Αρχεία Ημερολογίου για Ιούλιος 2019

Ιούλιος 04, 2019

Neches River NWR is Fully Open!

The Neches River National Wildlife Refuge is finally fully open! https://www.jacksonvilleprogress.com/news/neches-river-refuge-wildlife-wonderland-to-offer-plenty-of-outdoor/article_96dfd97e-5c6c-11e9-893f-dbabdcdd1d7b.html

The refuge is located outside of Jacksonville, TX on Hwy 79. The entrance is directly across from the Neches River public boat ramp.

I went last Sunday and the week before to check it out. I found some prairie species that are new to me, including an endangered species. While taking a break, scanning the water of Dead Water Lake beside the office, I saw a mama wood duck with her flock of ducklings. I could hear lots of other wood ducks out of site. A huge spotted gar was basking near the water's surface, but it swam away as soon as I changed my camera lens. Darn. That would have been a new fish for me! Speaking of fish, fishing isn't allowed right now, but the park manager is working on a fishing program.

I didn't get to walk much because of the heat. I'm going to back later in a week or two. I encourage anyone in the area to visit this park and document, document, document! Since the park is new, getting a baseline of what's there is important.

Αναρτήθηκε στις Ιούλιος 04, 2019 0254 ΠΜ από cosmiccat cosmiccat | 2 παρατηρήσεις | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Ιούλιος 26, 2019

How many fish species are in this urban creek?

Think of your local urban creek. How many fish species do you think it has? If you're like most people, you're probably thinking, "not many." I know I did. When I first inspired by the ExtremePhillyFishing Youtube channel to lifelist fish species, I selected a local (Longview, TX) creek to explore, Grace Creek. I took one look at it and thought, there are probably just mosquitofish and a couple of sunfish species.

I've been surprised at how many fish are in this little creek. I've mostly been getting game fish species so far, but I've been working on the microspecies lately. Only a small fraction of fish species are game fish; most fish are microspecies, or tiny fish.

Earlier this week I tried fishing with a Tanago hook, a tiny Japanese hook designed for catching microfish. I caught one species that I managed to photograph, the Blackstripe Topminnow. After a lot of work, I caught a Blacktail Shiner. I didn't know the darn things can jump really high and far for their size. I put the fish in the photo tank and before I could close the lid, it jumped out of the container, over the bank, and into the creek. I stared at the empty tank, wondering if I really just saw that. I didn't catch the fish again.

I came back the next day, intending to wade the creek with a minnow net, hoping it would yield more species than the Tanago hook. I swept through the vegetation along the creek bank and was excited about what I caught---my first darter, the Slough Darter. I saw a school of tiny silver fish and incorrectly assumed that they were baby Blacktail Shiners because some of them had some black near their tails. I managed to catch one of them in my net. Aha! This species wouldn't escape me this time! It turned out that this was another species of shiner. I don't know what it is and need to go back and catch more for better pictures.

My list of Grace Creek species so far:

Spotted Bass
Largemouth Bass
Bluegill
Longear Sunfish
Green Sunfish
Black Bullhead
Yellow Bullhead
Channel Catfish
Longnose Gar
Western Mosquitofish
Slough Darter
Blackstripe Topminnow
Unknown shiner species

Seen, but not photographed:

Spotted Gar
Bowfin; this one was caught, but escaped while I was reeling it in
Blacktail Shiner
Unknown panfish species---possibly the Flier

As I search for the microfish, I expect that list to get way longer. According to the Fishes of Texas website, Gregg County has 70+ species, mainly micros.

I really want to catch a Pirate Perch, simply because it's called a Pirate Perch. ;p

The spot I last fished at has the perfect habitat for the Blacktail Redhorse---deep, slow moving water with a sandy bottom. I've seen one at the nearby Lake Gladewater, but I've never caught one. This is another one I really want to catch. Wish me luck!

Αναρτήθηκε στις Ιούλιος 26, 2019 0454 ΠΜ από cosmiccat cosmiccat | 2 παρατηρήσεις | 1 σχόλιο | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο