NANFA-- Fall 2000 VA Regional Collecting Trip Report

Mike Thennet (
Fri, 13 Oct 2000 15:21:41 -0400

Sorry if you get this twice.

On October 7. 2000. Mike Alao, Tom Alberti, Bob Bock, Osmon Claros and
myself visited a little unnamed creek I know that flows into the
Occaquon Reservoir in the Lake Ridge area. The creek is located in a
newly developed suburban area which just a year and a half ago was a
rather secluded forested rural area. The location is easily accessible
via car and by short hiking trails. Last July we sampled the location
and collected some of the most beautiful Rosyside Dace I had ever seen.

Due to heavy rain the previous week the water was very cool and somewhat
turbid. Silt and some unusual plume-like algae growths had developed on
the creek bottom since our last visit back in July. Also, more plastic,
metal and other types of manmade refuse were evident as well. According
to my map, a golf course was recently constructed a mile or so upstream
which obviously drew good business this past summer. Runoff from a
beautiful manmade plush green golf course may have been the cause of the
unusual algae growths. Who knows?. Speaking of golf courses, all I
could think of at the time was George Carlin's thoughts on golf. That,
at least, brought a smile to my face.

Species sampled were Green Sunfish, Bluegill, Rosyside Dace, Blacknose
Dace, White Sucker, Fantail Darter and Tessellated Darter. The absence
of redbreast sunfish and pumpkinseeds was not too disturbing since they
were present only in small numbers last July but the complete absence of
the dainty bridled or swallowtail shiner (not yet identified) was a
little upsetting since they were collected on almost every seine haul
last Summer. The precense of even more bluegill seemed to be the sad
trend for the little unnamed creek and a few other creeks I know in the
Northern Virginia area. Luckily, the darters were present in good
numbers throughout the stream. Both species are able to spawn and breed
upside down on the undersides of rock and wood caves which keeps their
eggs safe from being smothered in silt.