Steven A. Ellis
At 09:11 PM 5/2/01 -0500, you wrote:
>Those of you who have been following collecting trivia are aware
>that BG and I have made a series of trips to a secret spot, there to
>obtain bluehead shiners (P. hubbsi). Last year we made two trips -
>one of which yielded one fish, and the second nothing but females,
>and damn few of those were netted after considerable effort.
>Beaten but not defeated, we made one more attempt today. We
>had kind of planned on going earlier in the season, but there were
>reports that the water was way high and the water lilies hadn't even
>come up yet. Nothing seen except bowfin. So we waited and
>gambled that this would be the day.
>When we got to our spot, the water was way DOWN. We both had
>close encounters with non-venomous snakes, leeches, and
>gambusia the size of mummichogs. A couple of F. dispar and F.
>We decided to move across stream where the water was deeper. I
>had chucked my minnow trap into a promising-looking area, and
>after striking out a ways downstream, we went to retrieve the trap
>and scout out other possible bluehead locations. But THIS time...
>It's very rare that I have seen BG excited. But I swear he came
>within a handsbreadth of a heart attack when he yelled out
>"HUBBSI"! They were all around a stump near where I had thrown
>the trap. A quick swish with the dipnet yielded three blueheads!
>After a couple of scoops the water was churned up and really
>muddy, and that's when all hell broke loose. Soon, we were finding
>the dipnet filled with as many as 8-10 blueheads in each swipe!
>We know without looking if fish were in the net, because they
>made a sound like frying bacon. No matter how many ended up in
>the net, there were twice as many to take their place. We netted
>males this time too - both first (young) and second stage (terminal)
>males. I am truly embarrassed to admit how many fish made their
>way into the coolers. We both got all we needed to satisfy our own
>needs (and those of others on a waiting list). These fish were
>I had mentioned that I wanted to see some bowfins in the wild,
>which would be a first for me. We stopped at a backwater to look
>for Elassoma, and BG quickly located a pod of juvenile Amia. One
>swoop and the net was filled with a grapefruit-sized ball of
>squirming bowfins. I kept some because BG assured me that they
>were good "trading material". So, anybody need a bowfin?
>Anyway, when I got the fish home and settled, I quickly found out
>that the large, secondary males will fight! They circle each other
>and develop several vertical bars along their flanks. I have high
>hopes for breeding these shiners since they come from very warm
>water (in the mid to high 70's), and here in MS even my indoor
>tanks get hot.
>All in all, a very exciting and productive trip.
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