NANFA-- Native interest

bockj (
Thu, 11 Nov 1999 16:01:37 -0500

Now here's an interesting discussion. My first fish were mummichog, taken
from a ditch (well, ok, an open sewer) in the Hackensack meadowlands when I
was about 7 years old. Walked them home, one in each of my hands. Kept
them in the laundry sink. They lived for months, despite the chlorinated
100 percent water changes. Moving along, I started angling in Lincoln Park
Lake in Jersey City when I was about 10, and soon began bringing other
things home. One of the first of these was probably the first was an 8 or
10 inch bullhead, which I named "Charlie" and put in a ten gallon tank.
Charlie did pretty well
on a diet of bologna, and other luncheon meats, despite a corner box filter
and no water changes. Next followed some of the stunted pumpkinseeds from
the lake, which usually fanned their nests in the center of the gravel.
Sometime later, I brought a 10 or 12 inch eel home, but soon returned him
to the park after he wouldn't stop climbing out of the tank. Each morning,
I'd pick him up, stiff and full of dust bunnies, and drop him back into the
tank. Oh--I also brought home a few wild carp and goldfish, but then,
these aren't really natives.

high school, college, and then gradual school followed, and I forgot about
my interest in fish. Until Bruce Gebhardt published a review of John
Quinn's native fishes book in Aquarium Fish magazine. I picked up a second
hand copy of the magazine at a white elephant sale, read the article, sent
my check to NANFA, and the rest is history.

Now I have eight tanks, and a thriving population of sailfin mollies, some
sheepshead topminnows, a green sunfish, goldenear topminnows, bluefin
killies, a skilletfish, and yes, three mummichog. Lots of neat stuff in
between, too--darters, assorted sunnies, minnows, shiners, and
enneacanthus. It was great fun. Still is.

Thanks, guys.


Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 08:16:16 -0600
From: "Downs, Chris" <>
Subject: RE: NANFA-- A Parable

>What part of the country are you in Chris??

I live in Missouri, south of St. Louis. Ozark headland streams are my

>I am 48 myself and my eyes still get
as big as saucers when I find something new in my net.

It's so cool. My interest in natives came after a long term interest in
tropical fish and a long term interest in smallmouth bass fishing coincided
one float trip many years ago. My floating/fishing partner brought along a
minnow seine. I'm sure you understand the rest....

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