Cave fish videos – not what you think
By Jo Schaper
The world underground is not only stranger than you think, it sometimes is stranger than you can imagine.
A friend of mine, Chad McCain, has been mapping a large cave system in Ste. Genevieve County called Blackfathom River Cave for some years, and recently brought back some fish videos. But let him tell this in his own words:
“This particular cave is the Blackfathom River Cave in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri. We have it currently surveyed to 6.77 miles. The main trunk of the cave makes up about 4.3 miles of that currently. It is rather unique as a large sinkhole pond overflows into the upper entrance and floods the cave with fish. We had to survey through this for years, but yesterday we did a trash cleanup and gathered all survey poles and 5 tape measures, scattered throughout the cave, as well as hauled out 20 gallons of trash (four 5-gallon buckets full of supplies stashed at basecamp). While doing so, we came across these pools 2 hours in. We have always seen fish in the cave……..but not like this……..The concentration of them was ridiculous. This is only a couple videos of the fish I took. Swimming through them in crawlways with a foot of water and a foot of air is quite the experience as well, they have no where to go and they beat you up pretty bad. Getting nailed with a 15-20 pound fish in the chest, legs, and elsewhere really does hurt, lol. Enjoy.”
The fish are carp, catfish, buffalo and sunfish according to Chad. One of the underground pools is called Orca’s Last Stand. Chad says the fish only migrate from pool to pool when the cave floods, with the lucky few eventually flushing back into the sunlight. Meanwhile, according to the tracks on the banks and half-eaten fish, there are fat and sassy raccoons in the underground fish deli.
Where? Well, the one journalist question you never ask a caver is where. Chad marked these videos as public on Facebook, and has okayed put them out on the internet himself, so we have no qualms linking to them. What you’ll see is one of the reasons people go “where no man (or woman) has gone before.”