NANFA-- chattanooga trip report
Wed, 6 Jun 2001 21:49:05 EDT
three nanfa regions were represented in chattanooga today for a quicky foray
by steve from georgia, geoff from kentucky and myself here in tn.
they arrived at 8:30 this morning at my homestead and being geoff had only
til noon before he had to head back we went down the road to a urban stream
ive been studying, wading and dipnetting. we worked the stream at the bridge
crossing seining in vast quanities of stripe shiners, a few bigeye chubbs,
rainbow darters, snubnose darters, a redline darter, hogsuckers, redbreast
sunnies, stone rollers, gambusia, blacknose dace. a little better than
average for a chatt urban stream. lots of trash in the creek, but lots of
we tried to head over to another urban stream but were blocked by roadwork so
we back tracked to a larger creek. we did not turn up anything of note there
except geoff dipnetted a 2" gar. both streams were full of baby fish... which
is what the gar was feeding on im sure. lurking in the willow grass along the
we had to get geoff on the road, so said our byes and steve and i headed to
the other site by a different route. this is flowing through a recently ( the
last 5-7 years ) of development... new subdivisions, roads and businesses. a
beautiful spring fed creek full of mint, cattails, water cress, arrowheads,
mosses, rushes, and i think... hornwort. many other lush plants, very nice.
we got in at a bridge entering a new subdivision and quickly siened up stripe
shiners, fine looking horny headed stonerollers, rainbow and snub darters,
creek chubbs, black nose dace, sculpins, and most best... southern redbellied
dace. the first i had seen. this site was documented by the urban stream
survey i participated in and extended its range further south. a elegant
fish. we only caught 3 so we released all but 1 so as i could study it in a
tank. i kept it along w/ a few bigeye chubbs... another delicate, graceful
fish. steve kept a few blacknose dace and geoff kept some stonerollers and
the gar. this creek is definitly snorkalable... and i will return this
weekend if no rain appears. i would love to see a cloud of s red bellies
there. also in this creek downstream i have seen warpaints, greenside darters
and rosyfin darters. a fine stream. in this new subdivision and at just about
all the new developments they have built depressions along the streambanks so
as to catch lawn and road runoff. these are full of cattails and frogs. a
good improvement to the way things use to be done. it would be nice to have a
home next to a stream like this along with the frog pond. i hope the stream
will continue to support this large diversity... well i would like to when i
die have jesus send me back in time to the indians for a quick snorkle
look... and then on to the mars canyons.
steve had to head back but if im already wet there are other places to be...
so i headed back to a creek coming off of lookout mountain. ive often
snorkled here and today had about 3' visibility. ok but not great. massive
redbreasts and some redears were the big see along with a torpedo of a dusky
darter. i collected a few black spotted topminnows for the cement pond.
viewed snubs, rainbows and a very healthy male redline in full color. i can
keep those alive in my home tanks but they really like the fast flowing cool
waters. i always see them in the fast flow hunkered down against rocks...
sometimes they are peeking out at you from crevases. beautiful fish. big
schools of bigeyes flurred about. coosa bass. and some kind of mini red horse
sucker which im beginning to pick up on. the leading edge of the dorsal fin
is black. ? usually about 4-5" long. a spooky fish meaning i cant get too
close before it dashes off.
another neat thing about this stream is some upwellings of spring water...
and it is cold! the bottom is brown and silty except where the springs
upflow. here it dances in a column of white sand 3 or 4 inches talls. other
areas it is as a boiling surface layer. pretty neat. ive tried to rig a power
head in a sand tank like that to somewhat recreate that effect.
thats about it from these parts.
we ( the nanfa tennessee valley alliance ) are looking at something mid june
in northwest georgia or ne alabama and at the end of june at the ky tn border
if anyone is interested.
it was nice meeting geoff for the first time... and i look forward to meeting
him somewhere between our 2 homes. and steve... always a pleasure!
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