Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 NANFA convention part 2 - French Broad drainage

After our second night in Kentucky, Greenwood and I continued south, passing through the corner of Tennessee before arriving in North Carolina.  We met up with some of the NANFA crew on the bank of the French Broad River where we got to see fish that the NC Wildlife Resources Commission electroshocked.  Smallmouth redhorse, river redhorse, and black redhorse were neat to see up close.

We didn't stay long though, because we had microfishing to do!  We wanted to keep driving to a minimum, so we only stopping at creeks that were along the route to our campground.  Our first stop was the confluence of Big Laurel Creek and Little Laurel Creek.  Here we saw chub nests with spawning groups of Tennessee shiners and a few warpaint shiners.  The adult warpaints wanted nothing to do with our baits, but I did manage to catch a juvenile one for my lifelist (luckily I caught bigger and more colorful ones later in the trip).

River Chub (Nocomis micropogon) - new hook & line species #226

Tennessee Shiner (Notropis leuciodus)

Warpaint Shiner (Luxilus coccogenis) - new hook & line species #227

Chub nest - I swear there were fish here right before I took the picture!  :)

We also tried the North Toe River as the sun was beginning to disappear behind the hills.  We saw a few darters, but weren't able to hook up with any.  In the interest of getting our tent set up before it became too dark, we packed up and headed to our campground near Linville Falls.  We caught a few fish in the Linville River after dark.

Warpaint Shiner (Luxilus coccogenis)

Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis auritus) - possibly a hybrid with Green Sunfish

Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris)

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