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Wild darter fry/YOY


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#1 littlen

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 10:21 AM

Does anyone have any pictures of very young, wild darters?  I feel like the smallest I've ever seen them was around 1", but by my guess, that puts the age around a year.  Anyone seen anything smaller?  Admittedly I'm only really in the main channels of streams looking for display and photo worthy specimens.

Has anyone specifically gone looking for, and found them in a different habitat near the shore or side channels with much less flow?  This is certainly an area or darter biology I am lacking in.  Thanks.


Nick L.

#2 MtFallsTodd

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 10:33 AM

I don't have any pics of really small darters but when we go collecting for your rainbows in the spring we should catch a bunch in the half inch range.
Deep in the hills of Great North Mountain

#3 keepnatives

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:53 PM

Yes, the juveniles are usually found in shallower, lower flow areas. I've seen many from 1/4 inch and up to an inch. Oddly the Tippecanoe darters which are small at adult size are often found in strong fairly deep riffles in some areas like PA.


Mike Lucas
Mohawk-Hudson Watershed
Schenectady NY

#4 littlen

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:54 PM

I just wonder if this one of those instances where when you're not looking for something, you'll never see it.  Even if it is right there in front of you.  My guess being they inhabit calmer waters and/or such small juveniles don't have much color at all and blend in even better------making them much harder to see.


Nick L.

#5 littlen

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:57 PM

Mike--I've seen Tippecanoe darters in western VA, and in the same habitat you describe.  It is interesting considering their size and how I don't see juveniles of other species that are ~1" alongside the Tippecanoes.


Nick L.

#6 trygon

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:18 PM

Yes, I some images of very small darters from about .25"-1". They are exceptionally hard to photograph with a macro lens and almost impossible without one. I find them in all areas of the stream, except deep pools but you must be looking for them as they are almost colorless and blend right into the substrate. I'll post some images when I get back to my computer.
Bryce Gibson
There are sharks in every ocean...except Billy Ocean.

#7 centrarchid

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 05:50 PM

Darters I have seen as fry (< 1") typically hang out in locations away from larger structure where larger darters and predators hang out.  When in pools the darters get up in very shallow water like similar sized minnows do.  Some like to stay over coarser cobble where they can get down into it easily. In large riffle, pool, and run complexes they can sometimes saturate the environment for a time but when not they are often in the shallow coverless runs and shallow deadwater section of pools.

 

 

 Species I do not understand well are those operating over sandy substrates and close to plants like some the northern lake dwelling species.

 

 

Overall I do not think their is a generic pattern for this as a function of simply being a darter.  Species and possible population differences are likely to be found when looking closely.


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#8 trygon

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:24 PM

Here are the baby darters I mentioned earlier.

 

darterjuvie.jpg

 

This one was about 3/8" long and was right off the bank of the Conasauga River.

 

baby2.jpg

This one , probably a Snubnose, was about 3/4"-1" long, was in the Collins River and was closer to the middle of the stream.

 

hogjuvie.jpg

 

Obviously not a darter, but a Hogsucker about 1" form the Conasauga River in a high flow area near the middle of the stream.


Bryce Gibson
There are sharks in every ocean...except Billy Ocean.

#9 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:40 PM

Bryce, those are simply amazing.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#10 Irate Mormon

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 01:10 AM

Wild baby darters?  I thought those only existed in captivity? ?


-Martin
 
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Turning money into noise!


#11 littlen

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 07:06 AM

Very nice.  Thank you, Bryce.   You're right, I would have never seen them and there have probably been lots in my field of vision over the years--but I never stopped to actually look for them.  I'm headed back out this fall and hope to see some of that size this time.

Do you find them just as sporadically as you do the adults?  Or do you find pockets of them in higher concentrations?


Nick L.

#12 mattknepley

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 07:50 AM

I once saw what appeared to be a darter nursery. A couple years ago, after a fairly rainy stretch in the spring, I was at Turkey Creek in Edgefield County, SC. The water was up a good deal, into the grassy river banks. I believe the most accurate number for Christmas Darter fry present is "oodles". Most were ~ 1" in length. I have not noticed such an occurrence before or since. I am sure the fry didn't hatch there, but the specifics of their movement eludes me. Was it intentional? A fortunate accident? Did they get stuck there as water levels dropped?

And yes, great photos, Bryce. Especially love that baby probably snubbie!
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#13 centrarchid

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 09:37 AM

I step on the darter nurseries almost every time i access a stream.  The little guys are easy to see but I could never get such good photos.  They are exceptional!


Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#14 fundulus

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:29 AM

Beginning in late May we net huge numbers of darter YOY in the Flint River of Alabama. The best place is in a meter or more of flowing water over sandstone bedrock under a bridge. We find them as small as about 10 mm. But, I have no photos..........
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#15 littlen

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:34 AM

Bruce, are you seining?  If so, what size mesh are you using? 


Nick L.

#16 fundulus

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 11:33 AM

Yes, this was with a seine with fine mesh that's about 3 mm X 3 mm. We're interested in catching smaller adult and subadult snubnoses, especially, for a project.
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#17 trygon

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 02:27 PM

Thanks all for the complements.  There's nothing sporadic about finding adult darters around here, certain species maybe.  I've seen pods of post larval fry that look like animated slivers of glass.  But as I said before you have to be looking for them, but once you see one/some and you have a search image in mind you'll start seeing them everywhere you look.


Bryce Gibson
There are sharks in every ocean...except Billy Ocean.

#18 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 02:51 PM

Great photos Bryce. I've seen many tiny darters that look similar to your first one, but I usually can't be sure what species they are. Your second one has a more distinct look. So, that would be a cherry darter? Or, is there another snubnose species in the Collins?



#19 trygon

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 08:14 PM

Thanks Isaac, yes it's probably a Cherry, I saw enough of them that day, but I can't be positive so I'll just stick with Snubnose. A Ulocentra by any other name is still a Ulocentra. I think the first one is a Bronze, but I can't be positive.
Bryce Gibson
There are sharks in every ocean...except Billy Ocean.




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