NANFA-L-- Less than stellar luck. :(

Mysteryman (
Mon, 10 Apr 2006 17:15:10 -0700

I went out once again today to find the Rainbow Shiner, this time in
southern Clarke County.
After 220 miles & 30 bucks in gasoline, I got nada.
All I found were a bunch of Cyprinella venusta and some nifty sucker
with alternating black & gold bands which made it look like a big bee.
Hmm..."Bumblebee Sucker..." It had tubercules all over it instead of
just on it's head. I think it was an Alabama Hog Sucker, but I'm only
guessing. Alas, it was dead. Nearby it's corpse was a nifty crayfish,
also dead, which was a peculiar gray-green color. I can't guess how it
looked in life, but I haven't seen a green one since I lived in Smyrna, GA.
I saw another sucker as well, this one an unusual indigo blue color. I'm
guessing Blue Sucker? It was the only living thing I found in that
particular creek. There was also one big darter, a really big one-in-
that, but I never really had a chance to get a good look-in-it. It was
just plain tan & brown banded and very elongate, looking very much like
an "algae eater" like you'd find in the petshop.
Sadly, the highlight of my trip was a lamprey, a Least Brook Lamprey I
think, which zoomed past me in ankle-deep water. It was really neat-o,
with an almost iridescent splash of rainbow colors over a rusty brown
base. I never would have expected that; I guess the sun was hitting it
just right or something.
On second thought, THE hightlight of the trip was finding a horseshoe
waterfall that I never knew existed. It was a good 12-foot drop into a
huge pool, and probably a good 50 feet wide. The water above it was only
inches deep and easy to traverse, but there were almost no fishes in the
pool. The lamprey was in that shallow part above, by the way.
You know how swallowtail butterflies like to drink water from the sand
on the edge of a stream? There were easily no less than 600 of them all
clustered up by that waterfall. I've never seen so many in one place.
Now that I'm home & studying the maps, Rainbows are only supposed to be
in the northern part of the county. *sigh* I guess I'll just have to try
again soon. They're reportedly in full spawning color right now, and I'd
like to see that.
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