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Brief trip report

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#1 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 28 January 2018 - 05:40 PM

Cabin fever has been building up so I took advantage of finally having a reasonably decent January day and made a quick trip to some local waters here in western KY. Air temps around 50, water temps only around 40. In fact, last week some of thes areas I sampled today were iced over.

First pics are of Elassoma zonatum. These guys were buried in leaf litter and mud and in very shallow water only inches deep.



Usually In this spot I can get slough darters, various Lepomis, pirate perch and flier but they were nowhere to be found today. Probably out in deeper water away from the bank where I was dipnetting. Banded pygmys were the only fish I found briefly sampling the shoreline of this swampy backwater area today.

Then went a few miles away and spent a few minutes sampling a small creek. Rainbow darters were out in force in good numbers along with a rare stoneroller.



Didn't see a whole lot else. Suspect sampling deeper water and undercut banks would have been higher yield but not feasible for me today. Just stuck to shallow riffles near the bank.

Anyhow, felt good to finally get out and look forward to the spring. Tired of the winter doldrums.

#2 ShadetreeIchthyologist

  • Regional Rep
  • Knoxville TN

Posted 28 January 2018 - 06:43 PM

Looks like rainbow darters were a popular find this weekend.
"Amateurs can potentially make valuable contributions to our knowledge of fishes". - Etnier and Starnes

#3 dsuperman

  • NANFA Member

Posted 28 January 2018 - 08:38 PM

That had to be a nice day for you,getting out like that. Nice fish with nice pics,thanks.

#4 mattknepley

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

Posted 29 January 2018 - 06:49 AM

Always good to hit the water, especially if it's been a while. Those are some pretty beefy zonatums, as far as zonatums go. :P

Out of curiosity, if a pygmy sunfish sees its shadow, does that mean six more weeks of winter?
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#5 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 29 January 2018 - 09:43 AM

I was kind of surprised at how stout these Elassoma were as well. Much thicker and bigger overall than the ones I was catching last fall from the same spot. Very active in the dipnet too, not sluggish at all. Perhaps cold water and ice are not a major factor limiting their distribution to more southern climates cause these guys seemed to have no ill effects from water that had 3 inches of ice not long ago and was at most 40 degrees today.

I also noticed a surprising number of invertebrates and various larvae during my sampling. I presume this is what the Elassoma are fattening up on during the winter. Perhaps less competition from other fish species who may be in a more dormant state contributing as well.

#6 Chasmodes

  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 29 January 2018 - 10:46 AM

Very cool and interesting trip finds.

Kevin Wilson

#7 TimothyHD

  • NANFA Guest
  • Menomonee Falls, WI

Posted 30 January 2018 - 08:40 AM

I went out Sunday and saw running water!  There was still undersurface ice,  but it got me excited.  Temps have dropped back to single digits, so I'm guessing it froze back over...I continue to wait and ponder moving to Hawaii.

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