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Arcadia Elementary School's Fifth Graders Are Creek Kids

Sport Fish Restoration

Dr. Pat O'Neil shows a darter.
Dr. O'Neill points out some of the characteristics of fish and how these characteristics help fish use specific habitat.

Backpack shocking in an Alabama stream
Alabama Geological Survey
staff shock fish in Mud Creek,Tannehill Park.


Students enjoy learning outside.

Some of the fish collected only live in Alabama, such as the Alabama darter. Others such as the tricolor shiner are only found in the Mobile basin of Alabama and Georgia.

Students are amazed at the variety of fish in Mud Creek.  Alabama has more freshwater fish species than any other state except perhaps Tennessee.

The redeye bass is one of the top of the food web predators in a small Valley and Ridge stream's fish population.

The crayfish on the left is native, and the crayfish on the right, with the longer pincers, is not native to Alabama.  Both were found in Mud Creek on April 14, 2011.  This could be bad news, not only for other crayfish, but possibly for other organisms as well.  Man never knows what will happen when a new species is introduced into an environment. That is why, in Alabama, it is illegal to stock or move any fish, mussel, snail or crayfish to any public water without a permit from the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division.

A minnow, like the Alabama shiner, has one fin on its back.  A darter, like the greenbreast darter, have a spiny fin and a soft fin on their back.

A bluegill is common both in streams and ponds.  It is the most commonly found fish in Alabama.

The male greenbreast darter had vivid greens and reds, as it is breeding season for them.

The closest fish, which is facing right, is a sculpin.  It likes cool, clear, rocky streams and is a general predator, eating insects and small fish.  The fish facing left is a blackbanded darter, a insect eating fish found in the southeastern United States.  The fish facing away is a redeye bass, a predator found in deeper water than the sculpin.

The redeye bass is often sought by stream anglers, more for its beauty than to keep for a meal.  Redeye bass rarely grow larger than a pound.

Seining Fish

Students watch fish collection from above.

Jerry Moss helps a student seine for fish.

Student are eager to see what was caught.

Invertebrates are collected and temporarily stored in an ice tray.

Some snails are put on a plastic plate to transfer to the viewing chambers.

Insects and snails often live on rocks. When rocks are buried by sediment (dirt), the insects cannot live. This is important to the fish that feed on these insects.

A second opinion is sought on an identification.

Thanks for the great fun!
Mr. Brenda Morrison
Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division
Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Logo

Let's Go Fishing!



Take someone fishing with you
and make a friend for life.

Anglers may purchase a lifetime fishing or hunting license.  Receive a discount if purchased by age 11.

See you next year, Arcadia Elementary School!
Until then, take care of your watershed.

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