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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011
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Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011
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Shankar
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:28 pm Post subject: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 A  couple  of  years  back,  during  our  trip  to  Tambraparni  river  we  encountered  a  huge  hill  stream  loach,  the  Bhavania  australis.  That  was  the  biggest  and  most  colorful  specimen  I  ever  came  across.  Since  then,  this  species  was  added  to  my  wish-list  and  I  wished  to  keep  them  in  a  hill  stream  setup.
 
 My  friends  were  very  much  game  for  a  trip  and  I  hadn't  done  a  long  trip  for  quite  some  time.  A  trip  to  Kumaradhara  was  thought  of  and  my  dream  to  collect  the  Loaches  was  inching  close.  A  few  more  keen  members  were  willing  to  join.  The  planning  involved  group  mails,  disclaimers  and  statutory  warnings.  :  )
 
 Ultimately  we  met  at  Bangalore  on  4th  morning  and  we  headed  straight  to  the  venue.  It  was  already  pretty  late  when  we  reached  our  hotel  near  Kumaradhara.
 
 The  first  job  to  do  was  to  arrange  a  rugged  vehicle  and  we  got  one.
 
 
 
 The  first  place  we  hit  showed  us  nothing  more  than  Dwarf  Puffers,  Puntius  ticto,  Rasbora  daniconius,  Barilus  bakeri.  But  no  sign  of  Etroplines.   Very Happy  
 
 The  day  was  nearing  its  end  and  we  decided  to  switch  to  another  place.  Our  driver  had  no  clue  what  we  were  upto,  but  the  poor  chap  took  us  wherever  he  was  directed  to.  Ultimately  we  managed  to  find  a  spot  which  appeared  quite  promising.  None  of  us  wasted  time  entering  the  water.  I  just  had  to  split  few  of  the  group  members  in  small  teams,  so  that  the  stretch  could  be  efficiently  covered  for  the  fauna.  The  sun  had  pretty  much  disappeared,  as  me  and  Shubh  reached  belly-deep  water,  Shubh  uttered  a  few  cuss  words;  the  chill  flowing  river  made  him  to.  Smile  Most  of  us  were  well  equipped  for  night  fishing  and  we  were  in  no  hurry.  The  day  had  ended,  but  we  had  just  begun.
 
 
 Looking  for  the  Gyptos..
             
Link

 
             
Link

 
 I  headed  upstreams  looking  out  for  anything  interesting.  What  I  came  across  was  really  interesting  indeed.  5  juvenile  Channa  sp  hiding  under  large  pebbles.  They  were  quite  swift  to  elude  me  and  since  my  head  lamp  was  the  only  light  source,  the  ones  that  escaped  from  the  scene  almost  vanished.  Just  for  one  loner  with  a  gachua  like  tail  sticking  out  of  a  crevice.  My  first  thought  was  Channa  gachua,  but  it  gave  me  a  very  tough  time  eluding  my  nets  every  single  time.  Unfortunately  it  swam  right  under  a  pebble  on  which  I  stood.  My  small  mistake  cost  its  life,  damaging  its  forehead.
 
 Channa  sp.
 
 
 It  was  just  over  1.5  inches,  striped  pectoral  fins,  tail  very  much  like  gachua,  but  with  no  pelvic  fins!  The  only  possible  species  I  could  think  of  was  C.  orientalis.  I  hadn't  seen  any  orientalis  specimen  before,  hence  wasn't  sure  of  the  ID.  Or  there's  a  remote  chance  of  it  being  an  undescribed  one.  I  wanted  to  spend  some  more  time  there  looking  for  atleast  one  more  live  specimen,  to  take  it  back.  More  importantly,  I  was  all  alone,  far  off  from  the  team.  It  was  pitch  dark;  no  moon  either.  Just  the  previous  night  we  had  enough  of  some  haunting  tales  and  that  was  still  very  fresh  in  my  mind.  Honestly,  I  rushed  back  towards  the  group.  Weird  feeling,  you  know.   Chuckle  
 
             
Link

 
             
Link

 
 By  this  time  our  driver  gave  us  a  loud  call  and  we  realised  we  might  not  get  our  dinner  if  we  delay  anymore.
 
 The  night  fishing  team,  just  before  leaving  the  spot.
 
 
 Having  finished  a  nice  dinner  at  a  Dhaba  sort  of  place,  we  decided  a  night  trail  into  the  woods,  with  our  cameras,  headlamps,  snake  hooks  and  tongs.  Disappointment,  as  we  saw  nothing  other  than  spiders.  We  headed  back  to  our  hotel  pretty  exhausted,  virtually  a  long  and  hectic  journey  all  the  way  from  our  homes  and  then  the  fishing  and  then  the  night  trail  and  a  belly  full  of  food.
 
 Fully  dressed  up  (  it  was  quite  cold  )  and  before  we  went  to  the  bed,  I  remembered,  the  catch  of  the  day  were  all  in  not  more  than  2  or  3  bags  and  needed  some  serious  attention.  We  couldn't  have  afforded  to  lose  some  of  the  exotic  catches.  I  had  carried  along  a  make-shift  cage  for  the  trip.  All  the  fish  were  dumped  into  the  safety  vault  and  kept  in  the  river  drainage,  flowing  right  behind  our  hotel  room.  This  helps  them  enjoy  the  water  from  their  preferred  habitat,  get  well  oxygenated  water,  yet  more  important,  can't  escape.  Another  big  plus  it  does  is,  their  poop  gets  into  the  river,  rather  than  into  the  fish  bags,  making  the  bagged  water  murky  and  weakening  the  fish  and  ammonia  burns  et  all.  Rest  of  the  gang  were  busy  flashing  their  lights  into  the  water,  but  from  the  shore.  No  one,  including  me  were  willing  to  wet  our  feet.  We  saw  Mystus  sp,  Nemacheilus  sp,  Barilius  bakeri  and  an  armatus  eel.  
 
 
 We  shot  an  Elusive  Mystus  and  an  armatus  eel  too  at  the  same  location.
 
             
Link

 
             
Link

 
 It  was  time  to  call  it  a  day  and  with  the  little  energy  left,  all  we  could  do  is  some  photo  shoot  the  Crypts  that  Arjun  brought  back  and  also  the  Channa  needed  a  better  profile  pic.
 
 The  Crypt
 
 
 The  Snakehead
 
 Pic  by  Jibran
 
 Some  more  shots  of  the  Channa  were  taken,  but  the  fins  had  badly  clamped  by  the  time  we  reached  our  hotel.
 
 End  of  Day  1.   :thumb:
 
 Edit:  A  couple  more  Day  1  vids  added.


Last edited by Shankar on Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:14 pm; edited 5 times in total
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random2
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:51 pm Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 WoW,  cool  catch!!
 
 Interested  to  know  if  its  malabarensis  or  a  new  one.
 
 Will  be  waiting  for  updates.
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Madan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:56 pm Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Keep  them  coming...  Thumb Up
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alpha91
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:58 pm Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Cant  blame  me  for  the  cuss  words  man!  The  water  really  was  chilly  Razz  
 
 Here  is  a  pic  of  the  (bhavania  sp.?)
 
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tintin1982
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:00 pm Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Very  interesting  write-up!  Eagerly  waiting  for  updates   Thumb Up
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vyastk
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:12 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Awesome  videos!!!....Great  work  Shankar!!!
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saadali
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:02 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 keep  it  coming  guys...
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Marc
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:08 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Waiting  for  more   Thumb Up
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rocky2
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:23 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Thumbs Up
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Lawrenze
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:48 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Wow!  and  now  night  time  fishing...what  next  Chuckle  super  cool  videos  too
 Cheers
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:06 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Nice  Shankar!!  Upload  more  photographs!!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:38 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Hi  Shankar  
 
 What  About  the  Bhavania  australis  ?  Did  you  get  to  find  some  ?  and  the  EC  ?
 
 Regards
 
 Sujoy
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mcgokul
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:12 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Awesome!!!  More  more...
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:09 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Nice  writeup  &  vids.
 Should  be  contd..  ;-)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:13 am Post subject: Re: Memories from the Kumaradhara trip - Feb 2011 Reply with quote

 Shankar,
 
 Very  nice  pictures  and  narration.  Nice  team  leadership  provided  by  you.
 waiting  for  more,
 Regards,
 Nayak.
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