October 21, 2018

Dipnetting Upstate New York

It was Saturday, Alex and I had planned to hike up Mt. Mansfield but a rainy weather forecast made for a change of plans. Instead, we decided on a mini road trip into Upstate New York. We enjoyed the Fall colours, went for a walk in a state forest, and I did some dipnetting. I had recently received some great intel on fish species in New York state and had been wanting to make the drive over for a couple weeks.

First two spots were on the Salmon River and Little Salmon River in Fort Covington, they didn't produce very much. I found Spotfin Shiners, Tessellated/Johnny Darters, and a small Fantail Darter.

Next spot was further upstream on the Little Salmon River near the town of Bombay. It was more of a creek at this point, but a beautiful little place with great species diversity! I didn't get any lifers, but did catch a few fish I don't get to see very often. Species list for this spot included: Spotfin Shiners, Tesellated/Johnny Darters, Fantail Darters, Cutlip Minnows, an Iowa Darter, and a Stonecat.

Last stop of the day was on the Deer River in Brasher Falls State Forest. The first place where I walked into the river was swampy and didn't seem very promising. I was catching mostly tadpoles with a few Golden Shiners and Tessellated/Johnny Darters mixed in. But I did see a sand bank and a riffle upstream so I pushed on. It was well worth the effort. I haven't mentioned it until now, but my main target on this adventure was the Eastern Sand Darter. A rather rare species and protected in Canada, I didn't think I'd ever have the opportunity to see one. You know where this is going, after a lengthy amount of time sifting through sand, I saw the desired darter in the bottom of my net! What an amazing species, they are pretty much completely translucent and spend much of ther time hiding in a sandy substrate. I was ecstatic just to be able to see one of these guys, got my heart rate going and everything haha.

That completed my goal of catching every fish from the percidae family present in Quebec. I may not have them all on hook & line but I felt lucky to have seen them all :) The total list is comprised of: Eastern Sand Darter, Rainbow Darter (EDIT: removed from the list), Iowa Darter, Fantail Darter, Johnny Darter, Tessellated Darter, Common Logperch, Channel Darter, Yellow Perch, Sauger, and Walleye.

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