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Convention Recap Portsmouth 2016

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#1 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 16 September 2016 - 02:20 AM

Sorry for being three months late on this, I had a major emotional slump for a bit their. I tried posting this last night and my computer acted up and the browser crashed. (almost no HD space so lots of issues),  I found my notes (experience notes not catch notes) so I can finally get a fresher view of it too, 

    It was a hectic week before the convention. Two speakers dropped out before the convention due to communication issues, I was desperately racing bills to get lodging paid for, etc.

     Day 1. We set out for the Isinglass River, the day was warm and the water was cool and refreshing. It was mere seconds after entering the water when out first Banded Sunfish was netted. 

     I suggested we work our way down to the riffles. Peoples hopes rised as they asked if we have darters. The answer to that was "yes, two species, neither of which are riffle fish". We did find Longnose Dace their.

    The quieter pools had Bluegills, as did the undercut banks. 

    People soon wanted to head back and it was soon time for the speakers. I got to my speech which was rattling around in my head for about a year. It focused on how we are a north american organization and how representing every region matters. ("From the Aluetians to the Bahamas, from the Mouth of the Mackenzie to the Panama Canal") I also mentioned how New England was on the front lines of climate change. 

      We also a visit from the Fish Nerds who announced they would visit last minute. They discussed their Catch-M-all quest, eating giant waterbugs, and did interviews. Only at a NANFA convention would the best ways to eat bugs be a topic that gets discussion, 

After that Fritz did a talk about tropical fish in the Amazon and in Thailand. He had many adventures of slogging through muddy roads, steep hills, and the potential dangers posed by tigers and elephants.

Tomarrow or maybe over the weekend I will get to day two and post images. I didn't take any pictures on day one unfortunately.

#2 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 17 September 2016 - 08:47 PM

On the second day we split into two groups. One tidepooled at the rocks in Odiorn Point Park, the other seined a tidal creek on the parks opposite side.


I led the tidal creek group, I decided to have an open ended leading style of just letting people have fun catching fish and if they are having fun and want to stay and not move on just let them. 


Here we caught lots of mummichog who live up to their names translation of "Tey move in large numbers" very well. Nine Spine Sticklebacks were also Numerous, We also got Grubby Sculpin, Tomcod, and Rock Gunnel. I am a bit proud on the latter as I kick seined him up (I was the kicker) in a riffle. Yes, a marine creek whose current was mostly due to tide and kicking rocks still works.





















Edited by FirstChAoS, 17 September 2016 - 09:05 PM.

#3 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 17 September 2016 - 09:02 PM

Later on in the day we went to the North River. Our ranks swelled as people from Mike's group joined our own. Here we got Redbreast and Banded sunfish, Pickerel (forgot if they were redfin or chain, can't find my fish notes), and one very impressive catch.

What impressive catch? Their was a commotion from the seiners in a deep pool. They had something big and did not want to lose it. They dragged ashore a gigantic Sea Lamprey. It was the largest fish I ever seen caught in a seine. This was likely the star of the convention fish wise and one quite unexpected to have that status. 

We also had someone trying a rod and reel get a very large rainbow trout.


I was also pleasantly surprised to see people getting excited over their first Fallfish.

Next we checked out Casper's spot on the Lamprey River, Here we found many of the previous species as well as Pumpkinseed and a large American Eel.

After we returned from the water we had a great talk about the Sicklefin Redhorse, it's conservation, and slow growth survival adaptation.













#4 Michael Wolfe

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

Posted 17 September 2016 - 11:25 PM

that was a good day!  lots of variety (in places, and in species).

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

#5 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 18 September 2016 - 11:19 PM

I am splitting the next day into several posts as it has alot of pictures,

On saturday we went out on a research trawl. The net when dragged in was placed in a bucket, interesting samples were moved to a second bucket. I nicknamed the main bucket the treasure chest as it was full of Sand Dollars.


The trawl picked up Hake (which didn't survive), longhorn sculpin, yellowtail flounder, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, crabs, lobsters, and the aforementioned sand dollars.
















lobster with eggs



#6 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 18 September 2016 - 11:19 PM

Yellowtail and winter flounder (small one is winter)




yellowtail showing why it is named




yellowtail in photo tank




Windowpane Flounder, my favorite of the three







#7 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 18 September 2016 - 11:29 PM

After we trawled he took us to some rocks and islands where Harbor and Grey Seals bask. The Grey are the larger ones with the heavier faces. The white thiongs in the backgound are male Common Eider ducks.






As for the rest of the trip back to shore, I will post images of scenery and wildlife.


Nesting cormerants and black backed gulls 






Man on an island being mobbed by birds. (I did not see the man until after taking the photo)












A couple impressive buildings.





#8 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 18 September 2016 - 11:43 PM

When we reached shore the guide showed us the pens where they raised Rainbow Trout and he fed them. Most of us left after this. Those of us who stayed got to see the lumpfish they raise to pick sea lice off the trout (which ironically had a sea louse on it),


Their was also a school of fish by the dock. The guy said they were baby striper but I was not sure of his ID. I tried throwing trout food to them but they showed no interest. A big striper rose below the school but showed no interest in the pellets or the small fish.


We left just before the rain started and got back in time for the banquet and auction. 


The banquet had a choice of either babecue chicken and pulled pork, or lobster, Clam Chowder, and Clams. Afterwards you got a choice of either when you went back for seconds.


During the banquet we saw a presentation on New England snokeling by Jerry Shine, He went into detail on how he saw climate change effect the local fish population.




The Frenzy builds














Sadly no picture with the striper came out.





#9 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 18 September 2016 - 11:49 PM

The final day was rather uneventful. All we got were sand lances that I never got a chance to photograph. (ok, I also caught shrimp, hermit, green, and red crabs). I even tried angling with no luck. The water was very very cold too. The highlight of this day was a couple mother Common Eiders and their Ducklings. 


The cold water here and on the after trip sure helped my snorkeling attempts later on. 


Should the after trip be posted here or in its own post?


If anyone wants full sized, not resized, or untrimmed photos for American Currents just ask. I also have some unposted pictures but they are mostly seals, ducklings, sea birds, and scenery.





#10 Chasmodes

  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 19 September 2016 - 06:19 AM

Awesome report and great pics!  Thank you!


I bet that rock gunnel in a species tank would be pretty fun.

Kevin Wilson

#11 fundulus

  • Global Moderator

Posted 19 September 2016 - 11:15 AM

The water on the NH coast is ALWAYS cold, once you get north of Provincetown on the Cape that's just the way it is, great in July and August but otherwise get out the dry suits.

Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#12 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 21 September 2016 - 11:15 PM

Might as well post the after event here too. (If anyone has event photos I'd like to see them, I know Casper and Mike have snokeling photos I haven't seen). 


The three day after event only had one fishy day. Me and Mike were the only fish people their and Mike had friends and family their.


I arrived at Pittsburgh late on Sunday.


Monday was rainy. Mike took the family to see waterfalls. I went to seek northern birds and got rained out and went back to the lodge,


Tuesday we drove to the border and looked for moose. We didn't walk a nature trail (one of mikes friends had a bad leg) but we did cross the first border gate on foot (no passports needed), scout fish locations, and finally saw a moose (it was night by the time we found it so no photo).


On the third day me and mike looked for fish. We went up east inlet road and looked at a pond and found Northern Redbelly Dace, Lake Chub, and Golden Shiner. We went further up the road checking every puddle (literally) and weaving around washed out colverts and ocks. Mike started having an error light on his car then.


We checked a ceek on the way back and found lake chub and (if I remember right) one blacknose dace.

Then we checked out the Connecticut Lakes (First for sure, not sure on others) and found lots of lake chubs.

Then we headed up Indian Stream Road to a small pond with fish I found. Here Mike caught alot of small brook trout and I caught a larger one under a bank. 


The next day I cast a rod on the way home. I caught nothing in indian stream. One spot on the connecticut river below the main dam was labeled no fishing, but a side channel leaving the dam was not labeled and we saw fish their the day before. We guessed everything from Sucker to Bass. I was unsure if this counts under the main rives flyfishing onkly rule for this stretch or not, but as the side channel was unlabeled I risked dropping a worm and caught and released three brook trout. 

The US Border Gate




Border Flags




Canadian Border Gate, no I do not know who owns the land between the gates we visited.




Invasive species expanding its range!!!




A mix of Lake Chub, Nothern Redbelly Dace, and Golden Shiner (also a newt in their but not visible in the first photo)









#13 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 21 September 2016 - 11:24 PM

Brook Trout










We also seen alot of wildlife up their.


Common loons were ... well... common




A Mink Frog




Three little foxes were playing on the road, sadly I never could get more than two in a photo 












The bird feeders have all sorts of visitors but this squirrel took an interest in Christmas decorations and tried to have a light snack




And yes I finally got a northern bird I haven't seen and not one from my list. A Northern Parula

#14 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 21 September 2016 - 11:25 PM


#15 mattknepley

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

Posted 23 September 2016 - 05:03 AM

Neat stuff! Would love to have been able to do some tide-poolin'. Agree with Kevin on the Rock Gunnel. Would enjoy seeing a Windowpane in real life someday. If they are half as captivating in reality as they are in pics, I would be enjoying it for a long time. You can kinda stare into their markings like you can a campfire- you just get lost in 'em.

I, too, get "side tracked" by scenery, plants, wildlife, and other "distractions" when fin-chasing. An occupational hazard for us nature nerds, I reckon. The Northern Parula is a neat find; had no idea they got that far north! Thanks for the woodchuck pic; they were a dime a dozen when I was growing up and now they almost seem exotic as I haven't lived in 'chuck turf for many years.

Squirrels are stupid everywhere, huh?
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

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