The river was close to my grandparents home and I always made a beeline for
it when we came up to visit. I had a butterfly net I used to catch fish and
my goal was to catch the darters that I thought were sculpins. When I
caught one and saw it wasn't a sculpin (it was a Johnny Darter) I got Eddy
and Surber's Northern Fishes from the library and I saw a whole array of
darters described and displayed. At that point I was hooked on darters, and
they remain my favorite fish.
I read more about darters and discovered that there were well over a hundred
species in the country. I assumed at the time all of this diversity just
had to be in Minnesota, but later learned you had to live in Kentucky or
Tennessee to really see darters. I few years back I started to wade in the
streams again, got an aquarium, and got hooked all over again. Three falls
ago I decided I would finally make a trip down to Kentucky and Tennessee by
myself and see just what it was all about. I've never been the same since.
It was all I had hoped it would be and more. There were so many clear
rivers all full of wonderful life; it was stunning.
Minnesota has plenty of beautiful water, but it was scraped clean by the
glaciers, and fish have had to start all over again. There are no endemics
in our waters, and a fish found here is also found in waters hundreds of
miles away. Our waters though beautiful, just don't have the soul that
rivers to the southeast have. I would like to move there someday, but I may
have to wait until I retire. Just visiting the area though does make every
I want to thank Casper Cox of Chattanooga for being so friendly, hospitable,
and fun to collect with. I wish I could make it down there more often
buddy. For sure after the convention I'll come down and hopefully I can
swing another trip this year.
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ nanfa-request_at_aquaria.net. For a digest version, send the command to
/ nanfa-digest-request_at_aquaria.net instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, http://www.nanfa.org