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Going Fishing
October 24, 2009
12:27 pm
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johnpeten
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I have engaged one of our remaining flat bottomed launches to go on a collecting expedition on Monday and Tuesday.
These launches were originally our bus service between our village and the Town on the other side of the Lake. Now that the road has been repaired and paved they are obsolete.
We will have a team of young people equipped with nets, fishing lines and snorkel gear.
Apart from any specimens we may capture we should have some good photos.

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October 24, 2009
4:24 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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I really enjoy reading your posts Johnpeten! Look forward to pics of the expedition!

October 25, 2009
2:11 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Looking forward to the results John. Scenery looks stunning!

Cake or death?
October 27, 2009
11:34 am
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johnpeten
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Some photos from the Monday expedition. Sorry about the hooks but this was the fastest way of taking photos with least handling of the fish. The hooks are too large and are barbed but I do not interfere in the way the local people do things, in all respects.
We are exploring new habitats today and will write a full report when I get back.

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October 27, 2009
12:55 pm
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Bluedave
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Great pics John, as Plaamo said I love reading your posts, what a great place to live.

October 27, 2009
7:13 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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That's quite a crew you have there John, looks like a blast!! Is the commercial fisherman fishing for food or live export?

October 27, 2009
9:13 pm
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johnpeten
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Is the commercial fisherman fishing for food or live export?
[/quote]
He is from Santa Elena and live bait fishing for Petenia.splendida, known as Pez Blanco here, for the local market. He had a cooler with about 8 full size fish with a couple of 9 inch C. urothphalmus which looked tiny by comparison. He presented me with one of these, the one in the photos. it is now in one of my tanks, looking very unhappy. It will probably go back to the Lake.

October 28, 2009
2:41 am
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johnpeten
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This morning we made for the Western end of the Lake. Here the Lake narrows to less than half a mile wide. The water is not as clear as the rest of the Lake as it receives the runoff from thousands of acres of cattle pasture which promotes algae growth, although this is not excessive.
We eventually saw a gap in a reed bed and pushed in the bow of the launch. We were surprised to find a small shallow lagoon behind the reeds filled with Water Lilies. We have had some botanical boffins here writing nonsense about these plants, trying to make a name for themselves.
The fish here were very hungry and lined up to get at the worms on our hooks. They were obviously bored with their vegetarian diet. We caught 30 fish in about 45 minutes. As usual only 3 species V.melanurus, T. affinis and C.urothalmus, mostly yellow meekis. However they were generally larger than we had collected in the past. We then tried in the center of this area in about 4 meters without any luck.
We moved back to the main Lake and tried several depths of about 10 meters plus. We were collecting the same species but some young adults which showed several variations.
Some of the photos are attached. I normally photograph the fish immediately they are caught to preserve their original colours.
The natural colour of the lake water is indicated in the first two photos. I took these leaning over the side of the launch. It only appears blue because it is a reflection of the sky. I have been wondering what causes this colour, everything around here is Limestone.
You will notice that the young adult V.melanurus are showing very dark undersides and there is variations in the type of caudal bars. An eminent Mexican Cichlid expert tells me that probably V. synspila should be considered a geographical variation of V.melanurus.
I have put some scene photos and a couple of short videos in the videos and pictures section.
It is very exhausting lazing around in a launch on a beautiful Lake fishing in perfect weather. I will now have to take a couple of days off to recuperate. /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" />

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October 28, 2009
7:54 pm
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johnpeten
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It is now confirmed that the two photos of the Thorichthys sp collected in the western lake are T. pasionis. This is the first report of their existance in Lake Peten. This is not surprising considering how many habitats we have in our 200 square mile Lake and the difficulty of access.

October 29, 2009
6:04 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Really fascinating stuff John you deserve a good lie down after all the hard work. /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" /> I've seen other waters coloured like that; it's something to do with the way light reflects off water containing a lot of Calcium carbonate I think.

Cake or death?
October 30, 2009
8:03 pm
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andy rushworth
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Fantastic pics John /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

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