Re: NANFA-- Cat fish nesting
Mon, 15 Jul 2002 18:42:46 -0500
First, thanks to Naomi for the repost and my apologies.
It seems I had a special folder set for NANFA posts
and a rather ineffective filter set which allowed most
of the posts into my general inbox. Of course, the filter
plucked my thread quite nicely <sigh>.
And thank you for the info on Moe and Curly! I'm
still not sure who is which since the nest sitter is the
smaller of the two. Would that be typical of catfish?
Would the male be smaller than the female?
As to the reef, I have had little to tell since high muddy
water made access difficult to the deeper reaches
between May 28th and June 20th. When the water cleared
and slowed enough for me to work, I found quite a mess.
This had been the second of two episodes of minor flooding
and tons of silt,. sand and tiny clam shells had been deposited
in the gaps between the reefs. I've worked long hard hours to
dig most of it out and carry it by the bucketful to the nearby
island. I have created a rather nice, if stinky beach!
It was in this effort that I found Moe and the nest. The outer
reef is 12 feet of a big ole' tree with roots that I found and drug "home"
the year before last. As with all found logs and trees, I weight
it and secure it with the biggest rocks in hopes that it will not
be washed away in high water and I manage to keep most
of them through the flooding. The bigger bass and catfish usually lay
up in the space between the trunk and the bottom but because of the
deposition of sand and such, the trunk was buried under all the stuff,
as was the area between the middle and outer reef to a depth of three feet!
As I dug my way from upriver downward, I saw a piece of plywood
that had washed loose from the roof of the bluegill's "home".
I dove to retrieve it and voila! There lay Moe and a LOT of bright
yellow eggs. I C A R E F U L L Y replaced the plywood and
prayed that none of the club footed SS (surface swimmers <g>)
would step on her (him?) That was..hmmmm...two weeks ago
tomorrow. I resisted peeking again for a whole week until last Tues.,
and was surprised to see the eggs replaced by a formless mass of
gray. The water was still a bit cloudy and I didn't want to disturb
them so a quick glance was all I took before again replacing the
plywood. This Sunday, my snorkeling buddy couldn't contain himself
anymore and I "granted" <grin> he and his wife a brief visit. The
fry are very distinct now and the clearer water allowed an excellent
view. One dead baby was floating, I'm assuming, upside down,
as I saw it white against the gray. Hmmm....I just had a thought.
Perhaps it wasn't dead but a white 'sport'.
Moe seems tolerant of my remove the nursery roof but I don't want
to spook it off the nest. The area is filthy with young bass
picking off any fry who are washed out from the nest. Curly
sometimes runs them off but they are relentless. Perhaps
the young bass's fixation on catfish dinner explains why the
reefs are overrun with fresh minnow fry. I'm assuming minnows
but they are soooo tiny...really just eyes and spine that ID
No newborn bass on the reef this year. The nest site which
had been used for the previous two years is un done so I
fear Leftie went the way of the angler. There is one HUGE
bass who scoots at my first pass and stays away for the day.
It may be the one I bonded with four years ago, called
Greenie, to differentiate it from Blackie of the same age.
You will remember I have little imagination when it comes to
Well that's it for today. Tomorrow at 8AM. I start a five
day stretch of vacation. I have two trees from last years Christmas
to take out and add to the new shallow extension I built while the water was
to swift to work in the deeper parts. I have exhausted the rock supply
so the addition is a well weighted tree of about thirty feet and some
other stuff i found lying about.
I can hardly wait for the morning as the weather will be sunny and
the first algae die off is over so the water is crystalline. The white
tip shiners are still dancing and it's gonna be a gonzo day!!!
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