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NFC: DP -- Collecting Day

Hey all,

  Well, my kidney infection has finally cleared up and I was able to get
out and do some serious collecting today.  I went to my favorite spot on
the edge of the Flint Hills where I have collected Orangethroat Darter and
Longears in abundance.  Luck was with me today as well as I managed to
haul in several dozen quality Orangethroats,  a few as of yet unidentified
sunfish (but probably Longears), a couple dozen unidentified shiners
(mostly Cyprinela lutrensis I think), several Bluntnose Minows I threw
back, several young sucker type minnows I kept a few an threw the rest
back...anyone know how to ID young 'Redhorses'?  think I might have a
Golden Redhorse about 2 inches long..., a half dozen or so slender
Madtoms, some crayfish I threw back and even a frog!  All in all a quite
rewarding day...but I would have liked to have collected more young
sunfish.  maybe if the 3 teenage 'yahoos' who came buy about halfway
through my day and started pitching rocks into the water around my traps
hadn't come along I might have.  Little snots even took and untied one of
my traps and thre the string in the water. Luckinly the trap was heavy
enough and the current light enough it didn't get washed away.  But, what
can you do?  It's a public area and they got as much right to pitch rocks
in the water as I do to fish in it...

Had several 'stumbly bumblies' today.  You know, the kind where you catch
your toe on a rock and suddenly have to do the 5 yard dash to catch your
feet up under you before you fall.  would be quite amusing on "America's
Funniest Videos".  But it got me to thinking even more heavily about
safety.  I think we need to try and stress that more in our
collecting...especially to the new guys.  I know that our testosterone
soaked brains don't like the idea, but we should maybe start looking into
safety gear such as life belts and head protection.  (those rocks DO have
hands you know...yessireee, just reached up and grabbed me today, they
did)  Safety is especially important for us yahoos who go out on our own
with no collecting partners.  (in these cases a cellular phone might be a
good idea for emergencies)

Anyway, that's a short account of my collecting day and some ideas to
poinder over.  What does anyone else think?