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Aiguamolls De L'Empordà And Frá Ramón

Home Forums Field Trips & Conservation Aiguamolls De L'Empordà And Frá Ramón

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  • #302047

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Had visitors over from Switzerland a couple of weeks ago and we made a trip north of Barcelona to visit the large nature reserve of Aiguamolls de l’Empordà followed by the lagoon of Frá Ramón, both natural habitats of Aphanius iberus.

    Previously visited the second locality in 2010 but never been to the aiguamolls so we headed there first. Didn’t do a lot of fishing as Aphanius tend to be pretty much dormant during winter but there was still plenty of life about.

    Particularly surprising to see a flamingo here at this time of year though apparently they’re not uncommon during winter months.

    We had a short meeting with the park director who took us to this man-made pool which is off-limits to the public. Here they maintain large numbers of A. iberus as back-up in case anything happens to the natural populations. The weather looks lovely but believe me when I say we were almost having our skin removed by super-crazy wind!

    We then went for a walk around the park. Some random shots:

    Check out the ice…it was cold!

    Some large mullet visible towards the bottom of this pic:

    You really cannot imagine how windy it was on top of the viewing tower

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    #347347

    Matt
    Keymaster

    At Frá Ramón the water level was considerably lower than in 2010, a reflection of the super-dry winter this year:

    Did get my waders on here but caught nothing except this measly Gambusia. VERY disappointing as the species has never previously been recorded in the main lagoon.

    We then moved onto the adjacent lagoon named Ter Vell where in 2010 we found both Aphanius and Gambusia, the former having never previously been recorded there. Very shallow water here, and at the moment it’s reduced to a series of pools:

    Caught a few fishes here, mostly Gambusia but also a single male Aphanius with a munched caudal fin, plus a random marine jobby. What was interesting was that all three species were buried in the substrate in just a few inches of water. Never seen Gambusia do that before.
    Pics © B. Nicca

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