Conasauga Snorkel

 

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In July, 2003 Therese and I visited the Conasauga River in Northwest Georgia at the Snorkeling Hole, a spot on the river which is known for clear water and an abundance of underwater wildlife. We spent the afternoon snorkeling in the pools, chasing and photographing fish and turtles. I made an attempt to identify the fish but the only one I am sure of is the smallmouth though I fairly certain of the Blue Shiner and the Logperch.  If you have an idea what the species are (including turtles), email me at ajflatspin@charter.net . My attempt was gleaned from the info at the Georgia Fishes website.

This new hobby began when, after a go at SCUBA, I started snorkeling in the rivers of the southeast. I first explored the base of Woodall Shoals on the Chattooga at very low water, finding an intricate network of potholes and lots of fish. Then I ventured to the pool at the bottom of the shoals, finding more fish at the depth of about 20 feet!  I hope to present more of the underwater perspective of rivers on this website. Future destinations include Upper Tuckasegee in Panthertown Valley, Tallulah (at low flow), Halls of Karma in the New River Gorge and the Chattooga, of course!

I also tried snorkeling some class II. It was easier than expected to maneuver around the rocks as the current pushed me downriver, due to the high visibility afforded by the mask. However I still prefer a boat for rapid navigation, but who knows, it did make a class II seem fairly interesting in the way that squirt boating can turn a class IV into a V.

FYI I went with river shoes instead of fins as the fins are cumbersome on the rocks.  Pictures were taken with a Canon S45 in a waterproof case.

Conasauga Logperch aka tiger fish, these guys are on the threatened and endangered species list.

A river chub?

A turtle warily eyes me.

Smallmouth bass

Blue Shiner, also on the T&E list. ID based on the fin pattern and the black spot near the tail.

A minnow.

Mystery fish, about 18 inches long.

This turtle was all about personal space. As I closed in for the photo he lunged for my crotch. I deftly performed a barrel roll to escape certain castration and swam away.

Looking perpendicular at the outflow of a small slide.

Gang of minnows (chub?).

Looking downstream at a drop.

Looking river left, the flow is from left to right.

Looking river left, the flow is from left to right, in which direction I peeled out for my first descent of a class II, underwater.

In hot pursuit of a small mouth. With fins he's supper.

A river chub observed by a river chump.

2001 Alex Harvey