NANFA-- CWAS collecting trip 2002

R. W. Wolff (
Sat, 20 Jul 2002 18:05:02 -0500

The trip went off pretty well.

There were seven members and three "junior" members.

We first went to a site on Moore Rd. in the northeast part of the marsh.
This area is pretty much Cranberry Creek spread out over several miles of
canals, swamps, bogs and resivoirs ( not a typical resivoir- these are a
square body of water retained with a dike, the near shore area is deep from
digging the dikes, and the center is shallow and flat). Some other small
creeks and springs feed this as well. The water was two feet low, funny how
two weeks of hot dry weather can turn a foot and a half rain surplus into
nothing. The exact area we were at was a 90 degree turn in the road just
after going over a dam/bridge. Mudhens ( coots) and Black ducks were all
over , some black ducks looked to be leading a second clutch of young about.
Tons of sundews ( awesome little carnivourus bog plants that have tiny
sticky threads the grab their prey with) were starting to bloom along the
shoreline. Mostly what was caught were
Central mudminnow
Black Bullhead
Yellow Bullhead
yellow perch
fry sunfish species
Livebearing trapdoor snail
ramshorn snail
dragon fly larvae
various other aquatic insects
These were caught with various scoop nets ( what some call kick nets when
you use them in clear riffles of streams). From little bait nets on broom
handles to special smelt nets with telescoping handles. I gave the cast net
a whirl and came up with duck weed , giant bladderwort and pondweed, wow
that was great ( ha ha). Jerry tried casting with some assorted small plugs
with little luck that catching rice and eel grass. Bill tried a worm for a
bit, and caught some yellow perch. I was hoping for a pod of bowfin young
to come by, or be along the road, but this was not to happen. Brian placed
a trap in the outflow of a small dam, nothing went in it. The low flow
probably did not help.

The caravan then headed south west to an area Just outside of Sandhill
Wildlife Refuge. This little ditched creek comes out of Quail Point
Flowage. The water flow was nearly none existant. The water was milky
brownish orange from iron and bacteria in the water and mud stirred up by
things in the water. Not much wildlife was seen here, the ferns chest high
along the forested parts of the road, and grasses the same height in open
areas pretty much hid anything from view. The birds seemed not to be in the
air, probably a sign of what was to come. Here Scoop nets, traps, and cast
nets brought up lots of fish.
Northern Redbelly dace
Finescale dace
Pearl Dace
Brassy minnow
Golden shiner
Brook Stickle back
Yellow Perch
Central Mudminnow
more snails and insects
The breeze that was on the more open marsh was lacking here. The mosquitoes
left us be, but the deer flies were pretty relentless. Being in a caravan we
had to drive slow as to not make a "batman smokescreen" for the driver
behind us. This allowed every deer fly for the couple miles of this stretch
to follow the vehicles to the destination. Thunder could be heard to the
west when a strong breeze picked up and we decided we had enough fun
catching fish in more mud than water.

The last spot was Lake Manakiki. This is located on the Yellow River in
North Wood County Park, or locally known as Richfield Park. The water was
very low here as well, and made diffucult to catch any darters or cyprinids
in nets. The stream was wide shallow with rocks all over, no where to really
corral the fish. It was pretty clear with a slight brown color. Mostly scoop
nets and aquarium nets were used here, though Brian threw his trap out , and
caught several green sunfish in minutes, and Jerry caught some larger ones
on his plug. Fish here ( that I know of)
Rainbow darter
Bluntnose minnow
Common shiner
hornyhead chub
Green sunfish
pumpkinseed sunfish
Rusty crawfish
Three distinct clams
The rusties were variable in color, with some having blue carapaces with the
rust circle on the side. I have never seen them like this. Usually they are
tan and rust color or even greenish with the characteristic circular rust
spot on the side . The thunder we had heard at the last spot caught up to
us, as did a barrage of fishing campers from the large campsite on the west
bank of the river. Deciding it was a good time to leave, we all parted ways
and headed for home.

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