New Photography Methods

Lately we have been playing around with shooting fish on white backgrounds. The gist of the process is to use two strobes behind a phototank and pointing at a white wall, then a third strobe to illuminate the fish. You want to overexpose the wall to create the white background. The process is a bit … Read more

    In the last few months, Ryan Crutchfield over at, has been working to create an API in order for us to display his wonderful range maps on ncfishes. Because this coincided with a database rewrite, we have been slow to implement it, but I wanted to share a sneak peek of what … Read more

2015 Year in Review

As no doubt you have noticed, we may have slacked off a bit on reporting our trips this year. Rest assured that we made many trips, and photographed many new species, however the work of documenting our progress fell to the wayside. Since I have been asked about this, I decided to do a quick … Read more

Sargassum Community

This article was written in June 2015, and published in July 2015.   Today I wanted to share a collecting trip of a different sort: sargassum sampling.     Sargassum is a genus of brown algae, most widely recognized for its holopelagic (always free-floating) forms, S. natans and S. fluitans. These algae form large mats in offshore … Read more

Shad Identification

In North Carolina, members of the family Clupeidae include the herrings, shad, and menhaden. Although members of this family can be found year round, we wanted to specifically mention them today due to the annual spring spawning runs that a few of these species make. Starting in about February, and running through May, the sexually mature … Read more

Species Range Maps in R

  Lately we have been toying with the idea of developing species range maps for North Carolina fishes. Although we wish we could run this project full time, work keeps us rather busy, and having gone back and forth for a while, neither of us really had any concrete solutions that we could accomplish in our … Read more

Trip Report – Morehead City, NC

On Thursday, October 16th, I drove by the Morehead City visitors center looking for a sergeant major (Abudefduf saxatilis) that frequents the floating docks. Although I failed to find that damsel, I did notice a number of gobies swimming around in a storm water retention pond in the parking lot. This struck me as odd, being … Read more

Trip Report – Cove City, NC

On Tuesday, October 7th, we drove to Cove City, NC in search of ironcolor (Notropis chalybaeus) and dusky (Notropis cummingsae) shiners. A coworker had pointed out a few creeks in the area to us that looked suitable for collecting, and after some research, and an hour and a half drive, we were pleasantly surprised. The … Read more

Trip Report – Rockingham, NC

On the 24th of September, we headed down to Rockingham, NC to a previously visited site, Hinson Lake. Hinson Lake is a well known spot for both the lined killifish, Fundulus lineolatus and the blackbanded sunfish, Enneacanthus chaetodon. Having not had any luck in previous attempts to collect F. lineolatus, I wasn’t holding my breath.   The lake … Read more