Thursday, May 25, 2017

More on Minnows

More on Gila Topminnows in Sabino Creek from Tom, Fred, and Bill.

Tom Skinner found the email with date and number info; specifically, 510 Gila Topminnow were released the morning of August 19, 2015.

Fred Heath wrote:

[On 5/17/2017] I found topminnows below bridge #1, above bridge #5 and below bridge #8. In addition, there were some below Anderson Dam where the water becomes shallow as it goes between some trees. In the deep pools just below Anderson Dam there were only chubs, including a few big enough to swallow many topminnows in a single gulp.

Today (5/22/2017) I’m still seeing a few below the Bear Bridge (these won’t last for many more days), below the Dam Bridge and below the dam itself in the next pool downstream from the large pool below the bedrock morteros.

Bill Kaufman sent this photo from 5/12/2017

Click photo for larger view
And Fred notes: 

the picture from Bill Kaufman show[s] how the top minnows mouth faces upward [...] and helps explain why they are every bit as effective as the non-native mosquitofish in mosquito control (eating the floating larvae and pupae).

Thank you, Tom, Fred, and Bill for contributing to this fish story. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

There's a hair in my creek

Photo by Marty Horowitz 5/11/2017

More info on this critter available at this post from 2012.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Queen is here!

Marty scoped out buds on some of our canyon Night-blooming Cereus (Peniocereus greggii) on 5/18/2017 and caught the flowers on 5/21. Amazing!
All photos by Marty Horowitz






Thanks, Marty, for being on the Queen scene!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Marty's Gila Topminnows

Photos and text from Marty Horowitz 5/11/2017

Marty writes:

Always a pleasure to cruise a bit with Fred! We got a 2nd observation of topminnows mixed with chubs at the Bear bridge.
Note the 2 light strips on dorsal surface of Topminnow females. Note black topminnow male.

Key Cn=Chub, TFn=Topminnow female, TMn=Topminnow male.

Anne says: Click photos for larger view!

Bonus link from Marty - blog on topminnow restoration

And my post from November 2015 on this topic

Sunday, May 21, 2017

There's a new-ish fish in town!

Fish story and photos from Fred Heath

Today (5/10/2017) while searching for dragonflies and garter snakes from the Bear Bridge. I noticed some fish which were more guppy-shaped than our regular Gila Chub. As I was trying to figure out if it was just my imagination, a much smaller black fish came into view chasing my guppy-shaped fish. Having recently read an Arizona Game and Fish brochure on Gila Topminnows and Desert Pupfish, I knew I had found some of the Gila Topminnows which had been recently introduced into Sabino Creek (I believe up near Tram Stop #8….I will check with Josh). Like the guppies, the female topminnows are live bearing and so the females get quite large around the middle.

Unfortunately, the photos taken with my point and shoot camera are not the best quality and hopefully someone like Marty or Bill can get some better photos.[Anne notes: Marty's are tomorrow's post.]  However, they are good enough to ID the fish. 

The first photo shows a male (in his black breeding coloration) trying to accost a female. Along with the many females and a handful of very busy males, there were several young fish that I believe were also topminnows (see to the right and slightly above the male). 

The second photo shows another male eyeing a bunch of females just below the Dam Bridge. Note that sadly the fish in these two spots are in tiny ponds which probably won’t last until the Monsoon rains. 

In both places there were also Gila Chub and third photo has a small chub in the bottom right. They are generally longer and sleeker than the topminnows and its tail is forked where the topminnows have fan-like tails.

Stay tuned for more on this fish story!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Your final answers

Family Feud resolved

Friday, May 19, 2017

Family Feud

Mallow vs. Nightshade 

Answer in tomorrow's post