Local teens Identify Fish in Pheasant Branch Creek
by Krista Reyes, age 14
When Jacob Gillizter went to the Department of
Natural Resources to get approval to fish in a local creek for a
school project, he was told it would be a waste of time.
Dane County fisheries manager Kurt Welke said
he assumed Gillitzer was told that because the Pheasant Branch Creek
is not a popular spot for anglers, who believe there are no memorable
or edible fish there.
a freshman at Clark Street Community High School, ploughed ahead
anyway, along with his peer Bryce Hollefelder. In their Flora Fauna
class, the two boys were assigned to study the types of fish
inhabiting the Pheasant Branch Creek and the numbers of fish caught
in the area.
They struck gold when Gillitzer found this
unusual fish with six horns coming out of its head.
“It’s kind of freaky because it has the horns,”
he told the Wisconsin State Journal.
Hollefelder, also ended up catching several of these strange looking
fish. A friend of Jacob’s father, Gary Gillitzer, identified it as
a horned dace.
turns out that the horned dace is a local name for a common creek
chub, very common in Wisconsin. During mating time, the tubercles or
horns grow on their heads.
fish they found include large mouth bass, trout, a crappie-bluegill,
hybrid, bluegill, and other pan fish.
Gillitzer made sketches of fish found in the
creek for a brochure and Hollefelder detailed information of what the
fish eat as part of their final project.
The Clark Street Community High School is a
project-based school where students are encouraged to interact with
Wisconsin State Journal]