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Fishing Cynolebias with us

You will not find in Buenos Aires the colorful exotic people from Rio de Janeiro nor the typical south american faces from Lima or La Paz. Buenos Aires is the most "European" city of South America. In circle of 400 miles with the center in Buenos Aires, you can find at least 20 different Cynolebias species. In this circle, there are 3 regions with different geography: Uruguay, the Argentinian Mesopotamia, and the Pampa. The most important activity in the areas is agriculture. (Cereals and cattle).The Cynolebias habitat are ponds of no more than 2 feet deep in the prairies of these areas. There is not an exact rule for the rain periods, but in summertime the ponds could be dryied by the high temperatures. However, El Niño is keeping most of them with some water this year. Well paved routes pass throught the three above mentioned regions, as you can see in the maps. To go to Uruguay, there are two options. You drive throught Entre Rios, crossing the rivers over big bridges, or you board a ferry in Buenos Aires (with your vehicle) to cross directly to Montevideo (Uruguay's capital city) or Colonia, a small town. All of the trips we did were done in only one day. (To Uruguay, the departure of the ferry was on Saturday night, and we came back Sunday night.) The Uruguay trip was very interesting because of the different and beautiful fish you can collect. Our first collection was our Uruguayan friend and guide"Cocoa" (Heber Salvia), in Montevideo. Departure to the first pond was at 6 AM from Cocoa's house.. Uruguay is a beautiful country, the land is not so flat as the argentinian Pampa, (small and smooth hills). The Uruguayan coast has a lot of very nice beaches, and turist cities like Punta del Este. However, the small towns inside country are very different. We stoped at Rocha to buy some food and a color film. Then, we started fishing. We use to fill the bags with oxigene. That way, the fish can survive in the bag for more that 36 hours. The best way to fish is using small (2 feet x 1) net with a strong structure able to bend the dense (sometimes) aquatic vegetation. Check the Uruguayan map for the list of loacations. In general, ponds are near the road, (100-200 meters/300-600 feet). That's why most locations are named after the road # and the kilometer # from the capital city of the country. How much we spent? The ferry tickets are "expensive": 220 $ for my pickup (180 for a small car I think) + 45 $ each passenger. Fuel is expensive too, aprox 1$ a liter, (3.8 $ a gal) but I use Diesel (0.4 $ a liter). Food is cheap and good. In Uruguay, milk products and beer are exelent. Customs and immigration proceeds are very easy for Argentinians (almost nothing) except for the agriculture deptartment declarations. We should declare all food, plants, animals, etc. coming in or out, but we manage it the "other way". I think Visas are not required for US citizens to come to Argentina or Uruguay. Fishing in Entre Rios: Entre Ríos means "Between Rivers", the Paraná and Uruguay rivers are the frontiers of this Province (a province is like a state). At no more than 300 km from Buenos Aires, Gualeguaychu is a peaceful town, except for February, when the Carnaval party is celebrated. The collection sites we know are near the city, around 10 or 15 km. However, I think Cynolebias could be found in large regions of Entre Rios. The first pond was really small, with 5 to 15 cm. (3 in.) of dirty water, connected by a big pipe (2 or 3 feet diameter) to a bigger pond, in the other side of the road. The Alexandrii were only in the small pond. The Nigripinnis and Bellotti from the Nancay river and Ruta 14 (This is the Argentinian Ruta 14) were in the same pond, in large quantities. (large quantities means each time you sink the net you get a cynolebia)The Bellottis have some little blue points very similar to the Nigripinnis of the same pond. If you ever come to Buenos Aires, call us or send a mail.We'll be happy to receive you. I would like to thank Heber Salvia for his help and for sharing his expertise.


:)

The pictures of my last trip.
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