NANFA-- River Reef Report..Friday

kahley (
Mon, 09 Jul 2001 11:11:44 -0500

I got an early start. I was ready to break my own rule about everyday
feeding in order to do a head count. I really don't feed as often as I'd
like to. It's such a kick to have them take food from my hand that I'd
feed as much as my limited budget allowed but I don't because I'm
very aware that these are wild fish and must not be made lazy or
inefficient by my actions. But I had to know who was caught and
how/if they had survived. It was Spot who showed up with a hole in
his mouth. No sign of infection yet and no sign of being hooked
on Curly or Mr T. No sign of Mad Tom at all.

Saddened, I went about a survey and was astounded at the difference
a day makes! The water is finally clearing and the sun was out so
I could see in exquisite detail the residents of the inner reefs. There
are a ton of fish this year. Many of the mystery black fish and one
that is a season older and paler so I do believe they are black crappy. Still
shy of course, but with the improved visibility, I can hide behind one reef
and spy on them from six feet away.

There are a dozen tiny sunnies of some sort..marked by a dot near the eye.
Long ear? Red ear? Maybe the Peterson's will let me figure it out.
And the fish that I described as green with blue spots seem to be green
spotted original. No sign of the big boy but the
second/third (?)
season crew are happily in residence under a hunk of plywood I installed
about two foot up from the bottom. The problem with giving these fish the
cover they enjoy means they are not easy to watch. Hiding behind the
middle reef and being very still helps.

Chubs.....holey moley have we got chubs. Fast zooming fish, I had guessed
at their number before but I was off by a factor of two. I don't know why I
don't enjoy these fish as much as the bass and the catfish. Maybe their speed
and greed about the food. They snatch food from just an inch from Lefty's
Bully boys for sure. Leftie is not aggressive for her size but I can tell
she gets
frustrated loosing out on the treats. The clearer water also allowed a good
chance to watch the little darters. Amusing characters, I can understand the
interest in them. But they are sooo tiny, I can't imagine how you ever get
a good enough view to tell them apart. There was a time when I thought these
were sucker fry. Which reminds sucker in residence this year...That's
odd. No sign of carp either but I haven't gone upstream past the nursery
to their lair yet. After the carp kill last year, I'll be surprised if I
see any.

There was a lot of damage to the inner reef today. I am really surprised the
fish stay there despite the constant rock slides. I think I know how it
People cruise the inner reef and when a wake hits them they grab onto a rock
for support. The reef is purposely built to be porous to provide the hidey
for the young to hide so most places are not that stable. If I had more big
rocks, I could fix that but I have exhausted the supply so I must try harder
to make it as stable as possible with what is available. I sometimes consider
using concrete blocks set on their side so that the fish can move into the
holes. But it would be not be aesthetically natural and I make it
a rule to us only 'found' objects in the reef. There are many large rocks off
the tip of the next island over, but I don't want to impact that area so
I'm sort of stuck doing the repairs. It's comical to see a fish that I know
usually lives in a particular cave, waiting over the rocks after a
slide. As soon
as I replace things they zoom back in...most contented.

It was a good day and despite a mad swim in search of a lost swim fin, I
the water till the Friday afternoon crowd showed up and stirred things
up. Just as well,
as i again smelled rain, only this time, I didn't make it back in time. My
boat is not fast, in fact, it's top speed seems to be exactly that of the
cloud which
dumped on us all the way home. The dogs were much disgusted.

/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,