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North Georgia collecting in mid-April


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#1 Hydrophilus

Hydrophilus
  • NANFA Member
  • Syracuse, NY

Posted 23 March 2016 - 02:21 PM

Hi all,
  I will be headed to a week-long conference in Atlanta in mid-April (11-15), and am hoping to do some collecting as long as I am in the southeast. I will be swinging through eastern NC the weekend before to visit family and seek out some elusive salamanders, and to hopefully finally pick up some swampfish to bring home. This will be my third trip to eastern NC in the last 6 months, and they have eluded me every time! From there I will probably drive west to look for some C. pyrrhomelas before finally driving to Atlanta. At this point my days will probably be jam-packed from ~8am-~6pm (I don't have a final schedule), but if I can, there are a few species I am hoping to find while I'm in northern Georgia. If anyone can help point me to some good collecting spots, or would like to meet up for some night seining/dipnetting, I would appreciate all the help I can get! Here's what I'm looking for:
 
Etheostoma tennesseense
Etheostoma rufilineatum or the undescribed form from north-central Georgia
Etheostoma inscriptum
Cottus carolinae
Luxilus coccogenis
Nocomis leptocephalus
Notropis leuciodus
Notropis chrosomus
Notropis lutipinnis
Pimephales vigilax
Opsopoeodus emiliae
 
  I know the last two aren't very exciting, but they have interesting reproductive behavior that I'd really like to see in captivity and are probably near the top of my priority list, although I realize they may not be within a comfortable driving distance. I'm not interested in collecting all of the other species, but I would like to see as many as I can, and hopefully bring a few shiners and darters home. I've been keeping tropical fish for many years but would like to get some more experience with natives.
 
  Thanks in advance!
 

-Eric


-Eric C. Maxwell

DEC Rare Fish Unit, Watertown, NY


#2 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 23 March 2016 - 07:06 PM

Hey Eric,

 

I could take you to see some of these on the evenings of the 11th-14th (or even on the evening of the 10th... I know that sometimes I travel on a Sunday before an event).  On the 15th I am leaving for another fish event.

 

Also, it will be extremely difficult to get to all the places you are talking about.  Some of these are 2-3 hour drives one way from Atlanta, and some of them are in opposite directions.  Take a look at this site... it has distribution maps for some of these fishes.  E. inscriptum, N. leptocephalus and N. lutipinnis are all here in the Athens area.  Some of those others are only in the Tennessee or Coosa Basin (which is a lot farther north and west). And I have only seen O. emiiae much farther south.

 

But I am sure we can work something out to help you see some fish.  It will just take a little planning.  We can keep talking here or you can send me a PM and let me know exactly where you are staying and maybe I can help you with some of the planning.


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

#3 Hydrophilus

Hydrophilus
  • NANFA Member
  • Syracuse, NY

Posted 23 March 2016 - 08:22 PM

Thanks for the reply, Michael. I knew getting to see all those species would be a long shot since they live in such different drainages. I am planning on making a trip north to look for Desmognathus folkertsi, a salamander endemic to northern Georgia in Chattahoochee NF sometime during the week. Hopefully there will be some interesting fish to see in the same streams. That's my longest planned evening trip, but I may stop in extreme NW GA on my way back to NY to look for rainbow shiners. The three species you mentioned would be wonderful to see, however - the N. lutipinnis and E. inscriptum in particular would be amazing to see in breeding coloration. I noticed on fishmap there are a couple sites for O. emiliae on the Flint River just half an hour south of where the conference is based (Crowne plaza near the airport) so I will probably do a couple seine pulls there if I have a chance, but it won't be any huge loss if I don't get a chance to see them. If all goes well I will be making a long road trip to northern Florida next winter and I will seek them out at that time.
Thanks again for offering to show me around. I sure hope we can meet up!

-Eric C. Maxwell

DEC Rare Fish Unit, Watertown, NY


#4 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 23 March 2016 - 09:55 PM

I live in Athens (maybe an hour and a half for you to get up here with traffic) and I can pretty much guarantee that we can see Yellowfins and Turquoise, but not really guarantee breeding colors (although the Turquoise are pretty close right now).  We should at least be able to see some like this:

DSCN2000.JPG

 

I also know of a good spot in Porterdale, GA (google it) that we have visited.  That's closer to you and closer to where I work and we got Yellowfins there the last time, but I don't think Turquoise. But it is a fun spot. http://gallery.nanfa...l Wolfe/yellow/

 

 

 


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

#5 Hydrophilus

Hydrophilus
  • NANFA Member
  • Syracuse, NY

Posted 24 March 2016 - 07:27 PM

Michael,

  I am not surprised that the fish won't be in full-on breeding mode yet, but with some luck perhaps if I can manage to bring some of those species home they might treat me to a nice display of colors in a couple months when my basement temps warm up. I would be fine for meeting up in Athens if that's convenient for you, especially if you're already familiar with some sites nearby.

 

Thanks again for offering to meet up! I have met far too few southeastern NANFAns (NANFA-ers? NANFA-ites?).


-Eric C. Maxwell

DEC Rare Fish Unit, Watertown, NY


#6 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 24 March 2016 - 09:18 PM

Let me know if you'll be doing any sampling near Raleigh-Durham.  I'm in Wake Forest ~18 mi NE of Raleigh.  The upper Neuse, Tar, and Dan basins have some neat species.  Which eastern NC 'mander is being so elusive? 


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#7 Hydrophilus

Hydrophilus
  • NANFA Member
  • Syracuse, NY

Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:36 AM

Gerald,

  I would love to see some of the species in that part of NC. That's a good neck of the woods to see L. matutinus, isn't it? Unfortunately my time the weekend before the conference (Apr. 9/10) will be quite limited and I will probably be shooting straight for the Croatan NF area on the 9th. That is supposedly a good place to find C. cornuta, and Stereochilus marginatus, one of the aforementioned elusive salamanders. It's one of the few North American salamander genera I haven't seen yet. I will also probably do some dipnetting/seining/minnow trapping nearby if I have time, to look for Necturus lewisi. I visited a few promising sites just last month but the water was several feet higher than usual.

  I have no doubt that I will be in North Carolina before too long. I hope we can meet up next time!


-Eric C. Maxwell

DEC Rare Fish Unit, Watertown, NY


#8 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 25 March 2016 - 10:44 AM

Yes L. matutinus is pretty common around Raleigh-Durham area, although not always easy to catch - it's an open-water cruiser.  We found a good spot for Chologaster and Umbra last summer about 15 mi SE of Fayetteville, along NC-53 (Cape Fear).  Also the Roanoke tribs between Williamston and Windsor in northeast NC have good Chologaster pop's (and occasional mud sunfish).  I think i've seen Stereochilus once at Rhodes Pond between Fayetteville and Dunn, but not entirely sure it wasn't just a juvenile dusky.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#9 UncleWillie

UncleWillie
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 25 March 2016 - 01:20 PM

I am going to pretty much echo what Michael said.  Many of the species mentioned are from different drainages and vary in distance from the City.

E. rufilineatum, C. carolinae, L. coccogenis, N. leuciodus can all be captured in the same body of water if you head to the Toccoa River (Tennessee drainage; 2 hrs N of ATL), but you''ll need a big seine and good partner.  E. tennesseense is in the Tennessee drainage, but only up in Catoosa, Walker, and Dade Counties (2.5 hrs NW of ATL).  N. chromosomus, and P. vigilax (spotty distribution) in the Coosa (30 mins NW of ATL).  I know a few really good spots for O. emiliae, but all are just below the Fall Line and 3 hrs S of ATL.  If you head W or SW of the City to the Ocmulgee and Oconee drainages, you can find N. lutipinnis and N. leptocephalus aplenty in small to medium perennial streams, and E. inscriptum in streams with occasional riffles and good pebble or cobble substrates.
The shortest trip and the easiest to capture fish are going to be the latter three.

Edited by UncleWillie, 25 March 2016 - 01:23 PM.

Willie Pruitt
Chattahoochee River, GA


#10 Hydrophilus

Hydrophilus
  • NANFA Member
  • Syracuse, NY

Posted 25 March 2016 - 04:03 PM

Gerald - Thanks for the locality tips! I will actually be driving right through the Williamston/Windsor area, I might just have to get my net wet there. I will also be stopping in the Fayetteville area (Lillington, to be more precise), my grandmother lives there and I like to say hi when I'm passing through. Unfortunately I don't think I'll be going southeast of Fayetteville. If all goes well I could get those two target species in NE NC. The only other coastal plain species I'll be looking for that I haven't mentioned is Necturus punctatus. I found one metamorph in the Lumber River drainage but I am hoping to find a bigger population as I pass through the area.

 

Willie - Thanks for elucidating some of the finer points of those species' distributions, and offering locality tips. There is a spot on the Flint River where O. emiliae was reported (according to fishmap.org, anyway) just 30 minutes from the hotel, and due to its proximity I will probably check that spot out. I will also likely make an excursion to the Rome area to check out the Coosa and Etowah Rivers and see what I can't turn up. It's going to be a hell of a week! Even if I can't manage to turn much up on my own, it seems like Michael has a good handle on several very attractive species near him and if we can manage a meet-up it seems likely we'll get to see some really great fish.

 

Many thanks to all of you who have offered your help in this thread or in private messages - I wasn't sure if I was going to get to see many fish on this trip but I'm looking forward to potentially meeting a couple of you and seeing some cool species!

 

-Eric


-Eric C. Maxwell

DEC Rare Fish Unit, Watertown, NY


#11 fundulus

fundulus
  • Global Moderator

Posted 26 March 2016 - 08:48 AM

As a picayune taxonomic point, you're using E. tennesseense rather than simoterum? Near et al. have been support for that interpretation of that group in that stretch of the Tennessee drainage than Powers and Mayden. Just sayin'.
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#12 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 26 March 2016 - 08:55 AM

Just because we don't have a state book, I have been going by this:

http://fishesofgeorg...ge&key=ethetenn

for the things that I find up around Ringgold in the Chickamauga that look like this:

snubnose.jpg


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

#13 fundulus

fundulus
  • Global Moderator

Posted 26 March 2016 - 09:26 AM

Genetically, those fish from Ringgold lined up extremely well with simoterum from north 'bama, and look exactly like them...... I've come to the conclusion I'm just not that big a splitter.
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#14 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 26 March 2016 - 09:38 AM

Peterson's extends our confusion by calling all your fish E. tennesseense also... and only having simoterum in the extreme NE of the range (just barely still in TN.  And lets not even talk about common names for these beasties.


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

#15 fundulus

fundulus
  • Global Moderator

Posted 26 March 2016 - 12:23 PM

I hadn't even looked in Peterson's, I'm sorry they made that decision. Now they'll fark up everything.... the struggle continues and thanks for being patient with my yapping.
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A



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