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#22674 - 04/14/06 05:00 PM Male BG: Mature?
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
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A question for BC, BC, CB1, et al.

I'm pretty sure this youngish BG is a male. Does he appear to be sexually immature or mature?

I'm wondering if my BG are saving it until they're older, as I would prefer.


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#22675 - 04/14/06 05:36 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
ewest Offline
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Beautiful fish . Did a slight squeeze of the urogenital area have any results. Our male BG are thick as thieves on the beds all going in circles. It is after all the full moon in April. They started preparing the beds earlier this week and the females are just off the beds in slightly deeper water. It is the magic moment and may have started last night. To be honest I got out the last PB issue and went through the chart which resulted in a mixed answer from this pic.
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#22676 - 04/14/06 06:57 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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I will not make a comment as I believe Bruce and Bill Cody or much more qualified to answer your question. I did so little in that article in Pond Boss I'm not even sure why my name was even on the article.

I will say one thing though, until they go on the beds even an expert would probably hestiate to make a 100 percent judgement.

I have fish that look EXACTLY like the one in your picture but they were 8 1/2 inches last fall.

What kind of water clarity do you have Theo? Is it murky right now? The reason I ask is due to the lightness of the fish.
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#22677 - 04/14/06 09:41 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Bill Cody Online   content
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Theo, Firstly, nice photo.

To me this appears to be a late maturing male and currently immature. At least it would be classed as one in a normal population that included bigger sexually mature dominant males. Based on what I know about your pond, I would not consider it a "Sneaker" or "Satellite" male. More about that topic in the Jul-Aug PBoss mag article about raising Behemoth Bluegills. In the May-Jun Bluegill article by Cody, Condello, Baird there will be a Plate showing several males that look very similar to your fish. Your fish pictured may or may not spawn in June depending on the dominant influence of other larger male bgill. There is still 6 weeks for him to "prepare" or develop more male characters for courtship and spawning. If this is one of the largest males in your pond then it will definately be on a bed in June. Otherwise it may wait till next year when it is 8"+ and can better compete with existing larger males.

If I caught this fish it would go into a cage for rearing until it showed more definate signs of being a male before it was stocked into a all male bgill pond. It looks healthy and to me it looks like a good candidate for the behemoth 2 lb status. But a mistake in gender for an all male bgill pond produces lots of small mixed sex bgill. Not the best situation if you are wanting all male bgill.

Note to those interested. The PBoss editor has decided that the Behemoth Bluegill article by Cody, Condello & Baird is going to be a three part article. Third part will focus on male BG management and will be in the July- August PBoss.
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#22678 - 04/14/06 11:09 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Theo Gallus Offline
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Thanks guys, glad for your input.

I owe the photo quality to my wife, who hasn't found a good place to hide her digital camera yet.

Eric:

There was no evidence of milt and 100% guaranteed no eggs. My inexperienced abdominal exploratory revealed no sign of gametes (eggs I don't think I would have missed, milt???).

Cecil:

Water is indeed pretty murky, from recent heavy rain and wind. This boy was also in a fish keep for 1/2 hour and a bucket with pond water for 45 minutes or so before the picture was taken; that may have affected his coloration as I remember him being darker when caught.

Bill:

My little buddy above isn't going to be developing into much except part of supper, hopefully sometime soon (he needs more friends in the freezer first). Yesterday was the first day I caught any Lepomis this year, but there should be (much) larger BG present. This BG is defeinitely NOT one of the original stockers; my best guess is he is from the first good, solid BG spawn in Spring 2004 (I might have had BG spawn in late 2003, but am only sure of a late RES spawn that year). So I believe him to be 2 years old, with a Father, many Uncles, and at least some brothers/cousins who've got some size on him.
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#22679 - 04/15/06 10:22 AM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Bruce Condello Offline
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Definitely a male.

Probably a late maturing fish.

Note the black dots anterior to the spiny dorsal. Only see that on a male. Also the top of the ear tab has that tiny little upturn that you don't see on females. If you trace the eartab on a female it almost always drops down from the upper point of the crescent.
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#22680 - 04/15/06 10:55 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Bill Cody Online   content
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Theo, I was wondering about the color of his eye. I could not figure out if it was due to the camera and lighting or its condition for the picture, it was probably dead, correct?
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#22681 - 04/15/06 11:38 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Theo Gallus Offline
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Very nearly dead, Bill; he was still moving a little, but I would say he was past the point of no return.
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#22682 - 04/24/06 09:04 AM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Ryan Freeze Offline
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Registered: 10/31/05
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Loc: Southwest Ohio
Here's one that I caught out of the pond yesterday. The picture was taken immediately after it was caught. So this is a male? The ear tab is short, has some black spots, but the color is pretty bland.

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#22683 - 04/24/06 12:37 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Theo Gallus Offline
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Loc: Central Ohio
Ryan:

For my money, that is a very nice female BG.

By 10" in length, secondary sexual characteristics should be very prominant (per Dr. FrankenBruce) That is (to me) a female-length eartab, and I do not see the black-tipped scales in the "shoulder" area (between the eartab and the front of the dorsal fin) that are quite visible in smaller but mature male BG.

Now, let's see what the experts think!
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#22684 - 04/24/06 01:04 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
burgermeister Offline
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Registered: 02/27/05
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Ryan's looks like a very nice female, one to keep in the pond. Theo, I can appreciate Bill's suggestion that your late maturing male in great body condition may have been very large one day. It would have had a while to bulk up before beginning the rigors of courtship.
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#22685 - 04/24/06 01:15 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Ryan Freeze Offline
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Registered: 10/31/05
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Loc: Southwest Ohio
I'm going with you guys on being a female. She looks spawned out and black tips in the shoulder area very faint if there at all. Theo, have your gills spawned yet? I haven't seen any nests but the water is high and there's so much algae right now it's hard to tell.
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#22686 - 04/24/06 02:17 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Theo Gallus Offline
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I can't tell for sure, my water is normally not clear enough to see the beds and has been cloudier than usual the last couple of weeks due to wind & rain. They should be about ready, I think. Saturday there was one hole where I kept pulling out (females) big enough to spawn - maybe I found the ladies room and they were all powdering their noses to get pretty for the boys. OTOH I found no evidence of eggs, either pre- or post-mortum.
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#22687 - 04/24/06 03:30 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Ryan Freeze Offline
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Registered: 10/31/05
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Loc: Southwest Ohio
We caught a couple of 9" HBG with broad shoulders. They looked ready to spawn by my uneducated eye, bright colors and fat bellies. The HBG are supposed to be male, maybe I have a pond full of cross-dressers. I haven't introduced any to the peanut oil aquarium yet but the day is near.
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#22688 - 04/24/06 08:54 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Theo Gallus Offline
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Loc: Central Ohio
Even the most sexist BGxGSF crosses are supposed to have about 3% females.

Peanut Oil ... MMMMMM!
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#22689 - 04/24/06 09:47 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
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Here is a good one for all to think about.

A big-10in. female colored/traits lepomis -- no male BG fin spot - no male BG black scale edges - no visible bars - light colored gular/stomach area - small ear tab - no eggs apparent (no fat stomach) prior to spawn -- hmmm mouth looks a little fat/large (hook damage) but jaw does not extend back to near eye - hmmm pond also has HBG (96 %+- males) that are big - no yellow on fins - crazy data on different looks/types of HBG.

Question - has anyone seen (or seen a report/data) on what a female HBG (3 %) looks like ? I have not nor have I seen it written about. Not saying this is one ( my guess is no) .. but hmmm ! I may need to review some material to see if it can be ruled out. What about a female backcross BG X HBG (still don't know if that is possible) and % - same question.
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#22690 - 04/24/06 10:09 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Bill Cody Online   content
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Ryan's fish looks pretty pure bgill and a female to me. Although the opercle is raised and you cannot see the complete gill flap. Very little if any GS genes in this fish. For Cincinnati area this is still too early for a bgill spawn. Bass should be in early to mid stages of the spring spawn. Bgill should not be on the beds in southern Ohio for at least 2-3 weeks yet.
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#22691 - 04/24/06 10:29 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
ewest Offline
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Bill if they are 20 days out from spawning should they be having visible egg development (fatness) yet? I think it is a female BG . The point was to see if anyone has seen or can describe a female HBG and to have folks think about what to look for (to those who have not read the PB bluegill articles - you should do so) in terms of iding BG and other lepomis male and female.
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#22692 - 04/24/06 11:21 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
burgermeister Offline
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Registered: 02/27/05
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Ewest, I tried to find the pics you posted a while back of GSF hybrids. One near the bottom looked as though it could have been a female hybrid. Couldn't find the thread.
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#22693 - 04/25/06 03:24 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
ewest Offline
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BM :

I am sorry to not get to this quicker. This forum is getting so busy \:D it is hard to see all the posts. At 2 and 3 pages of active topics listed a day it is easy to lose track. Here is the link to the thread you ask about.

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000439;p=1#000000
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#22694 - 04/25/06 03:39 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
burgermeister Offline
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Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
Yessir, Ewest, busy indeed. Are you on the payroll yet? Sorry, I could have found this, but thought it was longer ago than March. I was thinking the pic of the one in the grass may have been female, but now look for the size of gill flap. Everything else could be consistent with a female. What do you think? I would also like to see pic of a known female. Maybe in ML's pond in a couple of months.
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#22695 - 04/25/06 04:15 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
ealong59 Offline
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Loc: Missouri
Ewest,
Time to start looking for an assistant \:D

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#22696 - 04/25/06 05:45 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Ryan Freeze Offline
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Registered: 10/31/05
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Loc: Southwest Ohio
The pond was built in late 2003 and BG were stocked at that time. 25 2-3" HBG were stocked in March 2004 so there is no way the picture could be anything but pure BG. The HBG do differ in size from 6" to 9" but all exhibit very bright colors. I'm located in Springfield, OH which is more Central/Western but the DNR calls it Southwest which was misleading. So the spawn is at least a month away relying on Bill's input. With the 75 degree weather this past week I may have been getting a case of Spring fever. Back to Ohio reality today...45 Deg. and rainy
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#22697 - 04/25/06 10:40 PM Re: Male BG: Mature?
Bill Cody Online   content
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Ryan - Yes a few cooler days this week will keep water temps in the low 60's. It will take a few weeks of stable warm water temps in the high 60's low 70's for final egg development of bgills. In the mean time the males need about 4-6 days to complete nest construction.
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#22698 - 04/26/06 10:30 AM Re: Male BG: Mature?
ewest Offline
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I agree with Bill based on prior research. It should take about 21 days for the female BG to develop eggs to full ripeness from the time she is exposed to the required photoperiod ( 14 hrs of light in studies)and the right stabilized temps. ( 68 F and above as I recall). I would also guess that there could be some local adaptation to these within a minor range.
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