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NFC: more collecting

OK I have been doing better with my minnow traps in that little creek I
love so much that feeds the Eno River, behind the courthouse in
Hillsborough, NC.

Instead of using bread and cheese, this time I used two whole gulf coast
shrimp.  On the same two pieces of shrimp, I did pretty well.

Air temp yesterday when I set the trap was about 102'.  I didn't measure
water temp but it was well into the 80's, and I dare say upper 80's. 
Darters were not to be found anywhere and it has been suggested that
they may have died off in the heat.  But the heat did bring more of the
dollar sunnies out, and the first check of the trap after about only two
hours brought in a bunch of dollar sunnies with two nice big males.  The
bait had hardly been touched so I set the trap back in the same area at
around 8:00PM and left it.  I went back around midnight and there were
two dead copperhead snakes in there and one creek chub.  Bait was
untouched.  The snakes were both very fat so I think they ate whatever
was in the trap before they drowned.  I set the trap again, same spot,
and didn't return until 1:00PM today.

There were a couple more dollar sunnies, but most of the catch consisted
of creek chub.  I threw most of them back but kept a couple of bigger
males that had breeding tubercles on their heads.  Just for the heck of
it I'm going to see if I can get these guys to spawn, though they are
common as dirt in a ditch and not much to look at.

Also in my catch, throughout the day, I caught a different kind of
minnow that I can't seem to ID in my books.  Maybe it is just me.  I got
a couple good pictures of the fish so catch me in ICQ and I'll send the
photo if you think you might be able to help ID.  It is some sort of
cyprinid, about three inches long.  There is a sigle black horizontal
stripe running the length of the fish with a gold stripe over top. 
This, at first, caused me to think they were more creek chubs in my
trap.  But this fish is more finely scaled, has an olive dorsum with
fain black spots on the dorsum.  The mouth is smaller than the creek
chub and terminated on the front of the face instead of underneath.  One
individual had bright yellow fins (maybe a male).  The horizontal line
on the side isn't perfectly straight as it jumps up a bit around the
same distance back as the dorsal fin.  I didn't start seeing this fish
in my catch until the water temperatures got so dreadfully high.

It is unfortunate about the darters.  I caught that one shield darter
about a month ago.  The water temp seemed pretty high even then, but now
it is like a warm bath.  I sat on a rock for awhile and just watched to
see what I could see.  No darters.  Not a one.  I saw some tiny young
creek chub and a few sunnies but for the most part the riffles seemed
dead yesterday.  We also have some type of bivalve mollusc (sorry don't
know what kind) that has also been dying off in pretty high numbers as
the temperature goes up.  But I am not too concerned, since this
temperature is normal for North Carolina, and I am sure this is just
God's way of cleaning up shop periodically.


"I would remind you that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice; and
I would remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no
virtue." - Barry Goldwater