Thursday, February 21, 2008

Perch-fish behavior in Martin County, Florida

As a visitor in this region, sweeping up crushed palm berries from the sidewalk and roadway near the Saint Lucie River, there was occasion to simply dump the dead seeds and their fruits into a small nearby slough that connects with the river itself. What a surprise it was when a large perch-fish immediately raced into the tiny river 'pocket', fanning its spiny dorsal fin to stop itself quite precisely at the pile of fruit sinking and floating in the water -- I had to jump back. Then, to add to the maneuvers, a smaller relative and another yet-smaller perch-fish swam into positions beside the first -- small, medium and large with the appearance of side-by-side circular saws breaching the surface of the water.

Yesterdays' 'Stuart News' newspaper gave its description of the "Catch of the Week, Black Crappie (Speckled Perch, Speck) ...found in fresh water statewide in Florida... dorsal and anal fins are large and fanlike... ." The speedy and precisely arrayed three-fish set was an unforgettable experience -- truly a spectacle to watch!

Photo below:  wooden pallet, through street adjacent property between Kingswood condo complex and Ocean Palms Retirement complex

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