabama
chub-suckers and a ton of Lepomis puntatus, gulosus, and even one individual
of Dormitator maculatus, the Fat -Sleeper gobie!
We then drove back into Tim's neighorhood and stopped at the only site that
has the Fundulus blairae, the western top-minnow. Tim got out his trusty
long-handled dipnet and the topminnows would quickly out-distance themselves
from the reach of his net. After observing this activity for a couple of
minutes, I then broke out the secret weapon, the hoop-net that I designed,
and caught the three largest Fundulus chrysotus that I've ever seen in my
personal experience of 30+ years of collecting native fishes! These
specimens approach 3 3/4 to 4 inches in length, and the bulk of the bodies
At this site, we also collected numerous F. blairae, and some Elassoma
zonatum , several Lepomis puntatus (released) and of course, the obligatory
Gambusia which I kept for joining my Garfish's company, for a while at
A very enjoyable trip, to say the least!
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