2.04.2008

Yikes!

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Sometimes there are gruesome little surprises tucked in unusual places out on the pond. Yesterday we saw an unfortunate turtle that had become trapped in some cypress knees and died just inches from the water. Further up the pond a Canada goose was floating on the pond's surface, head back over its shoulder(?). Very peaceful looking and also very dead. No signs of trauma, guess its time had just come.

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Perhaps the most startling find yesterday was this fish out of water. It is (was) a blackfish, Amia calva. In your neck of the woods it might be called a bowfin or grinnel or mudfish or even swamp trout. They are notorious lure-snatching line breakers with lots of sharp teeth. And, they get big -- 15 pounds plus. Otters love 'em. This particular blackfish provided a feast to some lucky otter.

4 comments:

My name is Stacie. said...

Yikes is right! That is one scary looking creature!

Ontario Wanderer said...

Fresh water fish? I don't want to swim with it!

Tom said...

Very Interesting! In Ohio we call them bowfins, but I've never seen them. Thanks for sharing!

Tom

swamp4me said...

stacie,
It's a real treat to catch one - all slimy and toothy, thrashing around in the boat... ;)

OW,
Yep, fresh water. You have to be careful dipping your fingers in the water in the upper end of the millpond - you might get nipped!

tom,
I grew up calling them bowfins, but when I moved to northeastern NC I had to learn a new name for them. The same goes for just about every other fish, too. Around here, a black crappie is known as a "speckled perch" or just plain "speckle."