Great shot, Bryce! I believe it may be time for me to take the snorkeling plunge. I got a prescription mask for Christmas, and was thinking I might break it in this trip, but that didn't quite pan out. So thanks for the underwater view and the motivation!
Here is our sampling location on the Etowah River. (Pronounced "Et-uh-wah", not "Uh-TOE-uh", as this ignoramoose initially thought.) Private landowners graciously allowed us access and use of their lands at this stop.
Fishes observed here include Alabama and Tricolor Shiners, sculpins, darters of the Blackbanded, Bronze, Speckled, and Etowah varieties. Also Coosa Chub. The last two fishes are federally endangered if I remember correctly. My favorite fish of the stop was seined up with Chad Kaiser, one of our GA DNR hosts, and Kara Million and her husband Chris. Unfortunately the slippery critter self-released to the water before we got as much time to look at it, but was definitely a lamprey. We asked GA DNR trip leader Paula Marcinek what lamprey were in the river here and she said Southern Brook. It was either that or a Least Brook. It looked more like a Least Brook from the pictures I have seen, but I don't remember a notch in its dorsal fin at all, which would be Southern Brook. Maybe Kara or Chris recall better.
Male and female Etowah Darters
Sunday morning on Brasstown Creek. The face of a killer. Stephen Beaman and I had a darter in the bucket when we added this sculpin to it. When it was time for photo tank endeavors there was no darter to be found. Either that darter leapt over a foot high to clear the bucket rim, or the sculpin ate it. The larger tummy of the sculpin is suspicious, as is the fin-like object it coughed up on my finger...