JBL Workshop Vietnam 2013

Rare loaches in the Ba Ho Waterfalls

The Ba Ho Waterfalls end in a gently flowing river, and here we set up our base camp. From there we went along a shallow mountain river to the first waterfall. After some climbing we reached the second waterfall, after even more climbing the third, and the toughest amongst us even reached the fourth waterfall. The climbing itself would have been quite pleasant, if not for the whole equipment, the cameras, a respectable temperature of 36 °C in the shade (and there wasn’t any shade), which made it all a bit more difficult. The advantage was that this way the whole group was distributed along the 4 waterfalls and the river course. Directly under the crashing water of the second waterfall (and only there), Bernd Schmölzing, head of Fischimport EFS and I discovered a flat looking fish species on a stone, which seemed to live only there. We looked in vain in other areas for this fish species, but had no choice but to catch a specimen directly under this waterfall. I was busy trying to take reasonable photos of the animals, whereas Bernd, half buried under the crashing water, attempted angling under difficult conditions.

Previously unknown loach

After what seemed like two hours Bernd had a specimen in the net. It was a loach unknown to us and quite similar to a hillstream loach. Later Dr. Kottelat helped me to determine the species by means of the photos we had brought along. It was an Annamia species.

Search for invertebrates

The search for invertebrates was also very interesting. The only snail we found was an ugly brown snail with a short clunky shell. The shrimp field had more to offer. There were shrimps of the stenopodidae family living in a cave next to the second waterfall. We saw at least three more shrimp species in the river, probably Caridina species.