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Aug 14

Summertime Reveals a Natural Phenomenon in Turtle Creek

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This summer something fishy is going on in Turtle Creek. The creek is home to more than 100 species of wildlife, most of which live along her banks or bob along the water's surface. But under the water the Bluegill fish thrives in the shallows and has adapted well to the storm water runoff that adds to the spring-fed creek.  


The Bluegill is one tough little urban fish, which grows as big as the size of your hand, and this time each year they multiply by the thousands. The male fish combines a fancy dance with architecture and spins his way around in circles forming a nest in which to spawn.  The result is a 12" to 18" diameter circle about 2" deep...just deep enough to provide a good spot for the female to lay thousands of eggs. Once the eggs are fertilized, the male will stand guard over the circle and protect the nest from interlopers. Our famous turtles, ducks and other Bluegills are met with a fiercely protective father as the male chases-off would be egg thieves. 


Pictured are four active spawning circles in Turtle Creek just downstream from the new bridge at the foot of Gillespie Street. Watch carefully from Turtle Creek Trail as the guardian male Bluegill protects his young. After hatching, the Bluegill small fry are a substantial and nutritious food source for our resident Herons, Snowy Egrets and Kingfishers, which grace the creek.

Category: The Creek   Tag: Bluegill

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