We had been trying to go to the village of Itapeaçu for some time, and we finally got the chance, this is a photo journal of the trip, and a few fish too 🙂  … Enjoy

 

My dad and I in front of the bus. I am the kid in red to the right.

My dad and I in front of the bus. I am the kid in red to the right.

The adventure begins: We rode the above bus for four hours, to Itacoatiara.
A little restaurant where we ate lunch

A little restaurant where we ate lunch

After arriving at Itacoatiara we walked for a half an hour to the port. Close by there was a restaurant and we ate some sandwiches there.
A cat at the restaurant.

A cat at the restaurant.

A hungry cat caught my attention  while eating.

Cópia de P4150420She got what she wanted and was satisfied.
It was time to move on so we walked to the port to catch the boat heading for Itapeaçu.
A stair case leading down to what used to be dry ground but now is uderwater.

A stair case leading down to what used to be dry ground but now is uderwater.

Itacoatiara was flooded.

Down by the port and the waters edge, houses were flooded. Some people built a higher floor out of wood while others moved to drier places. Because of this some schools temporarily closed down.
The Amazon never this high, it is already a record hight, and still rising.
The bridge system in the parts where the city is flooded.

The bridge system in the parts where the city is flooded.

Notice the raised floor in the shop.

Notice the raised floor in the shop.

 

Me standing in front of a flooded building.

Me standing in front of a flooded restaurant.

Our lanche

Our lanche

After an hours delay we sped away to whatever adventure was ahead of us on the mighty Amazon.
After two hours on the boat we saw our destination, Itapeaçu!
Upon arriving we walked for 15 minutes to the house where we were to stay at.
Snake

Snake

Wow, look at that belly!!!

Wow, look at that belly!!!

When we got there someone had just killed a snake at the house we would be staying at, sweet dreams.
Our "comfort inn", the house where we stayed at.

Our "comfort inn", the house where we stayed at.

                               When we reached the house we wearly strung up our hammocks, home sweet home.

The plan was to leave at 6 Oçlock on another boat going to a lake 4 hours away! for some people this might be a lot of travelling to get to a lake but my mind was too full of the prospect of catching Apistogrammas to notice the time.

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Above, a picture of my horribly unphotogenic face in front of the mighty Amazon.

 

The village where we stopped.

The village where we stopped.

                       

We stopped briefly at a village… Here a family was making Farinha a type of dry yellow food seasoner. Some people call it sawdust as it looks, feels, and tastes like that. 😀

 

One family was making farinha. Cópia de P4150482

 Some people watched how they did it

 

But I, of course, imediately started fishing.

 

Fishing in a flooded field.

Fishing in a flooded field.

 
Unfortunately i have no photos of the fish i caught,
Unidentified acaras
Some crabs,
and some unidentified tetras.
 
At least there were cichlids right?
 
A local fisherman using a cast net.

A local fisherman using a cast net.

I evidently wasnt the only person fishing there.
 
His catch

His catch

The fish he caught were thrown on grass, any dog who tried to steal them were whipped.
An unidentified characin.

An unidentified characin.

Straight from the net: another characin.

Straight from the net: another characin.

He let me take some pictures of the fish he had caught.

Lunch, a Heron sp.

Lunch, a Heron sp.

After we left the village I was sitting at the back of the boat when a gunshot blasted through the quiet atmosphere, lunch dropped from the sky.
Entering the lake, we are almost there!

Entering the lake, we are almost there!

 

 

At last!!! our destination is reached!!!

At last!!! our destination is reached!!!The habitat looked great for cichlids, i got really excited. Looking through my net.

Finally, wet nets! Did i find anything?
Probably from the pertensis complex.

Probably from the pertensis complex.

 Yes I did!!! My net yeilded some awesome apistos!

Female laetecara or cleithecara moronnii

Probably female laetecara or cleithecara moronnii

Probably A. agassizii
Probably A. agassizii.
Unidentified fish.

Unidentified apisto.

All in all, I caught a lot of amazing apistos, most of which havent been identified.
If you can Id any of them please reply to this post!!!
After collecting a while i stopped and ate a very good meal of fish.
A habitat photo.

Underwater, a veiw of the fishes natural world.

While i was fishing with the net i caught a brilliant blue Apistogramma. Running frantically to get the bag I tripped and fell, my shin crashing into a canoe.

I have never felt something so painful before and I crawled and limped to the place where the bag was, forcing myself  to go onward.

The fish made it in the bag safely.  

Amazing habitat!

Apisto habitat

The habitat was amazing…This used to be a lawn but it was flooded and is now a home for fish.
Traira, probably Hoplias malabaricus

Traira, probably Hoplias malabaricus

When I caught the Hoplias malabaricus (or traira) , Iwas uninformed that it had a painful bite. I picked it up and it wasted no time in biting me in the hand. It stayed there, and I couldnt do anything about it except hold it in water until it decided I had been through enough, unfortunately this took a while and whenever i touched him he clamped his jaws even tighter.  I must have looked strang with a 17 cm fish dangling from my hand with my face contorted in a pained grimace.
The puncture wounds healed without infection.
Other then the traira the only non cichlids i saw were a few pencilfish, tetras and even some killifish one of which was brilliantly marked with mettallic red, blue, and green.
Unfortunately it disapeared. Basically i just realized it wasnt in the bags with the other fish when doing a waterchange.
I also observed some satanoperca and what i think is Acarichthys heckelli swimming in the water.
Apistogramma sp.

Apistogramma sp.

I was really happy about the fish i had caught until…

 

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…I caught the above apisto, then i went nuts.

I bagged the fish and it was time to go. I left the adult Hoplias and only took some juvinile Trairas.

 

If it took 4 hours with the current, to get there, it took six hours against the current to get back, not to mention the two hour long stop at a friends house.

 

Along the way I saw lots of interesting trees…

 

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When we got back it was already 8 30 at  night and we ate some of the maguari (the heron he had killed),  and a delicious catfish called mapapa, almost no bones to speak of!!! The heron was good, very flavourful but chewy.

A basin where i kept fish.

A basin where i kept the fish.

The next morning i woke up not feeling particularly good but i didnt care, I would force myself for this once in a lifetime trip.
Trouble was waiting for me outside the door and I was imediatly ambushed by little reddish ants, when they bite, you almost feel as if you have been shocked and even after being taken off the place where you werebitten still hurts like crazy.
My feet were covered by little red bumps by the time I left.
Unidentified tetra

Unidentified tetra

I wanted to do more fishing, hating the idea of sitting around doing nothing. I decided to go to a little inlet to see if i could get anything, only one tetra turned up.
Walking to the lake.

Walking to the lake.

Our guide passing the last fence untill the lake.

Our guide passing the last fence untill the lake.

A friend offered to take me to a lake close by to fish, of course, I went without hesitation.
He guided me through the cattle fields and in almost no time we arrived. there were lots of ants on the shore but i did most of the fishing with the net in the water so I wasnt very bothered by them.
I began to fish and pulled up inumerable beautiful little laetecara sp. I am still hitting myself for not getting a picture of them, as the adult I took, jumped out and was instantly covered and killed by ants.
I wasnt fishing very long when a striking yellow female apisto came up in my nets. The yellow was very intense and the few black markings were very dark.
I continued fishing until i caught more, and more, thawas really neat, but where were all the males?
Of course my net eventually broke and i continued to use it as best i could. I continued catching more laetecara and females untile it broke again, this time in the other joint. If you can possibly imagine how i continued to fish with two broken pieces of PVC pipe connected by screen you could probably imagine how funny I must have looked.
I Continued to catch fish however though noticeably in smaller numbers. i was now finding two seperate species of females, one that looked like an agassizii and one that looked quite differant, something like i had never seen before.
Finally i was about to give up, my back breaking, my feet pierced by myriads of thorns when finally my net came up, with a fish in it, something unique among the female apistos and laetecaras. It only took one look to see what it was, an adult male Apistogramma, like i have never seen before.
It imediately went in the bag along with the other fish.
The Aistogramma sp. collected with a broken net.

The Aistogramma sp. collected with a broken net.

Soon it was time to leave and we got our stuff and were about to leave when our guide started to giggle, then laugh. he pointed to my leg where a happy leach was indulging itself in my blood it was kind of hard to think of anything else with a leach on me no matter how small it was.
When we got home they got some lemons and salt soon he was sucking up more then blood. he turned red rapidly and died, unfortunately he hadnt bothered to take his tongue out and he didnt budge. a few buckets of water washed him away eventually and it started to bleed, a lot.  Oh well as long as I wasnt dying of pain I was Ok with it.
Leach!!!

Leach!!!

After getting the leach off i still had fishing on my mind and the next day after breakfast i went to a friends house who had invited me to go to their house and fish in their flooded back yard.

I took them up on their offer and went to see what type of fish i could catch.

With the hook and line i only got some tetras but with the net i got a striking splash tetra with maroon fins.

Splash tetra sp.

Splash tetra.

I also caught some female Apistogrammas of the same type as i had caught in the lake and some interesting killifish. A catfish and more splash tetras rounded out my catch.

Unidentified catfish

Unidentified catfish

When it was time to head back i got my net and left.

Later that day i went to the bank of the amazon and tried my luck there. I only caught one species, Chalceus, but i must have gotten close to 8 of them.

On the way back in a bush I heard movement and looked. There was two baby iguanas in the bush!!! despite my best efforts i couldnt catch either of them.

 

 

Killifish

Killifish

Another shot of the killi

Another shot of the killi

That afternoon i went again to the lake and caught a…
Beautiful adult agassizi,
Agassizii

Agassizii

a subadult agassizi,

Subadult agassizii

Subadult agassizii

another catfish of the same type, two hoplias malabaricus,
A FAT Hoplias malabaricus

A FAT Hoplias malabaricus

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 two more killifish and some others.

Juvinile killifish

Juvinile killifish

 

I also collected some plants to take back with me.
An interesting waterplant

An interesting waterplant

My makeshift fishbag tank next to my basin, both contain fish.

My makeshift fishbag tank next to my basin, both contain fish.

 

I soon began to realize that my fish where overcrowded and i would have to find something separate for the traira as I had some small fish.
Above is my invention, a plastic stool turned upside down supporting a large fish bag.
Duckweed

 

Above^, unidentified water plant

 It was the last full day there and somebody had mentioned a little igarape “about 3 kilometers” away. We decided to go.

we hadnt been going for very long when we came across a horse in one of the fields.

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 We continued on for about 45 minutes until we got to another igarape.

There someone had just caught a young anaconda! He let me hold it.

Baby anaconda?

Baby anaconda?

When we finally arrived at the lake it was getting dark and we stayed only 5 minutes, barely enough time to fish. 

The lake

The lake

I caught some clethecara (possibly) and a pencilfish and it was time to leave. As we walked back we came to a little stream by the road, i scooped up a beautiful killifish.

Tortoise

Tortoise

The neighbors had a pretty turtle named Safire
A closup of safira's head.

A closeup of safira's head.

The time to leave was arriving and we packed up our belongings and headed out.
On the way we crossed a bridge over a flooded street.
In the water was a egret posing for a picture, we didnt dissapoint him.
Egret

Egret

So we caught the boat and after a couple of hours arrived at itacoatiara where we caught the bus.
Home free? not quite after four hours in the bus we stopped at a bus stop.
I sleepily got out of the bus since it was late at night after walking around a bit i decided to get back in the bus.
I happened to look at the ground…
No, it was impossible my eyes were playing tricks with me. It couldnt be. Wait a second it was really there!!! But it was dead right? No one would let a deadly snake live so close to humans!
When it moved I had a severe adrenaline rush, i ran around looking for my dad but stopped when i had a terrible thought, what if somebody killed it or worse, was bitten.
I ran back.
Yes the beautiful Coral snake was still there. it gently moved along the grass. just then somebody walked by and before i could warned him stepped within three inches of the 5 inch coral snake. he didnt notice it and kept walking. I had no clue what to do and warned some people NOT to kill it or let anyone get near it I got the camera and my dad.
By then it had attracted quite a few paranoid people.
After getting pictures somebody squashed it. there was no way around it, there was just too many people and we didnt have time to deal with it. To bad.
Young coral snake

Young coral snake

So that was the end of the adventure most of the fish made it to my tanks and some of them are still alive. i hope you enjoyed the article. if you can identify any of the fish please contact me.
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About Hudson

Fish enthusiast in the heart of the Amazon.