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Re: NANFA-- collecting in N Indiana

>How about an account of your trip, Mark?

Well, I don't want to steal Jeff's thunder since I'm sure he'll type up a
detailed account once he gets his email back up and running.  But here's a
brief report:

In one small, clear, well vegetated lake in extreme northeastern Indiana,
we found the following species:

Fundulus dispar, Lake Chubsucker, Pumpkinseed, bluegill, (Grass?) Pickerel,
Largemouth Bass, Warmouth, Tadpole madtom, Yellow Bullhead, Central
Mudminnow, golden shiner, least darter, Iowa darter, and some as yet
unidentified shiners.  Most of those species were pretty abundant and easy
to get with a dip net or seine.  The dipar are very passive and can be
scooped up with a long handled net with ease.

Bluegills, warmouth, gyrinus, bullheads, mudminnows, Iowa darters and an
occasional pumpkinseed can be taken by dipping through submerged
vegetation, such as stonewort, and then sorting through the net full of
muck.  I have a reinforced dip net I designed that can stand the strain of
this method.  Another net I bought recently became a sacrificial lamb while
in pursuit of some elucive fish.  Even the tubular aluminum type landing
nets won't hold up to intensive muck and vegetation dipping.  I may offer
my industrial strength net for sale by special order, but the parts may add
up to quite a bit 'o cash.  I'll be glad to share the design, though.

Jeff discovered that the least darters and Iowa darters can be taken by
pushing a dip net forward, brushing through the top few inches of the
stonewort beds, then lifting up.  This can be done with your average
strength dip net.

The chubsuckers appear to be solitary creatures as adults.  We netted one
in random vegetation sweeps, spotted another at the mouth of a drain pipe,
and saw a third cruising over the tops of the water weeds, browsing.  Next
time, I will take my snorkling gear and check this lake out.  I'm sure
there are some sights to see below the surface.  One male Iowa darter came
up in full color.  Interesting pattern of reddish splotches along the body
and red and blue bands in the dorsals.  Nice!  The pumpkinseeds were in
breeding color and brilliant!  These were taken by angling with a leech for
bait.  Even the warmouths had some irridescent green on them along with
shades of rich brown, tan and salmon.  We speculated that some of these may
have hybridized with the pumpkinseeds.  Has anyone else observed
greenish/bluish markings on warmouth?  What about in breeding males?  I
will try to put some pics up on the web.

The shiners were thick in the middle and narrowed at both ends (more so
than stream types I've seen) and had a black stripe from nose to tail.
Jeff guessed that they were blacknose, black chin or black something or
other that I can't recall.  They will need some careful keying.  Any
guesses out there?

Great trip!  Jeff brought me some nice fish in trade, including some
eastern mudminnows.  Does anyone know how to spawn those in aquaria?

OK.  Not so brief.  But I bet Jeff can top this!  :)

Mark Binkley
Columbus Ohio USA          <))><
mbinkley at earthling_net

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him
to use "the Net" and he won't bother you for weeks.