I spent the day volunteering at a nature festival at the Little Manatee River State Park in Wimauma, FL (south of Tampa). I was invited by and shared a space with a local environmental learning center. I arrived early and spent about 45 minutes setting up the tank and catching fish to fill the tank. We set up a 20g aquarium that we aquascaped with leaves, sticks, and a saw palmetto frond from the nearby river. I caught a wide mix of species for the tank - Gambusia holbrooki (mosquito fish), Heterandria formosa (least livebearer) and Trinectes maculatus (hogchoker sole) in the river and Elassoma gilberti (pygmy sunfish) in a small nearby lake (less than 1/4 mile away). Additionally we had some dragonfly larva and other water insects in a separate container. Our designated space was in a pavilion near the canoe launch. Although we had hoped to have interactive dipnetting, the canoe/kayak traffic largely halted that effort. I do not have any pictures to share, but I did hand out many NANFA trifold brochures and talked to many, many people about our native fishes.
Little Manatee River State Park, FL - Spring Fling
Posted 14 March 2016 - 09:34 AM
I need to print out some NANFA brochures for the Raleigh Aquar Soc convention this coming weekend, Mar 18-20. Thought I had a pdf saved somewhere but cant find it. Is the brochure on the NANFA website, or can someone email it to me? The kickoff event is a Fri afternoon collecting trip; we're planning to seine in the area northwest of Durham in the Neuse and Dan/Roanoke basins.
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel
Posted 14 March 2016 - 11:43 AM
direct link to the tri-fold
but Bruce is right, this and one other is available under the administrivia tab on the website.
Posted 26 March 2016 - 01:44 PM
Matt - as you guessed, the hogchokers got a lot of attention. I had a picture of a male pygmy sunfish in breeding colors so after people saw that picture then that fish also became a fascination. The questions/discussions were really diverse including the reason for the color of the water (i.e., tannins not dirty water), questions about aquascaping choices, microfishing, various types of fish reproduction, water quality and parameters, fishing regulations, local aquatic plants (I had a couple of floating varieties in the tank), tidal impact (the collecting spot is tidal-influenced freshwater), the markings on the fish (e.g., the vertical bars on the formosa), aquatic insects, and more.
Another question that came up occasionally was something like, "You mean that you actually waded out into the middle of the river to collect those things!" (meaning the hogchokers). I usually got a laugh when I explained that I often do it intentionally right from the start, however this time I slipped on the slick mud bank and fell in so it wasn't much of a leap to keep going! It was a great opportunity to share the amazing world that happens below the water line in local lakes and rivers, answer a lot of questions, and provide a few "I don't know's" that keep me learning.
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