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Prizma <Prizma at aol_com>: NANFA-- darterfest

From: Prizma <Prizma at aol_com>
To: nanfa at aquaria_net
Subject: NANFA-- darterfest
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 23:56:43 EST
Message-ID: <25d77ca9.3521c90e at aol_com>

hello all...

i just returned from darterfest. it was held just south of iuka miss, at
top east corner of the state. the tn-tom canal/river system ran adjacent
us. we stayed in a nice rustic complex... crow's neck... cabins, decks,
cafeteria & auditorium. it would make an excellent site for a future

we arrived on friday afternoon and spent the evening getting aquainted.
it was
great to share and learn from fellow darters enthusiasts. i was well
beyond my
limited knowledge with these folks. there were about 40-50 attendies each
whom was either a professor, pre or postgraduate student or directly
in the conservation of darters. no amateurs but me!

saturday was spent attending lectures. most of the info was complex...
and hypothesis on evolution, dimorphism, sperm competion and
behavior. whew! however there were several videos of breeding darters
only further increased my love and fascination of these little creatures.
these fish are incredibly diverse in behavior. seeing how these
set up breeding systems was also fascinating. brooks burr gave a
rundown of darter describers and their contributions to the study. from
was expressed we may well see over 200 total species of darters defined
in the

i met david etnier for the first time in person and we are really blessed
have such a friendly, respected and experienced individual sharing his
with us at our gathering this june. i also meet pat rakes who along with
and peggy shute raise endangered fish just north of chattanooga in
pat is open to us visiting their facility on the sunday after the nanfa
gathering. he also shared video of various breedings of his captive breed
fish. david e is also gathering the needed permits for our saturday
observation forays. we are also refining our site selections. i was given
opportunity at the end of saturday's lectures to speak on nanfa and the
upcoming gathering. hopefully some of these folks will attend and share
time with us as well.

i meet many people who share my joy, love and fascination with these
creatures. i was told of a new minnow/dace found right in my parents
backyard/farm on the cumberland plateau. i cant wait to get out and see
it for
myself. i recieved many invitations to visit other folks and sites near
and am looking forward to continuing my new found friendships.

after the goodbyes sunday morn i headed back to iuka to visit their world
famous mineral springs... thats what the sign said! a rundown park with a
picnic tables and rusty pipes with (city?) water running out however is
what i
found. disappointed i headed north of town and found a small creek going
the 4 lane. my nets retrieved small catfish, sunfish, 3 species of
blackstripe or spotspot topminnows, several dace/shiners?, crayfish,
insects &
tadpoles. my exciting find was my long sought for...a non parasitic
lamprey. i
believe they are the american brook lampreys. from 4 to 6" long. they
exactly like the lamprey on page 97 of etnier's book. i brought one home
well as a darter, 2 topminnows and a dace which i still need to
a rich florishing of life in a clear sandy/pebbly stream you could jump
across! i wish i could have explored it more. there was one bright
darter that continually evaded my net! one of the caught darters was a
type of
fantail that seemed to be oriented for the sandy bottom. i didnt keep him
my tanks are not set up with that substate. very pretty though. after
with these darter folks i see the necessity of killing/preserving fish to
identify what they are. it's to hard to count rays and scales on moving
and my freeze frame mental facilities are fading with age :) i feel
when any of my captures die, however these folks had containers FULL of
recently captured and preserved fish.
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one wild note... on our trip back home, after we crossed the bridges out
huntsville, AL we collided with a flying duck. it smashed into our
throwing glass over my son's body and face. fortunatly and a thankyou to
and coby's quick flinching the glass was kept from his eyes. it was like
gunshot, out of the blue. i first thought of those stories of lunatics
throwing cinderblocks off overpasses, but coby called out "IT WAS A DUCK
DADDY!" as i tried to maintain driving composure. we cleaned up coby,
and glass and ducktaped the windshield then cruised on home. whew...
that was a one time experience.
glad to be home...we are having warm weather here and this weekend will
several trips to my fav sites to see whats swimming.
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