Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sites: Near Drama at the Doxatos Canal fish-watching



May 11th 2013

Working with the HCMR team on surveys in the waterways of Northern Greece. Now about 10 kms south of the city of Drama. Several deep drainage canals cross the plains of Drama. One of them running down from the village of Doxato and later entering the Aggitis, a major tributory of the Strymon. The Aggitis is a large karstic river that used to flow into the riverine lake of Achinos (now the canalized lower Strymon). The canals are teaming with life - life that belonged to large marshland lakes and karstic spring pools and swamps. Much of the local biota survives in the canals. Near the village of Symvoli we sampled fish using electricity - and within about 50 m2 easily caught nine fish species. Some of these species are rare and range-restricted. Theres so much to learn here. Thanks to Elias Dimitriou who took some really great shots of us fishing!

I think this is Arctia villica (Cream-spot Tiger Moth); seen also on the Strymon.
Doxatos Canal near village of Symvoli (about 5 km upstream)
Site surveyed below bridge - small wooden boat used to access.
Elias Dimitriou focusing on the river's biota! The small aquarium is handy for documentation.
Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus)  from America abound in the Canal. So do shrimp - luckily hiding next to a Pike!
The fish in the center is Petroleuciscus borysthenicus; above it Rhodeus amarus.
Barbus strumicae - the local barbel of the Strymon!
Northern Pike is widespread in the Strymon; likes slow flowing waters like the Petroleuciscus next to it.
Young individual of the local endemic Cobitis punctilineata listed as "Vulnerable" by IUCN.
Local southern Balkan variety of Rutilus; probably not your normal roach! Were calling it Rutilus cf. rutilus for safety's sake.
Rutilus cf. rutilus - note the clear body; but sometimes at a young ate they don't have reddish fins; so confusion with Petroleuciscus is possible.
Rodeus amarus and fast swiming Alburnus sp. - again its hard to give a species name here....
Me...Electrofishing on the edge of the deep slippery canal!  Next time we come here we will need a boat. Please note the life-vest! 
I have been known to have slipped in deep water - this is dangerous!
Giving Tasos a hard time as he helps catch and transport fishes to the aquarium.
Fish-watching at its best - ex situ just for a few minutes - than all fishes are returned  to their waters.
Now the Science: Every fish is carefully counted and measured. 
The protocol field forms are filled out in the field. These are later transfered to a database.










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