Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blacknose Dace

The presence of fish in the creek during this time of year means that the crop of Streamside Salamanders was probably zero this season. This has been an unusual season, though and I always enjoy watching the fish. The most common fish in the Blue Jay Barrens creek is the Blacknose Dace.

Food supplies grow short as the water supply begins to dwindle. The creek has been reduced to a series of pools and the riffle areas are no longer showing any above ground flow. When something hits the water, even if it’s obviously too big to eat, the fish are quick to check it out.

Any insects hitting the water are quickly consumed. A Deer Fly that was drilling a hole in my shoulder agreed to be the bait for this action shot. The fish was quicker than my camera.

Most of the pools are lacking suitable cover. A spooked fish will use anything available to protect itself from airborne dangers.

Although it’s a little late in the season, one pool contained several Blacknose Daces in breeding condition. This male is busily cleaning silt from a spot of gravel in order to make a suitable spawning area.

The future doesn’t look too bright for any eggs laid here now. In fact, the fish themselves may not survive. This section of creek normally goes dry in the summer and even though the season had a very wet start, it’s unlikely that water will last until we once again get into the rainy season. As the pools begin to shrink in size, the raccoons will move in and clean the fish out. In keeping with the spirit of the song, it’s the end of the world as they know it and they feel fine.


  1. Fascinating! I attempted to photograph little fish swimming in the creek out in back of my sister's property to no avail. You did a great job! ~karen

  2. Hi Steve...very good photos of the Blacknose Dace..but what really is surprising to me is how clear the water appears to be!!
    I would think being exposed and with all this heat it would have some algae growing there!!
    I do see a bit of green on the bottom...could the fish be keeping it clean??

  3. Karen - On some of the shots I used a flash to eliminate the reflection on top of the water. This doesn't always work and sometimes it makes fish look like they have zombie eyes, but it's worth a try.

    Hi, grammie g. In order to get algae to grow, the water needs nutrients and light. This creek is mostly shaded and the water is low in nutrients.