(Maybe a Perfect) Saturday in Georgia
On Saturday, the day before Father's Day, I coerced my 20 year old, sometimes NANFA participant, son to accompany Doug and I on a trip to South Georgia to search the Ohoopee River by seine and dipnet. It was a perfect day. Rains from Wednesday had not swelled nor clouded the river, and we arrived at the designated location to find an absolutely clear, tea colored shallow flow.
Upstream from the bridge where we first wet our nets...

Downstream, the flow slowed, the sandy banks widened, and deeper holes developed. The trees trunks widened too, as the dominant cover below the bridge are buttressed trunked cypress...
Approaching the water, we were immediately rewarded with a wealth of visible fish. Dragging a seine through clear (tea colored, but very clear) water, with visible fish, in the hot Georgia sun... this is my kind of collecting.  And we did very well for a flat, south Georgia stream. We saw chain pickerel and dollar sunfish…
…blackbanded darters and dusky shiners... over a dozen species by the time we were done (remember this is south Georgia, not a mountain stream, we were quite pleased).
One of the jewels of this stream was certainly the silversides. I have never seen so many silversides in my whole life put together as I saw Saturday.  And what silversides they were. Should have been called, red mouthed, neon lime green mini-torpedo fish! These were abundant and fantastic, but knowing their reputation, I only snapped a quick phototank shot or two and put them back, to hopefully recover. I know this is not a typical portrait, but I didn't want to stress these slender zippy, beauties any more than necessary to capture their grace and intensity. What a shame that these gentle gems don't do better in aquaria.
And of course, we were successful in finding and taking a photo of our target fish for the day. In fact, although I have saved it for last, our target was abundant and specimens were observed in the very first seine-haul.
So eye-candy for the trip was the Ohoopee Shiner, AKA Leed’s Shiner, AKA the Bannerfin Shiner... that is Cyprinella leedsi.
We had done so well, that we had time to check out another location... one that some of my Georgia buddies will know... over bit into the Ogeechee River drainage. This location is interesting in that we get stream fishes like yellowfin shiners and bluehead chubs...
…and this time even a spotted sucker, in the same location that we get more typical swampy type fish such as pirate perch and redfin pickerel. All of these were available and our guest from Florida was able to finally experience some yellowfins before heading back south. A great day in South and Middle Georgia. Only two locations, but both with abundant and varied fish. And of course, for me, the day before Father’s Day in the water with my son on the other brail...