I bought a snorkel mask and breathing tube just for the occasion, and was all excited to stick my head into a stream or something and see fishes. There were indeed some minnows or dace of some kind in the stream under the waterfall, but what was particularly interesting is what we saw in the lake. There were these hand-sized swimming creatures that from above water seemed like fish because they swam with their tail moving side to side like one. But when viewed from the side it became clear that they had legs, and would sit unmoving on the bottom. There were several of them scattered about, not afraid of people, and I was wondering what they are. They were about five to ten inches long, had a neat looking rounded tail, no visible gills, were tan or brown-ish with circles or patches of tan and brown, had a very visible stripe through their eye and along their body. At first we thought they were the skinks we had seen on our hike.
It was my first time ever seeing one. There were definitely sunfish in that lake too, and this really cute small clear fish with a colored tip of its caudal tail (not sure what that was). I wonder how those lizard-things avoided getting eaten by the big fish? It was all sandy bottomed, with no hiding places for them to escape from predation. And do they stay in the water all year round? They seemed to have no inclination to leave the water, just chilling down there not coming up for air. Can skinks stay underwater for long periods of time?
It's just neat to realize that there are things other than fish in the water. I guess it's good I learned that with this cute little thing first and not a water snake or something dangerous.
Edited by EricaWieser, 20 August 2011 - 08:36 PM.