A Collection Trip

This blog post is slightly different than my usual style of blog post.  However, bear with me and I think you’ll see where I’m coming from. A while ago, I posted a short unboxing video on my youtube channel talking about some books I had acquired, including one which did not make a ton of sense at the time, a field guide to fish. Well, I was able to begin the first phase of the project I referenced in that video, which led to this blog post.  As part of a recent excursion, I was able to collect a few fish. This post will discuss this trip and put it in the context of a creation worldview.

I’ve always been passionate about fish keeping and fish collecting for as long as I can remember.  I had a fish tank in my bedroom from the time I was eleven or twelve. However, college kind of put an end to that hobby and I’ve not had fish or been collecting in over a decade.  I’ve been slowly researching my way back into it and discovered that my state had a free collecting day recently so I had to participate.

While I did participate in collecting, I was not in the least prepared. It was hot, sunny, and humid. In my extreme intelligence, I left my water in the car and did not wear either sunscreen or bug spray.  Given I had to walk something like a mile downhill to reach the creek, and again up this same steep hill to return to my car, this was an extremely intelligent decision. However, the creek conditions were beautiful. The creek itself flows over bedrock, with small areas of silt and sand. Due to recent heavy rains, there were several side pools, most of which were stagnant and devoid of fish. A few of the larger side pools were inhabited however, and I was able to collect a few specimens from these pools.

Biodiversity in this particular stream was fairly low. From what I could observe and capture, there were only two or three species of fish present. One species appeared to be a small sunfish. There were anglers present and they indicated that this species is what they were catching.  However, the few fish of this species I observed were very sick, with significant tumors protruding from their bodies.  Insects were common, water striders and spiders being particularly commonplace. I only collected one species of minnow, despite traversing about a mile of the creek and examining both the main creekbed and the smaller overflow pools.  However, this species was in significant abundance.  There were large schools of inch long juveniles over silt beds in shallow, calmer water. A few, slightly larger specimens were found in small groups over the rocky creekbed in faster flowing water.

The species I collected is unknown.  It could be a number of species of minnows.  The Bluntnose Minnow (Pimephales notatus) can reach up to four inches and is found in the Mississippi River and its tributaries.  The Redfin Shiner (Lythrurus umbratilis) is an admittedly unlikely possibility, but there is a hint of red on the collected species fins.  The Bigeye Shiner (Notropis boops) is perhaps the most likely possibility based on the size of the eyes relative to the body and body style. However, any of these three are possible.

Now the reason I decided to discuss this on my blog is two-fold. First, the tumor-ridden sunfish I observed reminded me of the reality of death in the fallen world.  Since the fossil record contains numerous examples of cancer and animals eating one another, and God called His creation “very good”, this could not have been in existence before the Fall.  The second reason I have chosen to discuss this comes from the research I am going to attempt.  If I can, I am going to attempt to breed this species, which I believe is N. boops, with other members of the subfamily Leuciscinae to establish a Biblical baramin, based on the enhanced cognitum model.  The project will require numerous fish tanks and significant time.  This will be an ongoing project, but hopefully, as part of this study, I will be able to demonstrate at least a partial model of the baramin(s) within this subfamily and further confirm the Biblical model.


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