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#416004 - 06/19/15 11:15 AM Leeches
wbuffetjr Online   content


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 894
Loc: in the mountains
Background:
6-7 acre lake in Colorado at 10,000'

only fish in it for the last couple years is fathead minnows. Used to winterkill every year. Hoping that is fixed starting this year.

Here's my question:
The lake is packed, and I mean packed, with leeches. Where do leeches rank as a food source? The lake is packed with forage. Fatheads, scuds, crayfish, waterdogs, etc. Putting in trout this year. With all the forage to choose from will the trout take leeches at all? I have read trout eat leeches, but I have never seen a leech in a trout stomach.

Hoping something will help with these dang things. Obviously no one really wants to swim with that many leeches in there so it'd be nice if they could be significantly reduced.


Edited by wbuffetjr (12/12/18 04:13 PM)
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#416005 - 06/19/15 11:19 AM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
dlowrance Offline


Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 857
Loc: Central IL
Leeches are an AWESOME food source!! I can't speak to trout specifically, but every fish I've ever had dealings with would take a leech off a hook - even when other baits won't work.

As to how to reduce their numbers in a BOW - I'd guess that fish would help.
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#416006 - 06/19/15 11:29 AM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
mnfish Offline
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Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 939
Loc: minnesota
Are you sure they are black leeches and blood suckers? Any pics you can post?

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#416007 - 06/19/15 11:33 AM Re: Leeches [Re: dlowrance]
mnfish Offline
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Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 939
Loc: minnesota
Originally Posted By: dlowrance
Leeches are an AWESOME food source!! I can't speak to trout specifically, but every fish I've ever had dealings with would take a leech off a hook - even when other baits won't work.

As to how to reduce their numbers in a BOW - I'd guess that fish would help.


Completely agree Dale. To that end, we have tried numerous times to get black leech ponds to go. No success. Once fish get in there its over!

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#416008 - 06/19/15 11:34 AM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Online   content


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 894
Loc: in the mountains
I don't have any pics but they are definitely blood suckers. Some of them are 5" or so long!
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#416013 - 06/19/15 12:11 PM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
We have a few leeches in our pond. When I was fishing for the RBT in the spring, I happened to catch a turtle with a leech attached. Took the leech off and used it for bait. Caught some of the nicer trout on that leech wink.

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#416019 - 06/19/15 12:52 PM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Online   content


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 894
Loc: in the mountains
Ok thanks for the input fellas. Maybe we just haven't been able to keep enough trout in there long enough to keep them knocked back. Hopefully that will change. I will say tho that every time I have ever checked the trouts stomachs up there it was always the same results.... scuds and moss. That was before we had fatheads but it has always had leeches. So still a little confusing.
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#416021 - 06/19/15 12:57 PM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1962
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
I don't have any pics but they are definitely blood suckers. Some of them are 5" or so long!


The real good ones have two orange strips down their backs. Hooo man are they great bait.

I would be interested in hearing about crayfish taking leaches. I have never heard that before. I do understand just the black small leaches as soon as you add predator fish they do not stand a chance.

A few tips when you do get them stuck to you. DON'T just pull them off. Rub them with table salt and they will let go. It will not hurt. If you pull them off they will rip a hunk out of you. You can use a lighter to burn them off as well they let go really quick with open flame.

Cheers Don.

EDIT: Maybe this would be a good pond to add some yellow perch? Extra food source for the trout as well as they will pick the leaches up much faster.


Edited by DonoBBD (06/19/15 01:00 PM)
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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.

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#416031 - 06/19/15 02:47 PM Re: Leeches [Re: DonoBBD]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
Where do leeches hang out? I would assume a lot of them are in the muck and other dense habitat?

Could this be a reason why trout don't normally feast on them? and why you don't see many in their bellies. Might it be there are other easier meals for the trout. Might not be the fish to stock if you were trying to get rid of leeches. I like Don's idea.

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#416035 - 06/19/15 03:08 PM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Online   content


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 894
Loc: in the mountains
Right now you can see leeches doing the backstroke right out in open water all over the lake!! We will see how that changes now that the trout are in. Approx 175 9-12" rainbows were stocked on June 9th.

I actually thought about the yellow perch. I am just a little apprehensive about that. Since I have so little time on site to manage the lake I worry about them competing with the Brooks for food. My ultimate goal for the lake is to grow monster Brooks, from wild caught stock, and have them spawn in the lake. Hopefully this will be that last year rainbows are stocked and once they are all caught they will be gone.



Edited by wbuffetjr (12/12/18 04:14 PM)
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#416045 - 06/19/15 04:25 PM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
dlowrance Offline


Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 857
Loc: Central IL
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Right now you can see leeches doing the backstroke right out in open water all over the lake!!


Wow...dem's some brave leeches...the few that I have you can't hardly find, they're way back up in the backwater at the head of the big pond. If they get out very far they get eaten pretty quick.
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"When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water." - anonymous

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#416049 - 06/19/15 04:35 PM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
mnfish Offline
Hall of Fame
Lunker

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 939
Loc: minnesota
Just give me the nod Jr. and I will round up a couple hundred of my GSF and they will make quick work of the lazy, arrogant, back strocking leeches you got. grin

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#416063 - 06/19/15 07:39 PM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
Bob-O Offline
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Field Correspondent
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Registered: 01/24/06
Posts: 2347
Loc: Butler In. Very NE corner
Doin the backstroke right out in open water, elevation 10k' and the new laws ya got. Come on man do the math....They're all high !!
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#416066 - 06/19/15 07:54 PM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Online   content


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 894
Loc: in the mountains
hahaha! No thanks on the GSF Mnfish! and Bob-O maybe so! We will see how they hold up to the trout. I will def be checking every fish to see if they are eating them.

Would probably make a bigger difference if we could keep the fish alive through the winter. Hopefully that is fixed.

P.s. Mnfish, 7 days and counting!!!
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#416819 - 06/27/15 06:46 AM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1962
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Anyone have any thoughts on the crayfish eating the leaches?

Do they could they?
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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.

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#419964 - 08/01/15 09:09 AM Re: Leeches [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Online   content


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 894
Loc: in the mountains
When I say leeches, here is what I am talking about. The ENTIRE lake is like this!



Edited by wbuffetjr (12/12/18 04:14 PM)
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