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#47580 - 06/28/04 07:49 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Bill Cody Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12520
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Thanks Haus -- This I can believe; rare but feasable. Fish that can survive out of water the longest such as bullheads and green sunfish are most likely to survive the air travel.
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#47581 - 07/18/04 03:52 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Steve Young Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
This morning I went out to seed around a small 80'x40'x 4' deep pond that was excavated last fall. There is no inlet or connection to any other water body. I was surprised to see hundreds, if not thousands of small fish around the shore. Managed to scoop one out and they are green sunfish. I don't believe this is attributable to human activity.

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#47582 - 07/18/04 05:47 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Lou Heron Offline
Member

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 38
Loc: Alabama
My 13 acre pond was built in 1959 and stocked by the state. I have subsequently restocked redear and have added coppernose. In the 12 years I have owned the pond, only a single "mud cat" has been caught. No other trash fish have been found in the pond. There are numerous other ponds and year-round creeks within a several mile radius. In this natural experiment, the many birds which visit seem to have brought no eggs on their bodies or legs. The spillway carries water about 6 months in most years, but there is a 3 ft. vertical waterfall not far below the pond, so I suppose we have been protected by that. I can't explain a single catfish unless a "helpful" young trespasser left it.

I think human intervention is a reasonable explanation for infestation of land-locked ponds. On the other hand, perhaps the most obvious possibility is the best one. Maybe Elvis never left the building. Here are two excerpts from internet sites:

http://www.noble.org/ag/Wildlife/Bullheads/
If you use draining to remove bullheads, leave the pond dry for six weeks because bullheads can survive in wet pond sediments for a while after surface water is removed. The best month to drain a pond is July. If water puddles remain in the pond after draining, they should be rotenoned.

http://www.waterknowledge.colostate.edu/greensun.htm
The green sunfish is tolerant of drought conditions and is one of the last species remaining in residual pools of intermittent streams.

Is is possible that a mud-puddle remained during the week your pond was dry? This would explain the size of the fish you are finding.
Lou

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#47583 - 07/19/04 09:09 AM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Steve Young Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
This has been an interesting discussion and I've enjoyed reading the posts on this topic. I want to believe Bill's position because he has the education and experience that represents the highest level on this board. I'm finding it difficult, however, because I believe that we have a controlled experiment where human activity is not a factor for the following reasons:

1. The 80'x40'pond was completed in October 2003.
2. The property is fenced, located in a remote area and the neighbor's property is fenced.
3. The short time frame reduces the opportunity for illicit transplants or transfers
4. There is a sand road that circles property and another road that encircles this particular pond. We back blade these roads almost daily and would see footprints of any tresspassers.
5. There have not been any tornados
6. There has not been any water shared between ponds for any reason.

Clearly there is some natural method of introduction for these fry. Maybe I should call my alma mater and see if a future grad student would like to complete a thesis on this topic. I'll dig another small pond and they can log the visitors and establishment of species. Put a camera on the pond and record everything. I can't believe that this has never been done. I suppose you would still have to catch the culprit to prove how the fish were transported.

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#47584 - 07/19/04 10:17 AM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
ken Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 350
Loc: ohio
we can try to come up with ways the fish get in there , but the bottom line is nobody knows for sure how they get in ponds or lakes with no water inflow , in the middle of nowhere. \:\) the plot thickens.
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#47585 - 07/19/04 11:53 AM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Torchy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 72
Loc: Haughton, Louisiana
Man, this must be an enigma wrapped in a mystery !...didn't know I'd open up such a long thread !...

My pond was dry enough to walk on for about two weeks...forgot who asked if there was a puddle left...

After the rains a couple of weeks ago I may have figured it out...about a mile from my pond there is a small creek...it does hold water year 'round and is "downstream" from me...well after the heavy rain I spotted hundreds of bullhead fry swimming in puddles in my pasture which had to have come from my pond...only thing I can figure out is at some point in time the parents of the ones in the pasture worked their way up from the creek during a period of heavy rain...don't know about the bass or green sunfish, suppose the same theory is plausible...

Torchy

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#47586 - 07/19/04 02:22 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Steve Young Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Torchy:

This is not a possibility for me because there is a circular road around this pond that is bermed with no culverts. There is no possibility of a high water connection. It is an excavated sand pit that was completely sterile in October. Unless the critters put on their ice skates this past winter there has to be another solution. It is approximately 300-feet from the nearest pond containing fish. The area between ponds is heavily wooded.

I'm not offering any theories, just trying to eliminate a few of the more easily explained possibilites.

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#47587 - 07/20/04 07:54 AM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Torchy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 72
Loc: Haughton, Louisiana
Steve,

You've got a good one on your hands...I know all the experts say that the bird theory doesn't hold water...but...still...

I don't know for sure the fish came from that creek a MILE away, just wanted to throw that theory out there as an alternative to my bird thing !...still a mystery to me... \:\)

Torchy

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#47588 - 07/20/04 08:11 AM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Steve Young Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Here's a thought, one thing that has surprised me is the amount of travel between ponds by turtles. We see the tracks in the sand all the time. They must go back and forth constantly. Is it possible that a snapper could carry eggs from one pond to another? I highly doubt that the eggs would dry out in the underbrush between ponds. Especially when traveling at night or when its raining. Snappers always have a fair amount of moss on their shell that would stay moist and could form a substrate for eggs. It only takes one successful trip. I'm only talking about 300' in this case. What do you guys think?

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#47589 - 07/20/04 11:04 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Nick Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 241
Loc: Dallas, TX
Lou Heron, It is my theory that if you stock some type of fish; they will eat any or most arriving fry. So stocking fish prevents the intrusion of unwanted species. How the fry arrive? The turtle idea is a good one. I know that there are instances in which fish arrive and it is not due to flooding from another pond. I have a pond that is a half mile from any others, and its drainage area contains on other bodies of water, yet it has bass, brim and green sunfish. Maybe mudcat too, I don't know. But I do see instances where stocked ponds have only what was stocked. So I conclude that the stocked fish prevent other unwanted species from establishing themselves.
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#47590 - 07/21/04 07:56 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Eastland Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 1039
Loc: Dallas TX
Has anyone considered the Hatcheries/Fish Trucks. Don't get me wrong, there isn't "one" scenario at work here...but where do hatcheries get their fathead minnows ? Surely the hatcheries face the same problems as pond owners, one contaminated pond could spread pretty fast. Just a thought, and I'll continue to buy their YOY, but is there an x-employee or owner with war stories about running the business...I'm betting there is, and I doubt the pro's on the board would implicate their partners, and I don't blame them.

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#47591 - 07/21/04 10:46 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Brian Loberger Offline
Member

Registered: 10/29/02
Posts: 208
Here is a constructive comment on the previus 3 comments.

Number one I don't think a turtle walking between ponds has a better chance of transporting eggs than a bird does. I a duck that lands in fertilized eggs could easily get a couple under it's feathers and get to a pond in 2 minutes that would take a turtle hours to travel. This gives the bird the big advantage on avoiding the drying out of the eggs.

Number 2, The stocking of the pond is absolutely your best defense against this whole nightmare. If I had not lost all my Bass to the previous winter, the few bullheads that were introduced would have simply been eaten. We first saw the bullhead babies the first spring when the dead bass appeared. I am sure there was a very low bullhead population until then. The Bass would have kept them down so well I would have never known they were there. The Bullhead fishing so far this summer has produced 339 of which 2 were adults. No babies have been seen this year and I caught the 2 big ones before spawning time. I also stocked 40 8-9" bass early this spring.

Number 3, I am sure the fish stockers do screw up from time to time. Everyone does. They probably can get away with it a little because anyone who stocks minnows probably stocks predators also so it doesn't get out of hand in these ponds. However the stocking truck story doesn't explain how the rough fish get into the remote farm ponds.

Brian

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#47592 - 07/22/04 04:01 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Steve Young Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Brian:

To continue the friendly discussion: Stocking with predators should easily eliminate vulnerable fry from the catfish family, but from what I have seen, I seriously doubt it will stop green sunfish. Bob Lusk has frequently said that most established ponds have at least a few green sunfish. If predators were that effective at eliminating fry, wouldn't they prevent all recruitment of centrarchids?

As for the turtles, maybe you are right. I certainly don't think that a turtle will carry eggs a mile through south Texas. In my case it's only about 300-feet through wetlands. The permanent dry ground is probably only 100-feet wide. I assume that you have seen a large snapper with about 1/2-inch of algae on his back, which is essentially a sponge on the back of a small bulldozer. There are many days/nights where there is virtually no chance of the turtle drying out in the 20-minutes that it takes him to travel that distance. There are no fewer than five turtle tracks between ponds each day.

In my situation I think that makes more sense than a bird. Waterfowl plumage is coated with natural oils that repel water. I have a hard time believing that hydrophobic feathers can adsorb a water-based material (fish eggs) and transport it through the air. There are probably several potential dispersal methods, however, I don't believe humans played a role in the case I described. But then again, that's why I studied rocks. Does anyone here believe that all life began from a primordial soup and a bolt of lightening? Maybe its just spontaneous generation.

I assume Bill, Bob, Dave, etc. have tired of this topic or are preparing a Pond Boss article as we speak. Hope they have the definitive answer with pictures and interviews.

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#47593 - 07/22/04 09:26 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Norm Kopecky Offline
Lunker

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 764
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
It is certainly my experience that LMB will wipe out a green sunfish population. As has been mentioned many times, LMB will eat green sunfish before bluegills. The longer, more slender shape of green sunfish go down easier than bluegills. Also, they stay a smaller eating size longer. We started out with more green sunfish than bluegills and now seldom see a green sunfish.
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#47594 - 07/22/04 09:42 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Brian Loberger Offline
Member

Registered: 10/29/02
Posts: 208
If ever in my life I had seen a turtle with 1/2" of moss on it's back I would not have made that comment. I have many turtles and their backs are as clean as can be. Possibly the cold water and wintering under the ice prevents it. My water just recently passed 70 degrees. It's amazing how opinions can vary between people that are 1500 miles apart.

I also agree on the green sunfish. One of the biggest reasons people avoid the hybrid bluegills here is that they can revert to green sunfish and the bass don't prefer them to the abundant forage here. Of course we never stock native bluegills in Wisconsin because the bass don't even come close to controlling their numbers here. My bass have just started to feed heavily in the last week or so, just in time to control any baby cats. The clouds of them appeared in late july last year and this year the water is colder.

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#47595 - 07/23/04 09:10 AM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Steve Young Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Here are a couple turtle pictures. I'm not trying to push this theory too hard, just thought it was a potential answer. Brian, I'm in Michigan just across the big pond from you.

Soup Stock

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#47596 - 07/25/04 06:57 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
JM Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/03
Posts: 95
Loc: Raymond, MS
Here is a link to a post in the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks with a good picture of a debris covered snapper.

http://www.mdwfp.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4538
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#47597 - 07/26/04 12:28 AM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Brian Loberger Offline
Member

Registered: 10/29/02
Posts: 208
This should put this to rest but I am sure it wont...........

This past Saturday I spent the morning at a seminar for those of us with a Wisconsin Fish Hatchery license. I had to go just for the sake of meeting Dr Myron Kebus head of the whole program for the state of Wisconsin and one of the sharpest fish vetrinarians you could ever hope to meet. He has helped me overcome bad advice from local pond pros several times. After we were done studying livers from yellow perch which were poorly affected by feed training (really cool stuff), we discussed this at length.

The final answer from his point of view is there are 2 main ways these fish arrive. Eggs stuck to the feet of birds and eggs stuck to vegetation that is transported by birds and in unusual cases by other forms of life. They do not stick to the feathers. I am not sure what birds would transport grasses but it never ceases to amaze me the different creatures the pond attracts.

I have to tell you that asking this guy how fish get into remote ponds is like asking Alan Greenspan how you should invest your money. You may not agree with him, but he is very sharp in his field.

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#47598 - 09/03/04 10:49 AM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Rangersedge Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 837
Loc: Illinois
Just thinking... There may be a budding biologist or someone on this board who needs an experiment for their masters or doctorate research paper OR maybe just someone who has a burning need to know.

It would seem that the viability of fish egg transport could probably be somewhat replicated in a controlled environment… Use pet ducks/geese, maybe first feed them in an artificial tank loaded with fish eggs and then later feed them in a artificial tank with none. Or maybe even just use feathers and fans and etc. from one container to the next with different time periods exposed to the fan to simulate flight / travel time. I don't know. I’m not a scientist or biologist. I'm just thinking…
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#47599 - 09/03/04 04:22 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
overtonfisheries Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 882
Loc: East/Central Texas
We have a fish farm in Buffalo, TX. We have about 30 ponds which we seine, drain, kill, and refill all the time. We have one hybrid striper grow out pond and have not introduced hybrid stripers to any other pond. Last year we found a hybrid striper in another pond at least 200 yds away. Explain that.

Also, we've killed off fish population s with rotenone and hydrated lime at low water levels, and found that some green sunfish and mudcats seem to survive what seems to be imminent death.

Did the pond go bone dry?...it is very difficult to drain a pond 100%.

This is where my suspicion lays.
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#47600 - 09/08/04 09:41 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
lukifell Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 7
Loc: New Hampshire
Consider this-

My pond is only 1/5 an acre. I have seen ospreys, kingfishers and mergansers there. All these birds eat fish. Could a predatory bird transport fish from one pond to another ? A bird might need to bring fish home to hatchlings for instance. Or perhaps a bird of prey might bring a fish to a female bird as part of a mating ritual.

It's not any more far-fetched than the Turtle Theory.

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#47601 - 10/05/04 05:53 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
82Martin Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 44
Loc: Alabama
I'm not a very frequent contributor here, and I'm pretty late stumbling into this very interesting thread, but let me share a thought.

As a boy visiting my family's farm about 60 miles north of Dallas, I remember one summer when I was watching a thunderstorm come through, it looked like slivers of hail were falling with the rain. They were small "minnows"! They would flop around a little on the ground. I don't know what kind of fish they were, nor was there much of an explanation provided, other than that they may have been picked up by high winds or a water spout, but I had the newspaper clipping from the Gainesville Register for years. I saw it with my own eyes, and I was TOO YOUNG to be drinking! I've since heard of the same thing happening with small frogs. I suppose this could happen more often than one might think.

...If you build it, they will come...

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#47602 - 10/06/04 07:46 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Sunil Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 11521
Loc: Somerset, PA
I was fishing at my place last Saturday. I was using shiners (2-4") that I bought from my regular bait store.

When I was done, I was throwing the leftover shiners into the pond, and there was a baby black bullhead in there. He got relocated to the shore.

I had the bait bucket in the water, and he was small enough to have swam through one of the holes in the bucket (not the circulation holes), so I really don't know if he migrated from the bait store.

I'm leaning toward the Mother Nature theory (birds, reptiles, storms, etc).
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Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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#47603 - 10/29/04 10:45 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Kansas Ed Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Kansas
Thought I would add one more twist to the story. In the past 15 years I have have visited several old WWII ammunition plants in Kansas and Nebraska that were abandoned after the war or after the Korean War. Everyone one of these plants has large open concrete sumps or pits with walls that rise well above the ground surface. Most of them still hold water and many of them have fish, Ive seen bass and blugills.

There is absolutely no chance for stocking by turtles, no chance for travel from another body of water during rains. In my opinion there is only a remote chance of human intervention as these old plants are not open to the public and some are fenced and guarded. I suppose birds could land in these old sumps, but I've never seen a bird coming, going, or on the water. I doubt a duck would land next to old buildings, but its possible. I have seen dead possums and coons that have fallen into the sumps and couldn't get out. Maybe they brought the eggs? Another twist? Regards! Ed
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Kansas Ed

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#47604 - 05/20/05 05:02 PM Re: How did these fish arrive ?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
We have been getting some unusual late spring rains here in Northern California. This is causing heavy runoffs and overflows at a time that it never happens. This morning I found fingerling Bluegills swimming about 1/2 mile out into a field on my ranch. They got there swimming in what amounts to sheet flows of water barely deep enough to cover them. I've seen it before so it didn't surprise me. My point is only that the little buggers can travel far distances in almost no water when forced to do so.
Jim

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