Sunday, October 21, 2012

Creek Chubs At The Flint River, Oct. 20

We went out to the Flint River at Oscar Patterson Road yesterday to look for scarlet and silver shiners. The river was fairly high and fast, to the point that our usual sampling methods in the river weren't really working. But then we examined a side channel that was flooded yesterday, and is usually just a series of stagnant pools. At lot of the shiners and chubs had taken refuge in this sheltered channel. We found about a dozen scarlets, one silver, and 5 or 6 creek chubs. Mike Sandel has proposed on the NANFA Forum to start a project to monitor creek chub growth and reproductive status at a range of sites throughout their wide range. We think that's a good idea, so now we have our first creeks for the project. The first photo shows this flowing pool just before it rejoins the river. The second photo focuses on the island separating the channel from the river to the right, with a view of the small cut that allows the channel to rejoin the river. The river was moving at least a half meter per second at this point; great for darters, not so great for typical shiners and chubs.