Had a neat experience a week ago on the Maumee River near Toledo, Ohio. I
was out seining for bait (and observing all the lil riffle guys and various
lepomids habitating the flooded brush shoreside :) and doing some fishing
when I came upon a riffle/rapid that had a lot of large tails fluttering in
very shallow water.
To my suprise, there were about 200+ gar laying inbetween the rocks in about
4" of water. Beautiful! Full color with dark spots, oranges, yellows,
reds, and a nice back drop of olive. Deeper water at the base of the rapids
seemed to be holding quite a few as well. Downstream, they would surface
continually, which got to be spooky when they'd do it right by me. Graceful
animal, but much more prehistoric and snakelike when I'm standing waist deep
with my only armor, a pair of swim trunks lol. Irrational fear, I know I
know :) Hooked one too when I finally quit watching and started fishin.
What a spectacular fight! :)
Any way, there were perhaps 1000's in this particular run. I spend a *lot*
of time down on the river (my urban escape :), and I've never seen this
before. I would assume they were spawning based on the behavior and color.
I've discussed this with Mr. Binkley and we're thinking they're longnose
What I really want to know is if they're river fish or a run from Lake Erie.
Their timing, should this be spawning behavior, is quite timely as the
hordes of fishermen who invade for the walleye and white bass runs have
ended about 3 weeks prior. The "shallow laying in the riffle" behavior
certainly couldn't take place as I'm sure they'd be killed by ignorance.
The water was too high to explore any other riffles on that stretch,
unfortunately, so I wasn't able to move on and see if there were more. The
water is *really* high now, so hopefully I can get out there in a week and
get someone with me so we can get one in a net and a positive id them.
Saw a few other species as well while seining and fishing. Found that the
3" bluntnose make *excellent* bait in comparison to the emerald shiners
everyone around here think only catch fish, *duh* lol. Saw some juv
suckers, spotfins, some green and possible orangespots, and angling yielded
some channel cats, white bass, and a resident walleye which no one still
believes me they're there... my tummy didn't disagree ;).
I probably won't be keeping natives for quite a while as I've used all
"available" tank space in the apt for my coral farming endeavors... But I
knew it was time to get back into NANFA when I started harrassing all my
reefkeeping chat friends with tales of fw native delight ;)
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