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Snorkeling in Cold Water to Hand Collect Samples


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#1 centrarchid

centrarchid
  • NANFA Member

Posted 16 December 2016 - 08:19 AM

Yesterday, we spent the better part of the days sampling the Big RIver and Black River drainages for crayfish.  All locations involved tipping rock and using hand nets.  Two locations, owing to depth, required extensive snorkeling which was decidedly more effective even in shallow water.  We had some trouble mobilizing ourselves into the cold water, especially when entire surface was covered in ice about 1.5" thick.  A pain factor was involved as footwear was not up to the task.  Visibility was excellent.  Nets would freeze solid within seconds of removing from the water (ambient high low 20's F and most of time between 15 and 20 F).  Crayfish collecting was faster than we ever experienced.  What was really interesting is we found catching Smallmouth Bass and Shadow Bass was extremely easy.  I caught a couple just to see what was under rocks and could have caught a great deal more.  The best angler could not touch the rate I was catching them at.  Also, distribution of those fish was not random.  They do not appear to have been eating.

 

 

All said and done, today involves a great deal of pain.  All attributable to footwear related issues.  Current at a couple sites also a bugger because gloves degraded propulsion normally coming from hands.  That is something I would not want to do every day unless I had a dry suit.


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#2 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 16 December 2016 - 11:19 AM

Hard to imagine a fish head human would endure such...                P   A   I   N

 

I have noted that below 60 fish are a lot slower, a bit lethargic and easier to net.  But below 60 enters the realm of sufferage.

 

As for gloves i have a couple pairs of webbed fingered which though i have not used, suspect their donning would improve forward momentum.  Kicking my finless feets never seem to help.

 

For current working conditions... you have my sympathy.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#3 Michael Wolfe

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

Posted 16 December 2016 - 01:30 PM

I'm going to chime in my agreement... the face goes numb pretty quickly, but cold hand or feet can just be painful to the point of distraction.


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

#4 centrarchid

centrarchid
  • NANFA Member

Posted 16 December 2016 - 03:10 PM

We were able to keep function in hands, at least I was.  Dexterity was good enough that we could write well.  Pain for me was in the form of shivering mostly.  A lot of cramping.  Also took a nasty spill when draining boots.  Respiratory rate was way up.

 

Ability to catch the basses was more a function in the qualitative change in their behavior.  They sequestered themselves in locations where they did not even attempt to flee.  Additionally they were in groups.


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#5 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 16 December 2016 - 05:39 PM

Hard to imagine a fish head human would endure such...                P   A   I   N

 

I have noted that below 60 fish are a lot slower, a bit lethargic and easier to net.  But below 60 enters the realm of sufferage.

 

As for gloves i have a couple pairs of webbed fingered which though i have not used, suspect their donning would improve forward momentum.  Kicking my finless feets never seem to help.

 

For current working conditions... you have my sympathy.

Who you kidding? At 60 you might start to consider wearing a wet suit. I have seen you endure water temps that seem horrible for long periods. Don't remember when it was exactly, but I figured your skin must have some exothermic reaction with water. KY? NC?


The member formerly known as Skipjack




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