>> The Myakka State Park which is very near Sarasota is a
>> great place to collect. Both in the park and along the roads
>> going into it, in pans and roadside ditches you will find .....
I collected alone in exactly those locations will on vacation in early August
and in addition to the native species that Charlie mentioned, also caught F.
cingulatus. In the way of exotics I caught probably a couple of dozen very
small brown hoplo cats (which I reported, and some of which I delivered, to
the federal non-native aquatic species people) , and saw but ignored many
small cute striped cichlids that I knew (been there, done that in WPB) would
grow up (very quickly) and turn into tilapia sp. This I confirmed with a local
fisherman who showed me his catch. I also saw a fish in a ditch that I suspect
was a weather loach, but it saw me coming first and was scurrying under a
culvert by the time I saw it, so I never got a real chance to catch it.
I dumped the wife and grandkid off inside the park, and they did a boat tour
in one the largest airboats I've ever seen while I happily mucked around at
the shoreline. I was given a mild interrogation by one of the park officials,
which hasn't happened to me very often, but it turned out he was concerned
about plant collecting (which I was not doing). and not at all bothered about
fish. (Even the bag of hoplos didn't phase him, I was at least expecting a
"gee, haven't seen those before and they're not supposed to be here" reaction.
I guess not all park people are fish biologists. The "tree-top walk" or
whatever they call it is pretty neat, there's only something like 3 of those
in north america so it's well worth checking out too.
Very nice location, I'll certainly be going back when I get the chance. Lots
of fire ants nests along the highway though.
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