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Re: Fish ID ideas?

Sorry, but I must beg to differ with Mr Weigert's assessment:

>Well the spring is maybe 48" wide and 12" deep at its widest. I is mostly
>rock but the Water Cress has taken over. If it weren't for that it would be
>a typical creek with lots of small rock. I don't know how cold the water is
>for sure but your hands get cold fast! I would guess it to be in the 65
>degree range.

Sounds like typical sculpin habitat to me.  Sculpins have nothing against
plants, but few plants find their habitat very hospitable.  A 48" wide
spring could easily have shore and emergent plants in proximity to any fish
that might be present.

>>I don't htink it was a darter.  Darters typically do not have a head much
>>wider than the rest of the body.


>It had a large head! I didn't think it was a darter but not really sure.
>Haven't seen many up close to know.

Large head indicates sculpin to me.  Look for a large, upturned mouth.
Also look for very large, fan shaped pectoral fins which may be held close
the body.  Also, spine-like projections from the edge of each operculum.
These may be difficult to see without very close inspection.  Catfish would
either be hiding or moble.  They would not normally sit still out in the
open, particularly in current.

Few books will show an overhead view of a sculpin, but the outline from
above is very distinctive.  Probably the only North American fish that
would resemble a pleco from above.

>>Did it swim just off the bottom?
>Yup like a rocket too! It moved very fast but only a short distance.

Sounds like typical sculpin flight behavior.

>>Did it sit around?
>Yup! It just sat there while I pointed it out to a lady that came by to
>collect water. (The spring is very popular place to get drinking water) I
>almost had to touch it to make it move.

Also typical sculpin behavior.  They are ambush predators and will remain
stationary most of the time.

I would be very surprised if a stream that small and that cold would
support plecos very long.  If it's under tree cover, there's probably
little algae for them either.

Just my opinion!

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.