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Brackish Sampling 7/22/2017


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#1 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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  • Central Maryland

Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:38 AM

My daughter and had plans to return to Point Lookout in Southern Maryland again on Saturday, but due to the threat of storms, and more importantly, her back was acting up, a two hour ride wasn't in the cards.  If you've read my previous report, we were quite happy with the variety of species, but we were in search of blennies and were skunked on those.  So, instead, we returned to the first place that she and I collected a few weeks ago where we caught our only blenny of the year, and as a bonus, it's an hour closer to home.

 

Another good thing about this spot is that it has the right habitat that you'd expect for Chasmodes bosquianus, the striped blenny, our target species.  It isn't really an oyster reef, but is a place where watermen apparently shuck their razor clams that they sell as bait and dump the shells, creating a hard bottom habitat, although the surrounding area is mud.  The spot within the spot seems to be a hard bottom created by years of clam shucking.  We also found some live oysters, but no cultches, and plenty of oyster half shells, so they probably shuck a few oysters here too.

 

Our spot within a spot:

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This first scoop, showing razor clams, oyster half shells, and our catch.  My daughter went through and checked each shell for the clingy skilletfish or hiding blenny:

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More importantly, we found blennies!  In fact, our first scoop with our trusty Perfect Dipnet landed this little feller!  A juvenile Chasmodes bosquianus, the striped blenny!  We kept him and another juvenile blenny for the tank, along with a couple skilletfish.

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Our previous trip to this spot yielded plenty of juvenile skilletfish, naked gobies and the one blenny.  We didn't find any adults or sub-adults, but this time we did, except for the gobies.  Most of them were juveniles.  Here is a sub-adult blenny along with a skilletfish.

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Here is another blenny, this one with nice orange on the back of the dorsal.  I don't think it's an adult male because it lacks the bright blue spot on the front of the dorsal fin that shows up on the male when breeding.  Adult females look the same as the juveniles, pretty much.  But, I think it is a young male.

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My daughter also netted some jumbo mummichogs.  Here's a pic of one:

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Anyway, we had a wonderful time before strong thunderstorms kicked us out.  We didn't have time to sample any other locations. 

 

We caught atlantic silversides, inland silversides, banded killifish, mummichogs, rainwater killifish, sheepshead minnows, naked gobies, skilletfish, and striped blennies.  It was our best day for blennies yet, finishing with 7 on the day!


Kevin Wilson


#2 mattknepley

mattknepley
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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:34 PM

Sorry her back was acting up, but looks like you had a blast anyway. Glad you found your "namesake"! ;)
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#3 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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  • Central Maryland

Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:18 PM

Thanks Matt!   :biggrin:

 

We almost didn't go at all because of her back.  She just said that we can go and play it by ear and everything worked out.  Time spent with her is valuable to me though, no matter what we do.

 

Almost 25 years old and she's had back problems since high school, including surgery.  I feel so bad for her because she loves outdoor activities like collecting, fishing, sports, you name it.  I'd love to get her into snorkeling creeks and rivers though, maybe not so tough on the back?  Anyone know about that?


Kevin Wilson


#4 dsuperman

dsuperman
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Posted 24 July 2017 - 07:44 PM

Nice photos and a nice report. That had to be a good day for  the two of you. Thanks for sharing!



#5 mattknepley

mattknepley
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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 25 July 2017 - 06:19 AM

I'm no doctor,don't even play one on tv or stay at Holiday Inn Expresses, but I would think snorkeling would be great for her in the right waters. Maybe just be careful around streams that'd require approaching over uneven surfaces and avoid "otter sliding" over rocks the way some folks do?
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#6 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 25 July 2017 - 06:43 AM

Thanks Matt and dsuperman!

 

I was thinking that too Matt.  I think once she's in the water, she'd be OK.  It's getting there and back that might be the issue.  She also loves photography (from an amateur POV) and has a pretty good eye for it too.  That might be the attraction for her, plus her growing fascination with underwater life, especially teleosts!


Kevin Wilson


#7 Michael Wolfe

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

Posted 25 July 2017 - 11:28 PM

I don't have back problems, but do find snorkeling to be very relaxing in most situations (maybe not the Hiawasee).  If you are comfortable in the water in general, it is certainly physically comfortable to be in the water.


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

#8 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:59 AM

That's one of my goals this summer, to buy adequate snorkeling gear and give it a go, and get her into it.  

 

I think it would be an effective way to catch blennies too, but the jellyfish are an issue right now.  Ugh...


Kevin Wilson


#9 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:26 PM

True on the jellies. My wife and oldest daughter each got tagged by one this weekend!
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#10 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:25 AM

Ouch, that smarts!

 

Here's a tip if your wet wading in jellyfish waters... My daughter and I also do quite a bit of shark tooth collecting (at least we used to).  I take my chances and just try to avoid them, but my daughter doesn't feel as lucky, I guess.  But, someone told us that jellyfish can't sting through nylon stockings.  

 

So, Riley tried it and now wears them all the time when we're wading in jellyfish waters.  It really works.  She just trudges right through them and never gets stung.  I can't being myself to wear them.  I don't have any heels anyway   :blink:     So, I take my chances.   :biggrin:


Kevin Wilson




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