Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rock Bridge State Park, Boone Co.

I visited Gans Creek in Rock Bridge State Park, Boone Co., Missouri yesterday to do a little microfishing. I was hoping to run into an Orangespotted Sunfish (I didn't), but other than that I didn't really have any targets planned.

Unsurprisingly, my first fish of the day was a Creek Chub.

I think I ended up with about a dozen Creek Chubs. I do not like them.
The next fish was my only Common Shiner of the day:

I decided to wear sandals instead of my usual sneakers to help me get rid of rocks a bit easier. Or so I thought. While wading back to shore with the shiner, I couldn't get a large rock out of my right sandal. Turns out it wasn't a rock!

This crayfish was trying to stay hidden beneath my toes. It was slightly unnerving when it threatened to pinch me.
I saw some topminnows swimming amongst the little emergent vegetation that was present, so I dragged my tanago hook across the surface in front of them and picked off a few until I found one with decent coloration for a photo.

Blackstripe Topminnow
As I moved upstream I started to notice that the creek didn't really have a whole lot of fish in it. I kept walking and walking, but all I saw were crayfish and water striders. Then I noticed a little shimmy below a rock...a school of fish! I tossed some bait in and quickly pulled out....a Creek Chub. 

Most of the fish in the school (~30-50) didn't look like Creek Chubs though, so I kept at it, and I eventually pulled out a couple of species:

I believe this is a Bluntnose Minnow.

Same fish as above. It's face reminds me of a salamander!
The next species immediately struck me as a stoneroller, which I eventually confirmed with the help of some NANFA members. I believe this is a Central Stoneroller based on the lateral line scale counts I keep coming up with in Photoshop. If so, that makes it life fish #45!

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