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Area students examine ‘creatures of the shallows’

Local waters abound with varied and interesting species

The Creatures of the Shallows students: Savannah Conway, left back row, Keegan Bailey, Tim Burr, Eric Ketcham and Brianna Conway, left front row, Renee Adams, Kate Martellock and Chris Hale relax after a fun-filled day of searching for small organisms that inhabit area waters.

The Creatures of the Shallows students: Savannah Conway, left back row, Keegan Bailey, Tim Burr, Eric Ketcham and Brianna Conway, left front row, Renee Adams, Kate Martellock and Chris Hale relax after a fun-filled day of searching for small organisms that inhabit area waters.

— Students in Cazenovia College’s recent summer course, “Creatures of the Shallows,” caught and identified more than 300 types of fish of 16 different species during their week-long exploration of the shorelines of Cazenovia waters last week.

The course was taught by Dr. Thad Yorks, associate professor of biology in Cazenovia College’s environmental studies program.

Assisted by Renee Adams, of Chittenango, a junior in Cazenovia’s elementary education program, Yorks and seven area young people waded in the shallows of Stoney Pond, Cazenovia Lake and Chittenango Creek, with nets and buckets to learn about the creatures living there.

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Submitted Photo

Brianna Conway poses with the 14-inch largemouth bass she discovered during Cazenovia College’s Creatures of the Shallows week-long educational summer course. The program was taught by associate professor of biology Dr. Thad Yorks and Cazenovia College junior Renee Adams

Among their finds were lots of bluegill and yellow perch, “both considered ‘panfish,’” Yorks said. “Small to medium size, but they’re very good to eat, as well as smaller numbers of other panfish species.”

They found a few largemouth bass, which Yorks said were primarily first or second year fish, confirming that they are in fact reproducing. However, they did catch one largemouth that measured more than 14-inches long, as well as a few grass pickerel and a number of much smaller fish that are rarely caught, but are vital to the shoreline ecosystem.

For more information about the program, contact Dr. Yorks at 655-7148 or teyorks@cazenovia.edu.

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