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Collecting, Shrimp, NW Ohio

OK, just to keep Todd C quiet, here's a brief account of the weekend's exploits.

Letting my curiosity get the best of me after hearing Todd's report of
catching shrimp in the Maumee River, I drove to Toledo on Saturday to see
for myself.  I grew up in that area and I never saw such a thing, so I felt
it was my inalienable right to know!  :)  With Todd being occupied at his
newly acquired fish shop (Sylvania Tropical, Ph 419-885-3171), I headed
straight for the site at a public access (Van Tassell) on the south shore
of the river between Waterville and Grand Rapids.  Todd had given me some
excellent instructions about exactly where the shrimp were found, and it
was a good thing!  Sure enough, the first dip with the seine brought up a
couple tiny, clear-bodied shrimps, just like those that can be bought at
most fish shops.  I say it was a good thing I got instructions because
these animals could only be found in a 10 foot stretch of shore line and
nowhere else.  I sampled similar to identical areas up and down stream and
across to an island and came up shrimpless.  The area where the shrimp were
caught had a slightly undercut bank with the roots of a silver maple tree
exposed and hanging into the water which was about 14" deep.  The shrimp
could be caught by pushing the seine up under the roots and shaking them
and lifting the seine.  I captured six, total, which are now alive in a ten
gallon tank.  I have yet to make the microscopic examination necessary to
determine the exact species.  If they're not an introduced species, they
must be either Palaemonetes kadiakensis or P paludosus.

So at this point, the trip was already a success!  The icing on the cake
was finding a few other species that neither of us have collected in the
Maumee before - not that we have sampled the river exhaustively yet.  On
maybe, my second seine dip, I came up with two Lepomis, one a tiny bluegill
and the other a tiny orangespotted sunfish.  Though only about 1" long, the
humilis looks like a nice specimen without some of the morphological
imperfections I see in orangespots caught in central Ohio.  In the same
area, I also came up with two tadpole madtoms.  Upstream, along a bare
undercut, I netted a blackside darter.  Other species found, which are
pretty common, where Lepomis cyanellus, Etheostoma blennioides, E nigrum,
Percina caprodes, Cyprinella spiloptera, and other shiners.

I became a little concerned at one point when I met some guys crossing the
river in full camo garb carrying all kinds of gear.  I was afraid I had
stumbled onto the operations of the local militia.  Later, I met them
again, crouching and eyeing their decoys - duck hunters.  The weather was
beautiful, sunny and 70's - excellent for October 17th, and the trees
coloring up nicely.  Quite an enjoyable afternoon, though a collecting
partner would have helped me avoid the back and shoulder soreness of
one-man seining for three hours!  No problem.  The pain just reminds me of
what a great time I had!

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

"Think of an ecosystem as an airplane and its species as rivets.  How many
rivets can you remove before the airplane crashes?"  - E.O. Wilson