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NFC: Sunday collecting

Well, went collecting last Sunday at one of my favorite spots on Mission
Creek in Wabaunse county, KS. The water had been high here for most of the
spring, and when I arrived that afternoon I was surprised to see how much
things had changed.  I had only collected at this site once since the
heavy spring rains.  That was with Chris Davis (fellow NANFA member) who
came out for a couple of days of collecting in early June. We weren't at
this spot long enough for me to really get a good understanding of the
changes that had occurred.

This Sunday I was surprised to see how much, really, this location had
been changed.  Many of the shallow riffle areas were now deeper and new
riffles were emerging upstream and to the sides.  One rocky area had been
completely covered over by a large deposit of sand and a rocky shelf along
the edge had been gouged out and the mud washed away.  I found the
Orangethroat darter to be less abundant than in previous samplings
although part of that could be that I was a bit rusty on my kick-netting.
I did find a larger diversity of shiners however.  Overall, this is still
an excellent spot and now maybe more diverse...but I'm gonna miss all
those darters.

I collected the following:

Topeka Shiner  (released)
Sand Shiner
Red Shiner
Redfin Shiner
Bluntnose Minnow
Central Stoneroller
Suckermouth Minnow
Slender Madtom
Orangethroat Darter
Johnny Darter
Green Sunfish
Longear Sunfish
2 species of crayfish (Unidentified)

It is interesting to note that while they had been documented here before,
I personally had never collected Sand Shiners at this location.  They are
a wonderful addition to any aquarium and could be considered the "poor
man's Topeka Shiner" as they bear a resemblance to that species.  They
however posses a striking gold/lemon yellow stripe along their lateral
line and their scales have an interesting "x" pattern to them.  I saw
literally thousands of shiners on the whole of the above mentioned species
and believe the newly washed in sand may have been one reason they were
there as it appeared to offer an excellent spawing are.  The Red Shiners
and Redfin shiner were in spawning colors and the Topeka Shiners appeared
to just be starting their color change.  In addition to their being fewer
Orangethroat Darters captured, I also only netted two Slender Madtoms.
However, this could also be due to the fact that the water was now deeper
and they had greater opportunity to escape my net than before.  They also
may be hiding on nests under the rocks right now as well.  That is
speculation however.

All in all, a good afternoon of collecting.

Luke McClurg