NANFA-- Collecting longnose killies

Bruce Stallsmith (
Tue, 11 May 2004 11:52:22 -0400

I just got back from a long weekend trip from Dauphin Island, AL, to St. Joe
Beach, in the FLorida panhandle. I had business in Dauphin Island (!)-in-the
Sea Lab, but collected fish both there and in St. Joe Beach. I've started
this long-term project with someone else to compare longnose killies
(Fundulus similis) to their very similar cousines, striped killies (F.
majalis) that are found on most of the Atlantic coast. So I've started
making collections of populations-in-longish intervals along the coast.

Dauphin Island is-in-the mouth of Mobile Bay. I finally figured out that the
best way to collect longnoses there is on the bay side of the island right
on shore, almost hunting them. Two people set a seine net parallel to the
shore about 5 meters out, and wait for the fish to move in front of the net,
then rush forward and net the fish against the shore. Ruth and I got the 12
fish I needed in 30 minutes this way, just hanging out in the sun on the

St. Joe Beach 350 km to the east was different. I knew of the mouth of a
tidal creek that attracts longnoses as the tide rises and falls. Ruth and I
started seining there as a family group was fishing (and drinking beer...).
We caught 7 in one sweep, not so bad. Then I talked to the fishermen and
they had a whole bucket of longnoses for bait! The local name for them is
"tiger chubs", and one guy demonstrated to me how he caught them. He had a
homemade-looking cast net, and with one toss not so far out brought in 15
tiger chubs that he graciously gave me. That was definitely the easy way to
do it. So I wound up with 31 longnoses there, now packed tight in a jar of

They're just going into breeding colors-in-both locations as the moon waxes;
I have some males with dark edging on the tail, and hints of that amazing
blue-green on the body that they show-in-full breeding coloration.

Hopefully we can catch some F. majalis in SC-in-the convention next month,
that stretch of coast is a big gap in my crusade. See ya there!

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,