May 12th 2018
I returned to the site where we had gathered and collected trash the year before. The water was clear, the substrate generally clean and lush with patches of varied vegetation. I eventually drifted down to the old mill site passing several old River Chub mounds active with spawning Striped Shiners. No Chubs were seen though the mounds appeared fresh and the cobble quite clean. I worked my way through several log jams that make for a varied habitat, creating scours and directed flows...
Striped Shiners dominating the old Chub Mound. Probably 2 dozen males were furiously working this gnarly cobbled mound. But where were the architects?
A spawning pair, profile of a nice male forefront. Even plain ol Striped Shiners have their glory days.
I have heard that Stripenecked Musk Turtles are arboreal which i laughed at. This is the first ever i recall sunning itself. Little red critters were crawling on its face. Might be a good way to get leeches to fall off too.
Some of the coontail which grew lush occilating in wide flowing expanses, anchored by sand deposits.
Appears to be a dining site for raccoons or perhaps birds? Muskrat?
I drifted downstream to the bridge as a fellow crossed over. I am not a common sight to see. Dead man floating.
Beyond the bridge and to the right are remnants of an old mill, the 2 pylons and rusting gear works are about all that remain.
Just a bit further downstream i came across Bluesides in the clear sandy substrate, their favored habitat. They often blend in and remain unseen until they dart forward. Not today as the males were proud of themselves displaying openly in the wide sandy flats. A third male male is just beyond this pair, all their dorsals raised.
Working my way back upstream and just short of the bridge i watched this pretty Rainbow work a clean gravel run. He could not find a female and neither could i.
There was a nice Redline though, off in the faster current.
And a Crawdaddy i dislodged.
Lots of Logperch which require plenty of clean cobble to flip a feed. I am happy to see so many in this urban stream. They are an adaptive fish as long as there is rocks to flip
TN Snubby, always common locally and often well colored, especially bright in the Spring spawning activities. Mating pairs will travel about seemingly finding random but acceptable spots to deposit and fertilize eggs, the males often riding piggy back.
A big ol Greenside made an appearance from out of the shadows. Nocturnal snail eaters.
I caught this cute little slider.
The day concluded with a bonus sighting of a Fantail Darter. I do not see them but rarely. Bandeds are a possibility too, maybe Duskys and one day i hope to find a Snail Darter in this north creek.
I spent several comfortable hours in the creek until the chill and shadows added up to enough is enough. Changing into dry clothes and dinner sound about right so out i climbed up out of the creek bottom. The road runs along the left, a steep bank to hoist trash up to the narrow shoulder. Last year we worked out a system which was reasonally productive but awkward. However on the right side is TWRA gated property and i have been trying to gain access there which would be lower, easier and safer.
This is a great urban site to explore with a good amount of diversity. Let's hope for cool, clear comfort come October 6.