NANFA-- Where in the world is Farmertodd???

Todd Crail (
Sat, 31 May 2003 23:30:20 -0400

Greetings NANFAns,

I feel like I've been running on nature's treadmill. I guess that's not
such a bad thing tho :) It's been kinda weird going to work and not having
*any* access to a computer... But I don't seem to come running home to check
email first thing in the evening either heh. Got some neat shots of the
Karner Blue Reintroduction project I'm working on... A few of you had
expressed some interest in the project, I'll be doing a little web ditty
about that in the next couple weeks. Also been busy building a sand dune in
my front yard so I could keep some of the sand specific species of the
region better. It's so nice to walk out the front door to lupine, sweet
fern and rough blazing star :) Pics of that too, for folks interested in
conservation gardening.

And in between all that... I have been able to slide in a couple
non-Morone-lethal fishing trips in between all the nature walks loosely
disguised as "work" tho ;)

One of the gals working on the project is active in the Sandusky park system
in North Central Ohio. She was describing some fish surveying they were
doing on a stream that runs through a property they just aquired. The
stream is a direct tributary of Lake Erie (Muddy Creek, Pg 37 A6-7 and Pg
38 A1 in DeLorme... The location is right by the town of Lindsey on Pg 37
A7) and was at one time, I'm sure, the perfect spawning stream for Walleye,
Pike, Muskie, Redhorse and Sturgeon... That was until they put in 3 small
dams on this property back in 1920. Here's the good news tho... They own
all the property surrounding the dams, want to remove them, and the stream
really isn't _that_ degraded through that section anyway due to shallow
bedrock. I'm going to be in contact with the director here shortly to see
how NANFA Ohio can help out. Could be an awesome project! They expect to
have to do public outreach because people in the area for some reason feel
that 2' tall piles of concrete are more beautiful than nearly two miles of
riffle to run pools... Not to mention all the species that can begin to use
this small stream as a nesting ground again.

I sampled the stream with the gal last Wednesday and then her boyfriend
joined up with us later and explained more about the project. I was with
neophyte seiners (can't seem to remember to keep that brail on the bottom!)
and we still managed to do 13 native species. Was the finest collection of
Blackstripe Topminnows I've ever seen... Seemed to be analogous to the
stories I hear of the Darby. I'd say we caught 1 Topminnow per every 3
Bluntnose minnow, and if you're familiar with our local stream
populations... Yeah. That was a pile o' Topminners! I'd assume they're so
plentiful due to lack of predation.

A Golden Redhorse was also captured that day below the dams and I found a
plethora all local species of Sunfish _sans_ megalotis (they're in there...
I can feel it) and some Stonecat. Can't wait to sample further below the
dams. I checked some Ohio EPA data I have and there are also Spotted Sucker
to add to the list. Not bad. Might just be awesome if the dams were
removed. The list for this location was as follows:

Stonecat (below dam only)
Bluntnose Minnow
Redfin Shiner
Striped Shiner
Blackstripe Topminnow
Central Stoneroller
Goldfish (exterminated :)
Green Sunfish
Pumpkinseed Sunfish
Orangespot Sunfish
Rock Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Johnny Darter
Blackside Darter

The following night I hooked up with my "couple doors down neighbor" NANFAn
that I wasn't aware of until I took over the Ohio Rep job hehheh. We went
to good ol' Ten Mile Creek in Sylvania, Ohio to get a look at some darters
and such... And to see what would hit on some tied flies. I've been curious
to see if a light presentation wouldn't be prime for landing prized sized
specimens of some of the Cyprinids and smaller Suckers we have in the area
that get out of the seine too quickly. Looks like this is a true winner.
In 5 casts Bob landed this:

Who needs to drive to northern Michigan to catch purty fish on a fly? :)
Bob was quite impressed with the layout of Ten Mile and just couldn't
believe he was still in Lucas county... Let alone, that he landed something
like that behind, well, the Kroger parking lot. Then I showed him some
Orangethroat Darters ;) I think I have a new partner in crime to show people
what's living down there. We discussed getting in contact with the city of
Sylvania to see if we could organize something to get people educated that
it's *not* a crappy creek and does *not* deserve to be further polluted with
solid garbage and phosphate fertilizer et al. Sylvania is affluent and
educated enough to work with as well, so that's a bonus for this stream.
This morning it got even cooler...

I made a presentation at Lourdes College a few weeks back to a group that's
focus is a "Life Learning Lab" to teach ecology and life sciences to all
ages of students. I had planned to stay active with this group, as it was a
great group of people with a common mission to my own. They must have been
thinking the same thing. This morning they asked me to join their Board to
give a hot injection of the knowledge and enthusiasm into the community with
them. Talk about a great "Front"!

So I'm very pleased with the way things are developing locally... Which that
Carillio guy better get back in action cause I'm not going to have time to
watch that side of the state here soon! ;)

And final thoughts. I brought home some pumpkinseed from the Grand River
trip (pics and story to come shortly) a few weeks back and put them in my
backyard pond as a staging area before I move them into some local displays
at schools. I was trying to make it as detritus heavy as possible so the
water turned very very tea colored with the Ash leaves and Maple
"helicopters". I got kinda spooked about the fish not eating well (I don't
see them and I've been horrible at remembering to feed) and decided to set
up the 75 gallon in my basement. As I was surveying the pond after draining
half of it... I quickly found that the fish were fat as heck and nature was
doing a much better job at providing than I gave it credit.

So I took my time setting up the system. Just wrapped up here before I sat
down to type, was still cloudy from all the sand. This time I'm going
without Flourite and used LIVE sand to seed the rest of the bed. Hopefully,
I haven't overwhelmed the system with organics, but it couldn't be any worse
than using potting soil like Walstad suggests. I've been *very* content
with the sandbeds, all are flourishing and it really takes the edge off
"having" to do waterchanges to feed the way I want to. It's made things
very low maintenance, and the Rainbowfish bed is now going into it's 7th
month with only praise. Two years, tho, is when I'll demand it's the only
way to go or say "eht". ;)

Well that's about all that's news from this corner of the world. Pics and
stories and all those fun goodies to come from the weeks past. I guess
that's what I can do while I mope around with the Karners as you all are
snorkeling with the Bluenose Shiners down at the Convention. Wish I could
be there, but we're in a major flight time right now and I think I'd get
shot if I even brought it up ;)

So enjoy yourselves down there and come back with lots of pics and stories.
I'm sure it won't be that hard to do :)


"The nation behaves well if it treats resources as assets
which it must turn over to the next generation increased,
and not impaired, in value."
- President Theodore Roosevelt
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