NANFA-- River Reef Report 7/27

kahley (
Mon, 29 Jul 2002 09:35:17 -0500

No snorkeling on Friday. It was just too cool, temp wise,
and I am still battling this virus. We did go out Saturday
and it was wonderful! The weather, gloomy and cool, kept
most of the weekenders home and the water was so clear.
There is a long eared sunfish sitting on a nest just upstream
of the "two car garage" which is a rock structure built across
the flow, which the green sunnies love. I'm surprised how
small the nest sitter is! Maybe four inches? But of course,
I have learned here, that fish reach sexual maturity before
they stop growing. The nest I disturbed with my cleaning
is abandoned. I don't think it was my fault though. I found a big
rock, which had been on the stump, knocked into the nest.
Grrrrr.....more SS damage. Oh, I forgot to tell you, that wasn't a long
eared, but a green sunfish. As I said, I was digging which
stirs up silt and only looking down on the fish which makes
ID hard. That explains the hostility and aggression the fish
displayed! The greens are definitely more aggressive and
more attracted to "cave" and shady spots than the others.
There seems to be a green "sitting" under the logs...can't
be sure cause it's down and under and hard to see.

The new addition of the big tree is a success! It's a 30 foot. triple
trunk floater that I found. I hauled it down stream,below 'the
reef, to where I have planted the valsineria. I had to saw off
one of the trunks to get it to lay right. This is the first time I
ever tried to use the saw under water..what a chore!!! But it
certainly does fit the space now!! There are some sort of metal
rods, sort of like rebar, protruding from the bottom (no clue
as to how it got there) and I used wire clothesline and wired the
trunk to that and weighted the other ends with big rocks.
It has sustained a heavy weekend's wakes and is staying
put. I really want to hold onto this one as it "fences off" a
good section of slightly mudded bottom which provides
a different habitat. The very young long ears seem to love
it in there. What beauties they are! So delicate and perky,
there are perhaps a half dozen plus behind the fence! I've
never had a population of young long/red ears before, so
diversifying the habitat has paid off. Maybe some of the
white crappies might move in as well!
No sign of the mystery fish but there was no sun so I just
could not get a good look..soooo frustrating. As is reading
about these fish in reference. One site said that bass scoop
out nests like the sunnies do. I had always thought they
built cone shaped nests of small round rocks? Who builds
the hills? There is one "hill" up in the thick valsineria that is
huge. four feet across and so old that the valsineria is
overgrowing it.Again this year, I have to note the dearth of
vegetation in general. There used to be two types of plants
that predominated but the type that isn't valsineria is much
more scarce than in the '94 to '99 time frame. The space
out from where we park the boat had been overgrown with
this second plant. Huge clumps 4ft high with just enough space to
snorkel just scattered plants. I've not recorded
data on this, but I think the valsenaria is stunted as well although
it seems the patches are expanding. .

Gotta go and check on my Mom. Will try and write yesterday's
report when I get back but I have a deadline for a glossary
I have to finish. It's hard to work when you can "talk fish"
but I want Wed -Sun for the river so I have to finish it soon.

BTW...I couldn't wait for the sun and used up my camera.
I'm dropping it off today with hopes that it can be put onto
a disk so I can share any that come out. And there is good
news/bad news on the catfish front.
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