Patrick Bridge Crayfish, Part I


Last Friday Dayna and I, along with a friend, paddled a 10-mile stretch of the North Fork of the White River. We put in at Blair Bridge about 10:00 a.m. and took out just past 6:00 p.m. at Tecumseh on the very upper end of Norfork Lake. Actually, the lake was much higher than I had expected and it had the river pushed back almost to Dawt Mill, so we ended up paddling 2 1/2 miles on the lake. Into the wind. Uphill. I swear.

But earlier in the day, after an hour or so on the river, we stopped just below Patrick Bridge access and I hit the water with a mask, snorkel and camera. The water looked clear from above, but once I was below the surface the clarity was very disappointing, the water looking like very thin milk. My primary targets for the day were fish, and while I found most of those targets, my best shots ended up being of crayfish. So you get crayfish photos, tonight and in a follow up post this weekend.

Do you see all that particulate matter in those first two images? That was a constant problem, interfering with the autofocus on the camera, especially if I was shooting horizontally through the water instead of down towards the bottom. That’s why most of my images of Duskystripe Shiners and Brown Trout were crap.

Anyway, these are all Gap Ringed Crayfish (Orconectes neglectus chaenodactylus), a sub-species (for now) that’s almost entirely limited to the North Fork. Well, other than where it’s been introduced into the neighboring Spring River drainage and is replacing two of the native species there. Still, it’s an attractive crayfish, dressed as it is in subtle shades of brown and tan, highlighted by a bit of pink and red.

I’m going to keep it short tonight. I’m not feeling well (ear infection from snorkeling, believe it or not) and now that I have a post ready, I’m going to bed. G’night.

1 comment to Patrick Bridge Crayfish, Part I

  • […] Friday had been beautiful and there was a chance for almost as nice a day yesterday, so we headed north for the upper reaches of the Current River. The sky was clear—Venus was very bright, high in the eastern sky—as we loaded gear in the truck. But by mid-day the clouds had rolled in, the sky was overcast and a chill descended on the river. At least we didn’t have to paddle on a lake. […]

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