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NFC: collecting in NC (attention Gerald Pottern)


Thanks so much for having me along for the collecting trip yesterday.  I had
a great time, and learned a lot about collecting fish from watching you and
hearing your feedback on my technique.  Until now, I've pretty much been on
my own and trying to learn from snippets of emails or online chat sessions.
After seeing you working the 5' seine I know now that I have to get my hands
on one of those (that big seine I've got is nice when you've got a bunch of
high school kids to help but is useless when I'm going solo).

I've got mixed results on the fish that we caught.  The bass was DOA when I
got home.  He didn't look too good when we put him in the bag initially so
I'm worried that maybe he was injured at time of capture.

All of the darters were fine, and are still fine 24 hours later.  Same goes
for the redbelly dace.

That green sunfish is happy and alert.  When I approach his tank, he comes
right up to the glass to check out who is moving into his turf.  He's such a
tiny little thing today but I can tell he is going to be quite formidable
when he grows up and gets moved to the 135 gallon tank.

I ended up with two of the crescent shiners.  They are both doing well.
There was another kind of shiner we got, and I don't recall the name, but
all of that species succumbed within four hours of release into the tank.
They're obviously a lot less robust than the other fishes and I'm really not
sure what did them in.  But overall I think it was a success.  There were
two different species that were a total loss, but but five species that were
100% survival after 24 hours in captivity.  I think I've got a perfect
number of redbelly dace (7) but look forward to getting more of the crescent
shiners since only two don't work together well.

Very interesting that we pulled up that big netful of redbellies and
crescent shiners together, under the same tree root.  In the tank, the
crescent shiners school with the redbellies.  They don't seem to recognize
each other as a group, but will almost always follow the redbellies
anywhere.  I wonder if there is a documented relationship between these two

If you guys run into any more crescent shiners next weekend I'd be glad if
you held 4-6 of them for me please.  I've got a lot of auction fish coming
to me shortly (check is on the way this week) and would be willing to trade
some of those.  Also if you run into any redfin pickerel or baby gars, or
any juveniles of the rock bass group I'd be very interested in those as

Once I get moved into the new house and have all the tanks set up, I'd like
to head down east and look for some oddball sunfishes.  Would be glad to
make it a group trip if you'd be interested.  The house we're looking
seriously at has as huge crawlspace area which has a workable area for
setting up a temperate fish room.  I'm seeing in my mind racks of 10 or 15
gallon tanks.  :-)  At the very least there is also a big metal shed out
back that would also make a workable temperate fish room if I got a window
sized air conditioner inthere to contend with our blazing hot summers.  Oh
did I mention there is a small stream running through the backyard?  Wonder
what I'll find in there.  :-)  The house is on the Orange County / Durham
County line near Guess Road but a quarter mile or so on the Orange County
side of the line.

Let me know how your big collecting trip goes.  I hope the kids have a blast
and learn something in the process (what kid wouldn't?)  That one stream we
hit at the end of the day was a real cornucopia and it was nice for a change
to put more fish back than I kept.  My only regret is I have yet to find any
streams near Hillsborough where I can catch madtoms, gar, or pickerel.  If
you know of any good places to find those types of fish please don't keep
any secrets.  :-)

Thanks again.

Chris Hedemark - Hillsborough, NC