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NFC: Collecting in Ft.Worth,Texas Style...

Hello all, I was lucky enough last weekend to meet with Robert Denkhaus at
the Ft. Worth Nature Center and Refuge located just outside the Ft. Worth,
Texas city limits on Hiway 199.
I met up with Robert and Sajjad Lateef and Gary Rollwage and Robert gave us
a quick tour of the Nature Center and told us of his goals and ambitions for
the 3500+ acres of wilderness and the Interpretive Center.
We then went to the canoes and started our journey down the middle fork of
the Trinity River which at that point is a slow, medium sized river. We
tried collecting along the shore as we paddled along and didnt collect more
than a few Ghost / glass Shrimp and some very small bass. We saw several gar
that were lazily swimming and sunning themselves in the turbid shallow parts
of the stream. Along the way, Rob directed us to a very pretty picturesque
bay where we saw lots of Cormorants,Snowy Egrets and Great White Egrets. We
paddled along and after about a mile and a half or two, we stopped and
started doing some serious collecting somewhere around the Southern range of
the Center.
We found Gambusia, Silversides, Bass of various sizes, Bluegill, Longear and
Orangespotted Sunfish along with a few Logperch and Sand Shiners. Gary and I
caught a very curious little fish with a black stripe running the length of
its back, over the dorsal and into the caudal fin. None of us had ever seen
markings quite like this little guy and so I took it home with me for
further study. We all thought perhaps it was a hybrid Sunfish of some kind
but after I got it home I found that what I have is a very small White
Crappie !!!
After Rob called in a truck to pick up the canoes and bring some water to a
few very thirsty  men that had forgot how hot Texas can get in June, we
piled in another truck to head over to another spot where Rob proceeded to
slash a tire on his 4x4 tryin to get us into a swampy area just downstream
of Eagle Mountain Lake where Robert had recently released some aligators !!!
While carefully watching for the 6' gators we collected F. notatus, Longear
Sunfish, OrangeSpotted Sunfish and Red Shiners and what we all think are
Blacktail Shiners. We never found the Madtoms that Robert had told us about
but all in all we caught more fish than we had anticipated. After getting
back to the Center and resting from a very adventurous and hot trip we all
said our goodbye and left for home.
If anyone is planning a trip to the Ft. Worth / Dallas area I would surely
suggest a stop into the Nature Center and a talk with Robert. I promise you
wont be disappointed.......
Charles Anderton
Round Rock, Texas