Ryan Gary, Fisheries Intern
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Posted on July 9, 2010 | Permalink
Maryland Biological Stream Survey: Deer Creek
Location: Deer Creek
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week my fellow interns and I had the opportunity to help on the search for the Maryland Darter in Deer Creek. The Maryland Darter is a highly endangered species; it was last spotted in 1988 by Rich Raelsy. It has only been found in three creeks off the lower Susquehanna, and being named for the only state it has ever been found in. We were using electrofishing gear in the exact same riffles it was found in 1988, and made 4 passes through that section of the creek, each pass containing as many as 12 dips with the seine net. We collected many species of fish including the Margined Madtom, Tessellated Darter, Shield Darter, American Eel, and the state endangered Chesapeake Log Perch, the most abundant being the American Eel and the Tessellated Darter. To capture the fish we would first throw down the seine net perpendicular with the direction of the current. Then Rich would lower the electroshocking gear into the water stunning all fish in range causing them to float into the seine net. Once Rich thought we had most of the fish in that area we would raise the seine net and count all the species. We would then throw back all species and try again for the Maryland Darter. We seined that section of Deer creek for around three to four hours, but we couldn’t manage to find the elusive Maryland Darter.