NANFA-- savannah and eastern georgia collecting

Geoff and Julie Kimber (
Sat, 28 Jul 2001 10:12:30 -0500

I finally have a few minutes to send a message with my collecting results
from my vacation last week on tybee island-

Since I was spending time with family, and my father can be unpredictable at
times, I thought it would be best if I didn't plan anything with fellow
NANFA'ers to avoid any family complications. It's good that I didn't
because I ended up leaving a day earlier than I expected to.

We camped near a small river that has a fresh water drainage ditch running
into it.
I collected sailfin mollies and sheepshead minnows along with the ubiquitous
gambusia affinis. The ditch also had juvenile shrimp and fiddler crabs. I
kept the mollies and sheepshead minnows. I'm keeping them in brackish water
(1.010) right now until I get a tank set up for them. The sheepshead
surprised me by displaying breeding behavior already. It turns out I have 1
male and 2 female adults. The male became jet black with a blue iridescence
on his neck. It's pretty obvious that these fish are related to pupfish as
their behavior is very similar to that of the red river pupfish I have kept.

When I realized that I could keep blue crabs I collected seining as long as
they were of legal size, I decided that seining in the river might be a good
idea after all. I collected only 1 barely legal crab, which I returned. I
caught a fair number of shrimp that would have been reasonable bait, but
were only 'popcorn' size. I returned these also as I wasn't going to have a
lot of time to fish. I caught the neatest fish that I have ever seen - a
pair of tongue fish. They look pretty much like flounders but with no tail.
Their dorsal and anal fins taper back to the back of the fish Both eyes are
on the same side. Neat fish which almost made me start a saltwater
aquarium. Other salt fish I collected were juvenile black drum, surfperch,
and mullet.

On the way home, we went south on route 38/84 toward Jesup. I was aiming
for the griffin ridge WMA for possible collecting opportunities.
Unfortunately, none of the roads are open to vehicle travel, so
opportunities were limited. I found one road with a couple of ponds. Only
one of them had fish, which I thought odd. The pond was only about 40 feet
across and about 5 feet deep at the deepest. The water was tea colored. In
this pond I collected heterandria formosa, G. affinis, and a couple of
centrarchids. One fish was about 1.5 inches long and was turquoise colored.
I thought it was a pygmy sunfish until I got home. Now, when I look at it
it seems that I have collected 6 young of the year crappies. It should have
been obvious, but I really wanted a pygmy sunfish.

I also collected a sunfish like fish I cannot identify. It is about 1.5
inches long and shaped mostly like a sunfish, but it is rounder. There is a
teardrop under the eye and hte most striking feature is an eye spot on the
dorsal fin. The spot is a black dot surrounded by orange. I had thought
that it might be a bantam sunfish, but it's not found anywhere near georgia.
Also, the colors on the dorsal fin are not right.

The last collecting spot was the ohoopee river. This river was slow moving
with a beautiful white sand bottom. The water is strongly tea colored and
very clean with a bunch of fallen leaves. In this river I collected pirate
perch, which I have tried to find for years. I also collected a pair of
madtoms (probably speckled) and a dozen glass shrimp. Does anyone know if
glass shrimp are native or introduced?

ANyway, after I collected as much as I could, we drove home as fast as we
could. I found out that my idea of "very water resistant" sunscreen is
radically different than the manufacturers. My wife and I ended up
EXTREMELY sunburned from our time on the beach and we could barely stand
each other's prescence. Home in a hurry seemed like a really good idea, so
I drove through Atlanta and Chatanooga without a 'howdy' to Steven and
Casper, for which I'm sorry. I'm at home now doing an impression of a
lizard shedding.S

Geoff Kimber

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