NANFA-- Out-of-state visitors

Roselawn Museum (
Tue, 30 Jul 2002 12:11:33 -0400

Hi All

Last week there was a big cichlid convention in Atlanta (ACA) that brought
in fishheads from all over the country. I got an email a week or two before
that from Michael & Clarine Gaines in Kansas City, MO, telling me that they
would be attending the convention, and that they'd like to collect some GA
natives while they were in the area. They are NFC members, and had tried
unsuccessfully to set up something with that group. Happily, they found our
(new & improved) NANFA GA Regional page from the NANFA website and
contacted me. (Hey, Jay, this thing really works!)

In the meantime, our SC brethren informed me that SC Rep. Dustin Smith
(Newberry SC) and his friend Dan Hagley (Columbia, SC) were attending the
same convention. I contacted Dustin and extended the invitation to join us,
shamelessly baiting the offer with a promise of some rainbow shiners. He
accepted as well, so we had the nucleus for a spur-of-the-moment fish
foray. On Saturday afternoon, all of them met me at the "Awful House" in
Kennesaw. We also received a bonus visitor...Charles Ray (Auburn, AL).

It was already about 4PM when we gathered, so our daylight collecting time
was limited. I took them first to a neighborhood creek near my home in
search of the rainbows. Rain earlier in the week had done a number on the
tiny stream, and the usual frequent riffles were washed out to only a few.
The normally clear pools were still a bit murky. Despite much effort, we
failed to turn up any rainbows at that spot and moved a couple of miles
away, still on the same stream. We did, however, collect/observe...

Redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus)
Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
Southern studfish (Fundulus stellifer)
Coosa shiners (Notropis xaenocephalus)
Creek chubs (Semotilus atromaculatus)
Mottled sculpins (Cottus bairdi)

At the second stop we finally began to haul in rainbows in ones and twos
until we had a reasonable number. We collected/observed...

Rainbow shiners (Notropis chrosomus)
Alabama hogsuckers (Hypentelium etowanum)
Redbreast sunfish (L. auritus)
Bluegill (L. macrochirus)
Southern studfish (F. stellifer)
Coosa shiners (N. xaenocephalus)
Creek chubs (S. atromaculatus)
Mottled sculpins (C. bairdi)

We spent more time at that site than I had intended, so I had to eliminate
another one I had planned to visit and took them instead about 25 miles
north to Long Swamp Creek near Tate, GA. This is a wonderful snorkeling
stream with deep pools, a fair current, and scattered riffles. Shoreline
vegetation provides a good habitat for studfish. The bottom varies between
layered stone, gravel, and some mud in the deeper pools. Water clarity on
this visit was not all that great due to recent rains. We

Alabama hogsuckers (H. etowanum)
White suckers (Catostomus commersoni)
Alabama shiners (Cyprinella callistia)
Tricolor shiners (Cyprinella trichroistia)
Mottled sculpins (C. bairdi)
Blackbanded darters (Percina nigrofasciata)
Coosa darters (Etheostoma coosae)
Hybrid sunfish (Yourguessis asgoodasmineis)
Redbreast sunfish (L. auritus)
Bluegill (L. macrochirus)
Redeye bass (Micropterus coosae)
Southern studfish (F. stellifer)
Clear chubs (Hybopsis winchelli)
and some kind of juvenile madtoms (only 3 species possible in that area)

The temps were in the 90s and the humidity was so extreme that even the
lens on my camera remained fogged for most of our time at that location. As
the light was fading, I did get it cleared long enough to get off three
reasonable shots. They came out dark, but I was able to bring them up okay
with photo shop software back at work yesterday. For a short trip, it went
quite well and my excellent visitors left with buckets of new fishes and,
hopefully, fond memories of GA.

Thanks to our esteemed AC editor, I had a spare AC to put in the hands of
Michael & Clarine along with an invitation to join NANFA. Now, here's where
y'all can help... NANFA is the only fish organization to which I belong (I
don't keep tropicals). So, I never know when one of these other groups is
coming to town unless someone tells me. If y'all can remember to do that,
I'll make every effort to get NANFA's name and publications in front of
them. Fair enough?


Steven A. Ellis
Kennesaw, GA
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