There have been a flurry of big, humungous, clearly not microscopic creek chub specimens posted in the last year or so. I have been asked to revisit the micro status of our favorite lunker minnow, on behalf of the Creek Chub Army. It's time to examine the facts and take action, on behalf of a species that has not been given its time in the sun, nor its place among the lauded sportfish of America. Here are a few of the highlights:
Two of these fish were measured at over 14 inches, and one was estimated at 15! After a little research, I came up with a length-weight regression formula for creek chubs in the Manual of Fisheries Survey Methods:
This analysis places a 14.5 inch chub at 1.002 pounds, and that's their non-spawning weight. Taking into consideration that females could gain several ounces of egg mass during the spawn, I think it's clear that creek chubs do get to be a pound in weight sometimes.
Furthermore, creek chubs are pursued not with hyper-specialized "micro" tackle, but with standard trout and panfish equipment. This, to me, is more important than the strictly weight-based restriction; I mean, anything that will crush a Zara Spook is clearly not a micro. Adding to this sentiment, at least for me, is the fact that creek chubs are so widespread and accessible - in fact, they are often one of the first fish caught by young anglers who live near small creeks and rivers - anglers to whom the Creek Chub might be their best access to a sporty quarry. They are great "ambassador" species for new anglers wishing to begin their quest for fun, feisty fish to catch near their home. Creek Chubs have a lot of fans out there.
Because of all this, the website authors have decided to make the Creek Chub, Semotilus atromaculatus, a standard sportfish. If you already have it on your micro-lifelist, it will be moved to the standard lifelist automatically.
Creek Chubs will now count as a species in all species contests, whether they be limited-range derbies like the roundup derby, or worldwide species contests like the June Contest. Other chub species are still micros, unless and until we have evidence they qualify.
By doing this, I admit that my original classification of the Creek Chub was a mistake. I apologize for that, and for any pain and anguish my decision has caused. I look forward to some very eloquent and well-documented Creek Chub Expeditions to be published in the future.