NANFA-- Swimming with the suckers

Mark Otnes (
Fri, 24 May 2002 17:03:09 -0500

I finally got out to try some snorkeling today. I went to Glendalough State
Park just outside of Battle Lake, Minnesota. The water was very cold and we
had frost again this morning. I bundled up in my two-piece wetsuit, boots,
hood, and gloves and dove in. The White Suckers were still having their
spawning run in a creek coming out of a lake. They were quite colorful with
a dark band down the side bordered with salmon color. There were all kinds
of fish eggs strewn about, but I'm not sure if they were sucker eggs or not.
They were found in with debris and clumps of plants in the overall sandy
substrate. They were semi-transparent with a white embryo inside. Anyway,
they were all over the place.

There were numerous Logperch and they had a dark strip down the entire back
and it reminded me of the mane of a lion. Johnny and Iowa darters were also
common. Bluntnose Minnows were abundant, and I'm pretty sure there were
some Black-chin Shiners, and there was another species I couldn't identify
(Mimic Shiner?). There was also one school of Bluegills.

After about 45 minutes the cold was sinking in pretty good, so I had to get
out of the water. Were supposed to hit 70 degrees tomorrow, so hopefully
we'll get the water warmed up pretty soon.

Mark Otnes
Fargo ND
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