NANFA-- The Monster Florida Fling (way long)

Rose Lawn Museum (
Fri, 07 Feb 2003 12:12:50 -0500


Hi All,

Several months ago, Chip Rinehart (Columbia, SC) and Dustin Smith
(Newberry, SC) planned a winter collecting trip to Florida. Originally
slated for December of 2002, the idea was pushed forward to the last
weekend in January of 2003 to get everyone past holiday commitments.
Finally, after many weeks of emailing other fishheads in the region,
studying maps, and working out the logistics, the pair struck out for FL on
1/30/03, accompanied by Dan Hagley (Columbia, SC). By the end of the
adventure, 21 men from five contiguous states had joined together to kick
off the 2003 collecting season very successfully.

Site #1: Mills Creek at FL A1A/FL 200, NW of Jacksonville

Destined for the first nights lodging at Starke, FL, they couldn't resist
sampling a stream along the way before it got too dark to see. In a very
limited amount of time they collected/observed

Eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)
Golden topminnow (Fundulus chrysotus)
Least killifish (Heterandria formosa)

Dustin reported, "The F. chrysotus there had the nicest males that I have
seen. They had
totally red fins on the rear half of their bodies. I decided not to keep
any because I figured we'd get plenty. We did get plenty more, but none
nearly as nice as those."

The next morning, joined by Fritz Rohde (Wilmington, NC), Charles Ray
(Auburn, AL), David Smith (Mobile, AL), and Harvey Langabeer
(Lawrenceville, GA), the group moved on to the Santa Fe River.

Site #2: Santa Fe River at FL 237, SE of Worthington Springs

This turned out to be the best location of the trip for Okefenokee pygmy
sunfish. Species observed/collected included

Taillight shiner (Notropis maculatus)
Ironcolor shiner (N. chalybaeus)
Golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas)
Golden topminnow (F. chrysotus)
Bluefin killifish (Lucania goodei)
E. mosquitofish (G. holbrooki)
Least killifish (H. formosa)
Okefenokee pygmy sunfish (Elassoma okefenokee)
Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
Redbreast sunfish (L. auritus)
Spotted sunfish (L. punctatus)
Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)
Bluespotted sunfish (Enneacanthus gloriosus)
Chain pickerel (Esox niger)
Pirate perch (Aphredoderus sayanus)
2 types of turtles