Trip Report – Cary, NC


On the 25th of June, Jessie and I happened to both be in Cary, and used the opportunity to go collect and photograph. After consulting Google Maps , we decided to try out Swift Creek, just downstream from the Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. Our thinking was that the unfished habitat in the preserve might mean greater diversity downstream.

Swift Creek, Cary NC
Swift Creek, Cary NC

In the end, it turns out that I have sampled puddles with more fish than Swift Creek. Maybe we tried on a bad day? There were no signs of recent flooding, the water level was at a healthy height, and there were plenty of snakes around, just not much in the way of fish.

We did manage to catch the following:

Species Count
Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) 1
Golden Shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas) 1
Swallowtail Shiner (Notropis procne) 3


Prepping for photos


The combination of no fish, and 100 degree weather lead us to abandon this site after about an hour. Our next stop was Crabtree Creek, right below the damn on Crabtree Lake. We have sampled here many times throughout the years, and it never lets us down. This time we saw fish before we had even put our waders on, and had much more success.


Species Count
Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) 6
Satinfin Shiner (Cyprinella analostana) 12
Swallowtail Shiner (Notropis procne) 6
Margined Madtom (Noturus insignis) 2
Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) 6
Ictalurus spp. 2 (< 1”)
Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) 3
American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) 1
Gambusia spp. 4



Due to  a screw up on my part, changing lenses and not paying attention to ISO settings, I only had one photograph turn out. The satinfin shiner.


Satinfin Shiner - Cyprinella analostana
Satinfin Shiner – Cyprinella analostana


Swallowtail Shiner with bad ISO settings.
Swallowtail Shiner with bad ISO settings.


One issue we ran into, and are still working on, is how to photograph catfishes. Not just the catfishes, but other similarly shaped fishes like the oyster toadfish. We have tried a few different approaches, short of euthanizing the fish,  to acquire the photographs we need, all to no avail. If you have any ideas, we would love to hear from you at contact @


Here is one of the margined madtoms that wouldn’t cooperate:

Margined Madtom



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