D. Martin Moore, his son David, and I met at a previously arranged location
at about 10:00AM this morning and after a prompt "meeting and greeting",
quickly scouted out the first location and found it to be full of hungry
After which, I set a soft-meshed minnow trap baited with those yummy
McDonald's Hash-Browns that all we humans, even Bill Clinton, seem to
relish! The water was clear and we could see the Bluenose shiners and other
shiners that were present were very interested in the minnow trap!
As soon as we had the irresistible trap and bait in place, we proceeded to
our next collecting spot....the haven of Lyrthrus rosepinnis, the Cherryfin
shiner........after some investigation of their population density, we
discovered three male Pteronotropis welaka and caught them on video-tape
before Martin's son David captured two of the gorgeous males in my home-made
"welaka-getter" net! (David calls it a "drop-net" because I have previously
shown him how to use it while standing on a bridge, and looking directly
down into the creek.)
The next creek that we visited had just been sprayed with a herbicide that
had turned all the naturally lush vegetation an ugly brown, wilted color. We
could even smell the residue in the air as we walked down to the creek! We
didn't stay here long, but after laughing about David sinking waist-deep in
the mud-holes, we did manage to collect some Elassoma zonatum, a very small
Mad-Tom, and some 6-8 Pteronotropis signipinnis, the Flagfin shiner, several
ghost shrimp and small crawfish......It is sad that my state, Louisiana,
decides to treat the many unique habitats in such an unusual way, applying
herbicides to kill our unique fishes habitats in such a "shot-gun" manner!
We took a side-road from this spot to collect the same creeks further
down-stream, ie: closer to the main flow of the Pearl River. At Foster
Creek, Martin and David spotted two Armadillos that were foraging for food
near the creek bank........
As soon as Martin saw some minnow activity in the water, he quickly captured
many specimens of the Flag-fin Shiner, Pteronotropis signipinnis among the
many discarded house-hold items such as refrigerators, toasters, tin cans,
bread wrappers, etc....This is despite of a prominate NO-DUMPING sign that
is posted at this bridge.
To make a long story short, we collected many streams and saw the evident
human pollution at all of the tiny back-roads that we traveled and
never-the-less, we wondered at the diversity of aquatic life that we found,
but worry about how long this wonderful system will survive with human
carelessness about dumping house-hold appliances and chemical weed-control
and even a wonderful bridge that had human-waste, in the form of disposable
diapers dumped into the water where such a piscatorial diversity is trying
When we arrived at the original site, we found an empty minnow-trap with
many bits of McDonald's Hash-Browns untouched in the trap!
Hellloooo..........? Bill Clinton? Where were you??????????
However, Martin and I did manage to collect a few more desirable minnows
from this spot before we parted company and headed for home!
BG, Martin and David
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