NANFA-- Collecting woth cottonmouths
Fri, 18 May 2001 22:21:12 EDT

I went collecting this evening, nice warm humid southern evening, at the
Greenfield Lake spillway. I spent most of my time using a butterfly net
without any big results other than a few mullets. By the time I decided to
use my dip net it was too dark to see well and we hadn't brought any
flashlights. So I just scooped up several netfulls of hornwort and dumped
them in the bucket to sort through at home. While I was scooping with the
dipnet my oldest son called out "look out snake!" I looked up and could just
make out a 3' or so snake on top of the water about five feet away just
watching me. When I took notice it started coming towards us and I poked it
with my dip net as it got close to shore but it kept on coming. Finally as it
came up to the shore where we were at I dipped it up in my net. No, it did
not like that, and after lots of hissing and striking I let it out of the net
in the water near shore. It came back for more and I had to hit it with the
net to change it's mind. Since it was so dark we decided to pack up and leave
but the snake stayed right there at the bank as we left as though it was
watching us leave. On the up side as I sorted through the hornwort I found
several shrimp, an eel, and seven tiny catfish I had blindly scooped up. If
only the crocodile hunter had been there, he could have wrangled that snake!
I don't know what kind of catfish they are but they had black barbels all
round like a black bullhead. I don't know if any madtoms have all black


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