Venezuela Expedition 2016

JBL Expedition 2016 Venezuela

JBL Expedition 2016 Venezuela

The Species-rich Cattle Trough and the Muddy Path

After having explored various running waters we asked the guides and natives about ponds and lakes, which means stagnant waters. A native pointed out a puddle at the rear of his dwelling which serves as a cattle trough and warned us about another small pond which we should better be careful not to step in because of electric eels. This immediately caught our interest and we started with the not very promising looking cattle trough. Because of the extremely muddy water it was not possible to determine the water values with a drop test. Even in the cuvette the water was not translucent, which made a colour comparison impossible, although the JBL water tests are greatly appreciated by experts because they always take the inherent water colour into account by means of the comparator system. But the conductance meter indicated over 300 µS/cm more than in the river systems and therefore a high water load degree, probably caused by nitrates and phosphates. As an alternative to the conventional test we tried the JBL ProScan, where you scan and measure a test strip on a colour chart with the smartphone which then directly displays the water values. Lo and behold: this also works with muddy water!!! We were really astonished when we could catch with a net a larger amount of fish than in the river! Knifefish, swamp eels and Guyana leaffish, as well as catfish from the family of the Pimelodidae were caught. Also here our women, most notably Jessica and Claudia, were there on the front line, which means they were sunk deepest in the mud.

After the cattle trough we wanted to go to the pond where the electric eels were supposed to be. The pond was in sight but could only be reached through an area of swampy ground. Of course this didn’t keep us away and the first ones quickly learned that that a creeping movement worked the best. The fishing wasn’t great at the pond. We regret to report that we didn’t catch any electric eels. We did catch some closely related knifefish (the electric eel is not an eel) again, though. With such a biotope this is no surprise. Stagnant water without shady trees in the full tropical sun contains very little oxygen and only certain fish groups can survive there.

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