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Creek exploring!

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Just documenting my native fish explorations and tanks!

So, yesterday I went to a local creek, with a helper, a 12 ft seine and a dipnet, and caught a good number of fish in a smaller amount of time, some of which I kept for my Upper Catawba biotope aquarium. This stream is literally just down the road 2 mins away, and though there's a good deal of litter surrounding the creek, and its not very pristine habitat to say the least, there was still more species of fish than you would think. The habitat is a plunge pool beneath a rifle created by rubble under a bridege. Aside from these pools, the creek is very shallow in most places. Because of recent rain, the water levels rose significantly, but this is the best time to collect I find, because its more murky and the fish can't see you coming. 

So my helper and I took a 12 ft spine and worked upstream, downstream, and pushing it towards a sandbar, and caught at least 30 fish total within 45 minutes. Most were released. I then took a Perfect Dipnet to the bridge riffle, set the top of the scoop upside down in the riffle, and kicked the rocks, which will dislodge any darters that hide under those rocks. I only did this once, and caught a beautiful Carolina Fantail Darter! I didn't take any pics yet, but will once I finish my tank completely and show pictures.

Total species encountered today:

Catawba Greenhead Shiners (quite a few)

Southern Tesselated Darter 

Whitefin Shiner or Greenfin Shiner

Spotttail Shiner (not pictured)

Eastern Mosquito fish (not pictured)

Sucker spp. (not pictured)

Carolina Fantail Darter (not pictured)


Tomorrow I might go to another local site to target Fiery black Shjners!







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On 7/21/2023 at 8:19 AM, Fish Folk said:

Awesome sauce! You got the best seat in the country there in the Catawba watershed.

Mine’s not a biotope, but I love keeping species from NC…

Can’t wait to see your tank setup!

Yeah, I am in a pretty good location. I'm actually very close also the the Watauga, Upper Yadkin, Upper New, Nolichucky, and Upper French Broad watersheds. Makes for some interesting collecting. 

I do love green head shiners a ton. Here they are about everywhere in most streams, from swift rocky creeks to sluggish sandy streams. I can usually catch some almost instantly, along with tesselated darters. Hope to breed some myself. I know from first hand experience that their breeding colors are unbelievable. They were on the tiniest mound possible, and there couldn't have been more than 20, but from feet away That fire engine red caught my eye. Hope to replicate in captivity,though they do have some measure of color on them periodicall, especially after feeding.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, today I went fishing again, but in a different location close to me that I hadn't tried before. It was an extremely successful day, caught the following fishes:

Fieryblack Shiner

Greenfin Shiner (a nice big one)

Spottail Shiner

Warpaint Shiner

Central Stoneroller

White Sucker

Other Sucker species

Bluehead Chub

Creek Chub

Rosyside Dace

Piedmont Darter

Carolina Fantail Darter


However, as I was taking the bucket back to shore, the hinged lid portion on my frabill bucket fell off. I lost everything, which was extremely frustrating because for the first time ever I had caught Fieryblack Shiners, my all time favorite fish. Gotta try again I guess.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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