After waiting for my betters to post the official report (nice job, Bruce),
I'll add just a little.
What a great day! The weather was perfect. After a moment of silence for
Slim Aguilar, the six of us spread out in this beautiful stream, employing
a number of collecting methods. With three cameras present, this may also
turn out to be one of the TV region's best documented excursions. The
Estill Fork location was easy to work, even for the middle-aged members of
the crew. I can't remember when I've seen such a clean, plentiful stream.
I can't stress enough, as a novice, the benefits of collecting with highly
educated professionals. Each time out adds to the body of working
knowledge, and increases the appreciation of aquatic life. One immediate
benefit is having instant ID of the fish. When I collect alone, I often
have to throw back some really beautiful fish if I'm uncertain whether they
are endangered or not. In this respect, Dave Neely is a human field guide.
When he ID's the endangered ones, I am able to watch out for them later.
Also, Bruce is able to impart information about streams, plants, etc. in a
way that is even palatable to a creationist. I haven't yet tried
snorkeling, but the wonder that Casper describes below the surface of the
water is getting me closer all the time. If any human ever grows gills, I'm
betting on him!
If you're in the region for the next meet, I encourage you to come out. I
tend to forget how nice Alabama is until I visit. The fare ranges from
moonpies to watermelon. Who knows, maybe next trip it'll be biscuits & gravy!
Either way, my tanks have some wonderful new fish in them. Yes, Martin, 4
of them died in transit.
How's that for fastpitch...take that, nanfa.com!
Steven A. Ellis
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