Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fishing in the Mara

We have been hoping to do some fish sampling in the river this season to look at what fish are eating, but we haven't been able to afford either buying a lot of fish sampling equipment or hiring people with equipment to help us. Recently, I saw an old piece of wire mesh left unused, and it reminded me of the minnow traps we used to use to catch frogs and snakes in Georgia. After an hour or two, Chris and I managed to fashion two simple fish traps out of this piece of wire mesh, and guess what... they worked!

Holding a fish trap that is lined with hippo poop after being in the river for a while
We deployed the traps in the river around the wildebeest carcasses while our friend Frank was here. I think Frank was a bit skeptical they would work, as we just put a piece of moldy bread inside, most of which fell out right away. But after we left them for a few hours, we had caught a fish!
Frank pulling a fish trap
Okay, we haven't been catching that many fish, but we've put them out several times now and caught at least one fish each time. It's a start. Maybe next year we'll get some real fish sampling equipment. In the meantime, these are important samples for us to get, and it's been great to see some of the fish from the river.

A tilapia caught in the Mara

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