NANFA-- Sunday collecting jaunt, south western edge of Wood County.

R. W. Wolff (
Sun, 15 Sep 2002 20:39:13 -0500

These seem to be a new tradition.
It was my nieces birthday party today. After it started to wind down, I
headed west from Arpin to check out Puff Creek and the Lake Manakiki. The
water flow was up a bit there, but still low. So I did little but watch an
interesting array of cyprinids mill around the pools and feed of insects
that were landing on the surface. Deciding I wanted to try again for some
northern redbelly daces I headed back south to the Marsh. This time I took
another route, since I wanted to check an interesting spot. This area has
strange hydrology. What appears to be a flat swamp land, water comes down a
canal, and T's off. ( not ticked off, the directions haha). The south flow
goes to the Yellow River and the north flow switches back to the Black River
via Weisner ditch then Turner Creek to the west. The reason I wanted to
check this area out is Fundulus dispar. I swear I had seen them other times
in this area, and it would be a good thing to find them here. The problem
when I arrived is the section I thought I had seen them was nearly dried up,
looked like a big salad with too much oil and vinegar dressing. So I moved
on to the aformentioned T. Here the water was much better and I caught the
Central Mudminnow,
Northern Redbelly Dace
Water Scorpion
Dragon fly larvae
Various snails
Leeches, pinkish ones that look like earthworms.
The problem with this spot is the introduced German wasps become aggressive
this time of year. They were all over the lilly pads. I had to leave because
they were starting to think I might be a food item.
I then went further south to Ball Rd. This is the same road that further
east I was last weekend. I had many spots along here I liked to check. Too
bad, for beavers and low water had other Ideas. I found most of them to be
mud pits grown in with grass, or a rivulet of water through the mud. One
spot, no name of this multi forked ditch that eventually joins into one
before entering Remington Ditch, had water. I managed to catch a good number
of young of the year of these:
central mudminnow
northern redbelly dace
marsh crawfish ( I call them that, they are pinkish brown and chubby)
I then checked more spots down Ball Rd. but to no avail. Dry, dry dry dry
dry. There were pools in places with fish, but it was not worth getting wet
and muddy for.
I finally ended up at the same spot I was last weekend, catching the same
fish as last weekend. One difference, no cast net and it was earlier. What
to do? This trick works here every time. Throwing handfuls of gravel down
stream scares the fish up near the culvert where they can be scooped up in
the water after muddying it up a bit. Why don't I just walk downstream? In
the water it is neck deep of muck, and the shoreline is neck high with grass
that cuts you and brambles.
Then I headed towards home , but thought to stop at another small ditch near
where some road construction was this summer. I did not catch any of the
fish I seen dimpleing the surface, but found out the mermaid weed was still
doing well. I was going to make one last stop at Cranberry Creek to see if
the iowa darters were around, but the drives were packed with cars and the
railroad tressle alone had half a dozen people on it fishing, probably for
crappie, so I called it a day.
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