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Re: NFC: First darter(?)

Victor, I've seen rainbow darters along the margins of impoundments of the 
Tennessee River.  Perhaps it's not as rare as we might think.  After all, to 
re-inhabit a stream after a fish kill, they have to come from somewhere.


In a message dated 2/23/02 8:09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
PrplShark at aol_com writes:

> After my first collection, it is official........I was bitten by the 
> collecting bug. On February 18, curiosity got he best of me and another 
> collecting trip was in order. The weather was a little windy, and cool (mid 
> 60's) but that did not slow me down. So with bucket and nets in hand, away 
> I 
> went. 
>    Upon arrival to the shore, waves have now replaced the once calm, 
> mirror-like surface of the lake. Foam from the churning action of the waves 
> was noted in a few area's. A lot of debris was now littering the shore 
> line. 
> The wind has also caused a lot of water hyacyinth to collect along the 
> banks, 
> and to me that was prime opportunity for dip netting. 
>    The first dip into the water was a bit "nippy" to say the least, but 
> after 
> a few minuets of considering which hyacinth to inspect first, the coolness 
> was forgotten about, and the reason for being here came to mind. On the 
> first 
> collecting trip, all I had acquired was the female Least killifish and I 
> was 
> searching for the male this time.
>    The first few dip's of my net yielded the same that was caught the first 
> time, Gambusia, grass shrimp, crayfish, dragonfly nymph and the female 
> Least 
> killifish. A few big female Least killifish were caught, so I placed them 
> in 
> the bucket. To help with the shock of being transported, I placed a small 
> rooted hyacinth in the bucket, but not before taking a large specimen and 
> shaking it's root system in the bucket for the addition of some copepods 
> and 
> crustaceans. This was for culturing later on and to see what was abundant.
>    After a while of collecting the same, I spotted a clump of hyacinth's in 
> with the alligator grass that was abundant along the shore, and went over 
> to 
> inspect the area. The water depth was shallow. about 3-4 inches, so with 
> the 
> dip net skimming the bottom I netted the hyacinth clump. Moving to deeper 
> water, I shook the plants root system and inspected the catch. A 2 inch 
> blotched streamlined fish was seen, and with my heart skipping a beat, I 
> placed the specimen in the bucket, not wanting to wait to observe the fish 
> for identification. An emerald green flash was noted on the gill cover, and 
> continuing to near the abdomen.
>    After returning home I placed the fish in my photo tank, inwhich has an 
> external filter that causes a mild current. After a while I returned to the 
> aquarium to observe my new catch, and hopefully to identify it. With my 
> Peterson's Field guide in hand, I began to flip through the pages excit
> ingly 
> trying to get an idea of what I had caught. With reddish-orange on the 
> first 
> and second dorsal, clear webbing of the dorsal fins and 2 dark spots on the 
> caudial, the only conclusion that I could see was Harlequin darter. This 
> was 
> my first darter and other readings mentioned that darters are usually found 
> in creeks, streams or rivers with a current. This puzzled me, for this was 
> a 
> lake. Have I found a possible specimen that was introduced or "lake 
> locked"? 
> Are there more specimens?
>    If you are familiar with darters, please give me some ideas. Hopefully, 
> THANKS in advance.
> Victor
> Prplshark at aol_com

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