I used to work in the Hillsborough River nearby which has around 45
freshwater species. Abundant species in the mid-channel were coastal
shiner, sailfin shiner, ironcolor shiner. Vegetated margins had good
numbers of longnose and Florida gar, pirate perch, Okefenokee and Everglades
pygmy sunfishes, bluefin killifish, sailfin molly, golden topminnow, and of
course mosquitofish (all of the last three with frequent melanistic
specimens). In the backwaters and swamps there were a lot of taillight
shiner, Florida flagfish, and swamp darter. Most of these should be common
in the Little Manatee River, but I am not sure about sailfins and ironcolor
shiners. The Hillsborough drainage used to be considered the southern limit
of their distribution but that could have changed in the last 30 years.
There is an excellent USF master's thesis on the fishes of the Hillsborough
drainage by Brian Barnett.
I only collected fishes in the Little Manatee proper once - at a place
called Willow Shores Swamp. I was with Derril Moody, one of the
co-discoverers of the South American Tigerfish (Hoplias malabaricus) there.
We got melenistic golden topminnow, Florida gar, Florida flagfish, brown
bullhead, chubsucker, and dollar sunfish, but no tigerfish. Population is
now believed extirpated. But, watch out, just in case.
From: Roselawn Museum
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2001 12:17 PM
Subject: NANFA-- Florida fish
Happy New Year, Fishheads!
I got to spend a few days in Sarasota, FL during Christmas. I found a
great stream (the Little Manatee River) just east of Bradenton on the next
to last day of the trip. We planned to collect the following day, but it
started raining. That cost me my would-be helpers. I could see many fish
there, but not well enough to identify them through the water. I don't have
any Florida fish books. Can any of you tell me what I might expect to pull
out of that stream when I return there? Thanks.
Steven A. Ellis
(unseasonably...no, UNREASONABLY cold here)
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