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#440728 - 03/15/16 10:52 PM Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH?
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2068
Loc: West Michigan
I have had some success trapping goldfish this week for the first time.

I assumed I would catch some breeding size GSH in the trap and would save those.

As I catch a variety of drab and some very orange goldfish I'm starting to wonder how to tell the drab goldfish from the GSH. Especially the smaller brown goldfish seem to have similar scale pattern and similar colors. I went online and outside of the slightly more 'torpedo' shaped body of the GSH, how can I be sure I'm not sacrificing my wanted GSH?

Drab goldfish from online:












GSH from the web. Some of these seem hard for me to separate out. Certainly they seem more silvery but not sure that color variations might make it harder for me to tell in my pond. I thought the deeper fork in the tail of the goldfish would help me but not so sure...













I'm assuming there are many many more drab goldfish and that there feeding behavior (essentially pellet trained) would get them more reliably in the net. Perhaps larger GSH wouldn't venture in the net or chase after pellets?

But since I'm not seeing any larger GSH, I'm wondering if my initial stocking somehow didn't make it despite no predators?

Or...I'm wondering did the bait shop really give me GSH minnows or did I get drab goldfish minnows?? what a scam that would be. Didn't I read that there is a big call for drab goldfish in the live bait business??

I'll try to get photos of what is in my trap tomorrow when it is light.







Edited by canyoncreek (03/15/16 10:55 PM)

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#440731 - 03/15/16 11:12 PM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: canyoncreek]
DNickolaus Offline


Registered: 01/26/14
Posts: 335
Loc: S Indiana
Look at the coloring of the individual scales. And look for a fairly strongly descending lateral line on GSH. I'm no expert, but my GSH don't have fleshy lips. If I saw that thing near my pond, I'd throw it out in the field for the yotes or hawks.

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#440733 - 03/15/16 11:37 PM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: DNickolaus]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Also look at the dorsal fin in the pictures that you posted. Big differences between goldfish and golden shiners. Goldfish have a much longer in length front to back dorsal fin.

Another thing, if the dorsal fin has a single hard bony ray nearest to the front of the fish, similar to a catfish, it's a carp/goldfish.

As was stated, lateral line dips on the Golden Shiner and not on the goldfish.
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#440757 - 03/16/16 08:46 AM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: canyoncreek]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2068
Loc: West Michigan
Thanks for the help men!

IN the top pictures of the carp/goldfish, if you look at the 2nd and 4th picture down you can see little brown dots on the scales where the lateral line might be? I thought I was seeing that on my fish and I knew from this forum that the GSH lateral line should dip down. So I was banking on the dots being more or less 'straight' as these were goldfish.

Thanks for the tip for looking at the dorsal fin. I'll see if it is longer as in carp vs the triangular sail looking thing in the GSH. I'll see if I can feel that single hard bony ray.

I can't really make out fleshy lips as many of them are smaller yet.

Using color of the scales has been hard for me as they tend to have a golden silvery hue in the younger ones (kind of like picture #4 above)

Thunderstorms, and heavy wind today 50+ mph, not sure how much harvesting I can do tonight but eager to get more out if they are still hungry for pellets.

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#440783 - 03/16/16 11:49 AM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: canyoncreek]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Once you start focusing on length of the dorsal fin,,,, separation between the two will be much easier even in small sizes. Also note where the dorsal fin starts; in front of the pelvic fin for goldfish and slightly behind the pelvic fins for the shiner.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/16/16 11:52 AM)
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#440800 - 03/16/16 02:30 PM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: canyoncreek]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8170
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Hey Jeff, they sure look similar to me! Bill's notes are helpful.

What size are the GF you're catching? Have you stocked apex predators yet? Anything keeping their populations in check? Those GF are probably partially responsible for turbidity you have experienced historically - they root around on the bottom stirring it up.
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#440807 - 03/16/16 02:44 PM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: canyoncreek]
Bill Cody Offline
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The sign of turbid water with goldfish means that A. they are too abundant and B. food is limiting and as a result they heavily search the sediments for food. Normally goldish are not as much bottom rooters as carp and koi. Watch a goldfish and a koi naturally feed in an aquarium, normally quite different behavior. The mouth placement is also quite different between a GF and a koi/common carp. For example compare the angle of the mouth on a GF, G.shiner and a common carp/koi. GF and GSH have similar mouth and koi is quite different.
See this post for a picture of the carp/koi mouth.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=33477&Number=440699#Post440699

Turbid water strongly suppresses pond productivity and angling success. Lower pond productivity due to suspended sediments results in slower fish growth and fewer fish pounds per acre.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/16/16 02:56 PM)
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#440808 - 03/16/16 02:52 PM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: canyoncreek]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2068
Loc: West Michigan
Agree, thanks to Bill I think I can spot them accurately and feel comfortable removing them. In retrospect, probably the GSH (if I have any that size) are NOT actively seeking out floating pellets and thus not likely to find themselves in the net either.

So far in 2 nights I took out about 30. It is very simple and I'm thrilled that I don't have to angle for them one by one or seine the whole pond and separate wanted from unwanted.

The brown outnumber the gold by about 4 to 1. I think the goldfish were bucket stocked by 'helpful neighbors' but over the years (before we lived here) went back to brown in successive generations? I did see some brown/gold hybrids with spots of gold on their head or cheek areas.

So far most brown ones are 4", none smaller as I don't think they will lay eggs this year till water is much warmer. Biggest brown ones are about 6" and chunky.

The orange ones are by far the biggest, they probably are the original bucket stocked ones with a few 6" plus, many 5" and some beautiful colors (think koi colors) lots of variety of color and some with the big billowy fan tails.

I debated selling them to goldfish enthusiasts or donating them to a local zoo to feed the penguins or birds of prey, but the hassle of keeping them alive and transporting wasn't worth it. Plus I would feel bad if they somehow made someone's pond or someone's pet or a zoo animal come down with an unwanted parasite or pathogen.

No predators so no, nothing keeping them in check. Even stocking small bass won't control the biggest ones. I witnessed a bald eagle on 2 occasions snare the 2 of the 3 or 4 huge ones (10") that made it through the pump down and re-excavation project we did when we moved in. I had hoped the aerial predators would show up again now that water is clear but they may think the 4-5" size isn't worth taking a dip for.

Do perch eat goldfish minnows or eggs? I imagine if I have GSH they will likely consume the goldfish eggs.

Yes, I think they were my main turbidity problem last year. Goal is to get all the bigger ones out. If I miss a few smaller ones then eventually when I stock predators they will take care of them. If I can catch all of them in traps over time then so be it.

It is strange how they stop eating immediately at dusk. They must really rely on sight to eat. That may be why i couldn't catch them last year in traps, they couldn't see the bait in the trap!!

I also wonder if they are so willing to go into traps now simply because they are hungry? They certainly can root in the bottom, but the water is very clear. Maybe they try to root around in the soilfloc and it sticks the dirt together so well that they can't effectively sort through the silt and extract the edible stuff? Maybe with a soilfloc seal on the bottom they are just truly starving desperate to get in the trap to get the pellets? Either way, I'm find with getting them out of the pond.

If I miss a few and get eggs and small ones I'm assuming eventually with predator control and trapping I can get it back on track.

Right now a side benefit of the goldfish is that they teach my other fish when it is mealtime and what you are supposed to do at mealtime (come to the top to eat the pellets!) The perch are pellet trained but stopped doing that. They are just under the goldfish though vacuuming the pellets that the goldfish don't get. Probably a size/turf battle thing for the top layer of water at mealtime...

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#440843 - 03/16/16 08:56 PM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: canyoncreek]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2068
Loc: West Michigan
More pictures from tonight. Many, MANY! thank to you who helped me out here. I now can feel much more confident keeping the desirables and removing the others. The dorsal fin really helps in the identity and I was very excited to find an example of a GSH in the trap too which really helped me compare similar size and similar colored fish tonight and separate them accurately.

Goldfish:


The shiny golden color on these used to throw me but now I can see the longer dorsal fin and can see the little pigmented dots going pretty much in a straight line on the scales where the lateral line might be. These dots, (I found out that even in the young ones I can pick out those tiny brown dots) equals a specific kind of carp, (crucian carp?). (you can see the dots better in the pictures in the first post)



Goldfish



Goldfish



These smaller fish have such golden scales that make them look like GSH but when I pulled up the fin I could see it was a small drab goldfish.



GSH!!! The small triangular fin helps with ID!





Then we also had fun with the kids stocking the Gammarus sp. scuds. I'm going to send a few with the kids to school to put in the aquarium and we'll see if they survive.




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#440848 - 03/16/16 09:32 PM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: canyoncreek]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Glad that I could help, even a little.

I gotta ask.... What's up with the gloves?
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#440870 - 03/16/16 10:37 PM Re: Assuming drab goldfish but what if GSH? [Re: canyoncreek]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2068
Loc: West Michigan
Sorry about the crazy gloves. In my line of work we have to use gloves frequently. We are provided only one kind of glove by my employer, nitrile gloves. The first supplier only provided this crazy color. Then they switched suppliers to grey which works out a bit better for the whole unisex thing.

They are phasing out the lavendar ones so I was happy to bring them home and I find it very handy to have them around. Any time I'm painting, staining, using rattle can, changing the oil, working with gorilla glue, sometimes even picking tomatoes and run into some nasty rotted ones etc it is much faster to throw the gloves away when done then to spend 30 min scrubbing grease etc out of your hands.

The bosses care a lot about looking presentable. Going to work with hands that smell like fish or having grease under the nails is not kosher.

For some reason the goldfish seem to have an extra slimy slime coat so I just glove up and reach in the trap and grab them out smile

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