NANFA-- casey creek KY collecting

geoff (
Mon, 24 Mar 2003 17:38:03 -0500

We had a very nice weekend here in teh bluegrass, so my wife and I decided
to gather up the kids and do a little collecting. We went to teh confluence
of Casey creek in Casey county, KY. We colelcted there last summer and
found orangefin, spotted, and orangethroat darters there last summer. I was
unable to identifiy the first two, so I didn't keep any at the time, wanting
to avoid collecting an endangered species. I have reserached and found that
neither of these species is listed at the federal or state level, so off we

We got a late start due to other commitments. We arrived at about 3pm, with
plenty of daylight left to sample the local critters.

Casey creek is covered with limestone gravel. Deep holes have a gray clay
base. The clay almost as hard as rock, and it does not get stirred up no
matter how hard you try. There is a canoe launch into the casey crek at
this point, and the area is maintained as a state park whose name I cannot

The water is of course much deeper now than it was last summer. Colder too.
Made me really glad for the neoprene waders, but the boys got a bit cold as
they don't have any.

I did not collect any orangefin or spotted darters, but I did collect:

orangethroat darters in full breeding colors
speckled darters (also in full color)
fantail darters
f catenatus (a bunch of juvenile)
creek chub
common shiners
'minners' - shiny things that I did not take the time to ID
american brook lamprey (I think)

I also caught a small slider turtle and a salamander

The biggest surprise was of course the lampreys. I thought I saw one at
first, but was unable to catch it. Then, my wife saw something odd looking
and lunged the net to get it. We caught another live one by surprise, but I
also found a nearly dead lamprey on the margin of the creek. I kept the
dying lamprey and its in my fridge (now dead).

We were rather amazed at the colors of the speckled darters. The males have
an orange throat and 4 or 5 intensely sky blue patches on their sides. This
was really surprising because I do not remember these fish the last time I
collected here.

My boys were enthralled with the turtle and salamander, which we returned
whence they came.

I also was able to collect stonerollers, which I have needed for algae duty
in a couple of my tanks. You may recall that I had a really hard time
collecting stonerollers this winter - they seemed to go into zombie mode and
they were very hard to find. The water temp was around 60 degrees and they
were back to acting like stonerollers again. I collected them in the
fastest water by the netfull.

Anyway, it got dark so we had to head home. A good day fishing is *much*
better than a good day working. It was great to get outside and in the
water with my family.
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