August 31, 2009
The weather forecast for Sunday was mostly sunny with 10 to 15 knot ENE winds, which should not have been a problem. The cruise across the lake would take an hour with the wind on the quarter.
We were going to revisit the Southern arm of the Lake and enter the final lily covered lagoon. The purpose was to rediscover the cichlid species that Carl Hubbs found there in 1935. We entered the lagoon without any problem despite the very strong headwind. Then we discovered that the Lanchero had forgotten the anchor. Without making any captures we were soon blown out of the Lagoon. We were surprised to discover that the clear center part of the lagoon had a depth of at least five feet. Some locals in a large canoe were fishing here. In the lagoon we were surrounded by hundreds of Lilies so we had to take a closer look, photo attached.
We returned down the lake looking for a place to go ashore to find a large rock for an anchor. Finally we pushed through the reed beds and found solid ground. The boys disappeared into the woods and returned some time later with our anchor. We tried the fishing in this area and were soon pulling out young adult Vieja (Paratheraps) melanurus with lots of colour and a few other species. The photos are a selection of the fish we caught showing the colour variations and the difference in head shape.
The locals who had been fishing in the lagoon passed us, on their way home. I hailed them and they came to chat with us. They had been using live bait and fishing for Pez Blanco Petenia splendida. They had also caught several other species and I examined what they had. Unfortunately most were dead but one of the corpses, I believe was a Jack Dempsey, a species that I was seeking. It appears, therefore, that the lagoon harbours several adult species, which is very surprising.
Rather than return to the lagoon, and having to watch the clock, we decided to continue fishing near the local Zoo, Pentencita, and make another trip to the lagoon at a later date, fully equipped.
In this location we captured a 7 inch melanurus with a partially developed nuchal bump on its head. This was a first for us.
As it was Sunday and the weather was sunny and warm(80° F 27° C), many people were out and about on the Lake. Our Lanchero nicknamed Kush had been cruising the Lake for about 40 years so he is very well know. As other launches passed there was always a wave and a Que Tal.
Dugout canoes, once the only transport on the lakes and rivers, have been made here since the time of the Ancient Maya, 2,000 years ago. Some still survive and I include a photo of a very ancient example paddled by an Indigenous Grandfather with a pair of his grandchildren.
I will include some pictures in the photo section of the Northern Shore of this arm of the Lake. This is a long peninsular with access by a tortuous dirt road. However it has been developed and used by the well off and the very poor alike, many of them living a very isolated life. Everybody here has some sort of water transport to go to Town.
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March 15, 2009
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