NANFA-L-- Catching up with Farmertodd...

Todd D. Crail (tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Thu, 17 Nov 2005 13:35:02 -0500

Hi gang,

Okay I have been running like a chicken with my head cut off for the last
year, with the intensity bumping up 3 order of magnitude the last two
months... But there's pictures that need shared. I shall tell some of the

First, you can hop over to for
said eye candy.

The bowfin. My goodness. I have never been so ready to go directly to a
fish shop and buy a 120 gallon on the spot. This may happen eventually. I
can't believe what a cool fish these guys are. Would make a sweet specimen
tank or even a great Centrarchid tank. We caught him looking for movements
of tubenose goby down the western shore of Lake Erie.

This particular specimen was caught in the bays north of the mouth of the
Huron River in Michigan-in-Pte Mouillie. This was a very interesting area
for me to work (and was around where we had tried to get in-in-the Ann Arbor
Convention!), as there were western banded killifish everywhere, and pounds
upon pounds of sunfish. This is counter to Ohio, where F. d. menona is
state endangered, even though we have very similar habitat... Just with a
heavy coat of fine particulates over the organic muck. The Huron,
incidently, is the first stream going south in the US from Lake Huron with a
large Agricultural base. I think the Thames in Ontario is equally Ag, but
those silts seem to be absorbed by Lake St. Clair, or the Canadians are
behaving themselves much better than we are on this side of the stream. I
thought muck was muck, but I guess not :)

Next we have some greenside darter captured in the Portage River, of which,
you will see their king later on in the succession of photographs. I
couldn't believe the color of these fish. These were sub-males!

We finally had the permits to rock n roll in the Maumee... We were able to
take a 25' purse seine out legally and check stuff out. The prognosis...
Too many danged gizzard shad. Our hands smelled for two days after! But...
We got to see a lot of things we'd never get to see.

Like hordes of juvenile quillback, which are so cute, you wanna just pinch
their little cheeks and make baby noises at. They're behaving well in large
aquaria as well. I'm excited-in-the prospect of being able to keep these
fish finally. Of course, they'll outgrow the tanks, but we can get some
real mileage out of them, and hopefully find them a good home-in-public
aquaria (cause they'd hate to get tank raised suckers right? ;).

We also saw hordes of logperch, the "Logzilla" feature was one riffle's
king. I couldn't believe how beefy they were. You could seriously get
filets off these things, and make some po' man's shrimp cocktail. Anyway,
the one in the photograph seemed insensed that we thought we had the right
to retain him in any way. Once placed back in the water, he flipped his
"rostrum" up-in-us in a sort of logperch one-finger salute. I should have
looked for the heart shaped "Mom" tatoo on this bad boy before we released
it. One tough fish!

The mirror carp, for carp, were pretty neat. I'd not seen the strain in the
Great Lakes before. I should have photo'd the regular juvie carp we were
catching too. Maybe next time.

The beefy smalljaw was taken using traditional means... Again, another angry
fish! We seined a 15 incher last Sunday looking for northern longear, and
man... I swear it flipped us off on his way back in too. This cold weather
really puts the go back in their git up and go!

Lessee... Spotail shiner are usually only found out in the Lake. I find
them now and then in the lower portions of the rivers. We saw an incredible
amount with the big seine. These have to be the weakest fish I've ever
encountered. Think gizzard shad pop off-in-the drop of a hat? These guys
showed them the way! You also end up with scales everywhere too.

Move. I had seen enough death-in-school a month ago and moved my aquaria
all to a the perfect location-in-my lady friend's house. She has a heated
three seasons room with an air conditioner! I have never had such control
over the temp in native aquaria before mwoooohahahahahahaha.

Anyway, I snapped a couple shots of fish before putting them back in. They
aren't the greatest pictures because I didn't want to give them any more
stress than already experienced. But... They do demonstrate the success
I've had with suckers. These two were raised from 1.5" fingerlings in a
year and a half. The variegate was also taken as a sub-sub male. And he's
not even the big boss ;)

Mussels. This is a picture of the developing "Farmertodd Select
Collection". I've got three voucher collections developed now (via permit)
and will be applying them to boards to educate on mussels. This is the
bivalve part of the Jeff G and Farmertodd Travellin' Fish Show that NANFA
funded with the Corcoran Grant last year. I can't wait to get these put
together. I saw Jeff's prototype a couple weeks back, and man, they catch
people's attention. I also can't wait to see them with a backdrop of orange
and blue and red fish :)

And the Portage. Nice little stream! Proof that Black Swamp streams don't
have to be silt filled... The gravels were aerated well into the ground. We
couldn't dig far enough to smell sulfides. And the fish community was
schweet. It lacked on darters, but made up for it in Notropis. And these
greensides were unbelieveable. Truly where the term "Burn Your Eyes Out
Green" came from!

I also couldn't believe how many large stonecat were-in-this location. The
one in the photo was the largest. I started laughing as soon as I saw it in
the seine.

We had picked up a local kid (probably 12 or 13) who saw us out there, and I
showed the greensides to. He came straight in the water then and stayed
with us until he had to go home. His mom was probably mad that he came home
with wet shoes and pants, but I think it was all worth it ;)

We also chased a 24" steelhead that was lying in one of the pools. People
who saw us must have thought we were totally out of our gourds. We ran
probably 200 meters after this thing laterally from pool to pool. We had it
cornered and the fish went and did a belly flop upstream onto a very shallow
riffle. We had to hoof it through the pool, and by the time we were
slamming the brails down, he'd caught enough draft in the water to scoot
off. Just missed him! I wish it was warmer. I think we would have dove on
it lol.

Okay. Hope you enjoyed :)

The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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