NANFA-- March of the snails .

Mon, 25 Feb 2002 13:22:48 -0800 (PST)

Two days ago I went out to do my first collecting
in many months . A health problem had kept me inactive
but this was a 75 degree day and I was doing much
better . I went to two local creeks and sampled
darters,sculpins,stonerollers and so on but this is
about a snail phenomena I had noticed before on a
smaller scale .As I moved upstream looking for any
minnows I noticed a black band about 3 inches thick
and maybe 15 feet long . This is a very rocky bottomed
creek . On one side of the black band the creek bottom
had a very light color and on the other side dark .
The light side was speckled with black . The light
color came out from the bank . Tens of thousands of
snails had lined up and were on the march from the
bank headed across the creek . The speckles in the
light zone were stragglers . They seemed to be
munching last years algae off of the rocks and
changing the color of the creek bottom . Like
underwater locusts clearing a field . They had cleared
about 5 feet out from the bank. Just an interesting
thing to observe .

Bill Hoppe
Yellville Arkansas

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