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#500565 - 01/12/19 08:51 AM Saugeye info
NEDOC Online   content
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Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 867
Loc: SC Nebraska
I didn't want to litter the crappie thread with saugeye discussion, but was curious for you to fill us in on your knowledge of saugeye. Examples..... Do you have experience with them feed training? Do they handle turbid water well? Do you know of anywhere for a private pond owner to get his hands on some?


Edit: title changed


Edited by NEDOC (01/12/19 04:34 PM)
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#500572 - 01/12/19 12:31 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5448
Loc: SE Kansas
Wallace Fish Farms used to list Saugeye on his web site but I see they are no longer listed. He may have sourced them as I'm sure he did not raise all his fish.

An old thread from 2009 saugeye thread


Edited by snrub (01/12/19 12:35 PM)
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#500579 - 01/12/19 03:16 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 426
Loc: NW Kansas
I have assisted with building these critters in Kansas since 1994. We only collect eggs, fertilize and send to hatchery. They may get a call a week or 2 later to collect fry for impoundment stocking, others are kept until fingerling size, but I have not had the opportunity to try and truly feed train any of these because in 99.9% of all stockings in KS, they are used to put the smack-down on crappie. A "tool" to manipulate the situation.
With that being said, I have played with a few in the aquarium. Side by side with walleye and I can say they do recognize and associate "you" with food. The Saugeye fingerlings would position themselves literally vertical below the water's surface. I used FHM, and at the time, never considered trying to use pellets but I can see you may have set me up for a new mission!
The few I had indoors for several months with a couple of walleye grew to 14", the walleye to 9".
As for water quality, we've found the Saugeye handle turbid water more like their daddy was used to, and these fish have mostly done quite well in areas it was bad enough we didn't have high hopes, but turned out very successful.
Bill C had referenced some material in the other thread suggesting the Saugeye are fertile, yet in the tests I'm aware of here, there has not been male spermatozoa found "active". Yes, Females producing eggs can be fertilized by male WAE, but again, we don't stock saugeye where WAE recruit at all, and in captive genetic studies the G1 from walleye + sauger female X walleye male reverts to near pure walleye, but even that is rare.
Nebraska tried a few impoundments with Saugeye and part of the reason they haven't increased the size of that program is the simple fact they can't produce enough walleye fry/fingerlings for supplemental stockings within the state to handle stocking requests. Kansas is very similar, as we share WAE/SAE with them.
Honestly, I feel this fish is a perfect fit for ponds because they tend to do well in tight spaces, they continue to feed in total darkness-which gives one more control when using this as a tool controlling numbers of over-abundant species that other predators fail to efficiently control, and they seem to stay more active in warmer environments.
As for availability of this fish, I do have one contact that is raising every year and does sell to the public in low numbers and I ask that you allow me to contact him and ask his permission to make that a more public knowledge. His fish are checked yearly, he is licensed, but I want to make sure he's ok with that as I respect his wishes to remain low-key.
Mark Harbin, east of Wichita has had some saugeye available in years past, but not every year.
Not sure I have answered your questions, I hope this helps but I'm open to share any data I have on this!
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#500581 - 01/12/19 04:31 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
NEDOC Online   content
Lunker

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 867
Loc: SC Nebraska
Wow, and I didnít think I could be any more excited about these than I already am. Thanks so much for the info! It sounds like saugeye could be a great Ďpondí alternative to walleye or even perch to some extent.

I may change the title of this to attract others that may be interested in adding or absorbing saugeye information.


Edited by NEDOC (01/12/19 04:33 PM)
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#500585 - 01/12/19 05:41 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8120
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Yeah Corey, you need these in the BC fishery ASAP.
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#500588 - 01/12/19 06:47 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
NEDOC Online   content
Lunker

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 867
Loc: SC Nebraska
Iíll work on it!! Super excited.
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#500618 - 01/13/19 04:48 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1195
Loc: Louisiana
Y'all have me wondering, since they're hybrid and sterile, and obviously thrive in cooler water, if they would be a good winter stocker (in limited numbers) to help with crowd control when all the other predators slow down. I doubt they'd survive the summers down here, even with aeration.


Edited by Mike Whatley (01/13/19 04:49 PM)
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#500622 - 01/13/19 08:23 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 426
Loc: NW Kansas
Saugeye handle low D.O. unlike sauger. Walleye pure strain handle low D.O. better than many species but saugeye handle the warmer temps better. I know they'll maintain in mid to upper 80's without issue.
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#500625 - 01/13/19 08:44 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1195
Loc: Louisiana
I may have to give that some serious thought. I love walleye fillets, and I'm sure saugeye are very similar.
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#500628 - 01/13/19 08:57 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 426
Loc: NW Kansas
Most folks can't tell the fish itself apart from a walleye, the fillets are no different.
Most will say the molting between the dorsal spines give them away but we've found years where none of a certain year class have the molting. The best way to confirm is the smoothness (WAE)or roughness (SAE) of the cheek patch scales.
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#500631 - 01/13/19 09:24 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1195
Loc: Louisiana
I've done a little searching regarding stocking of Saugeye in Louisiana. The furthest south I've found any information on them is around Abilene, Tx. There's no information pertaining to Saugeye in Louisiana. Apparently I'm the only one around here who's given it any consideration. Chances are, La laws being what they are, they probably wouldn't allow it anyway, even if they are sterile.
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#500643 - 01/14/19 09:35 AM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
NEDOC Online   content
Lunker

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 867
Loc: SC Nebraska
Great info guys. Pretty rare for this forum to have a species that hasn't had their impact on a pond be documented thoroughly. Hopefully we can change that over the next few years.
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#500652 - 01/14/19 10:36 AM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Bill Cody Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12851
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Saugeye - It appears one private person grows them. Problem. How does one get them?
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#500655 - 01/14/19 12:24 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Jeff Calvin Offline


Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 50
Loc: Ohio USA
Sorry for the question;

Since Walleye have little to no success of spawning in ponds (per previous Pond Boss strings), and Saugeye are basically sterile, why bother with Saugeye at all? Walleye are much easier to get for stocking ponds - at least in the MW and NE.

What is the benefit if both of them don't spawn? Does one MEASURABLY feed differently than another? Is one more hardy than the other? Availability is worse and cost is probably higher with the Saugeye (guess).
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#500656 - 01/14/19 12:37 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Bill Douglas Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/29/02
Posts: 119
Loc: Memphis, TN
I am curious if saugeye would help to control small largemouth bass. Overpopulation of bass is always a constant battle in a pond environment. Also curious if saugeye could survive in north Mississippi?
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#500657 - 01/14/19 12:48 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: Snipe]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5448
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: Snipe
Saugeye handle low D.O. unlike sauger. Walleye pure strain handle low D.O. better than many species but saugeye handle the warmer temps better. I know they'll maintain in mid to upper 80's without issue.


Jeff, this appears to be one advantage from above. Better fit for specific conditions.


Edited by snrub (01/14/19 12:48 PM)
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#500659 - 01/14/19 01:02 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
NEDOC Online   content
Lunker

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 867
Loc: SC Nebraska
Well I think there are a lot of questions that we would all like to have answered for a novice pond owner. Over the years Iíve read that saugeye handle turbid water better and feed train better than walleye. Those two things alone would make them much more valuable for my situation. It has also been surmised that they do better in smaller environments and in warmer water than walleye. My greatest interest is in how they will grow in a cage and if I can feed train them. So those are things Iíd like to observe. Itís one of the few species that hasnít been dealt with a lot in small ponds so i hope to find something they can contribute, or a niche they can fill that other fish canít.
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#500661 - 01/14/19 03:02 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1800
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: NEDOC
Well I think there are a lot of questions that we would all like to have answered for a novice pond owner. Over the years Iíve read that saugeye handle turbid water better and feed train better than walleye. Those two things alone would make them much more valuable for my situation. It has also been surmised that they do better in smaller environments and in warmer water than walleye. My greatest interest is in how they will grow in a cage and if I can feed train them. So those are things Iíd like to observe. Itís one of the few species that hasnít been dealt with a lot in small ponds so i hope to find something they can contribute, or a niche they can fill that other fish canít.


I actually caught a saugeye when I lived in Ohio. Decent fighter, though not to be compared with a HSB. Absolutely delicious.

Would love to find out if my BOW could sustain a small population.


Edited by anthropic (01/14/19 03:03 PM)
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#500664 - 01/14/19 04:09 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1195
Loc: Louisiana
My main interest is in crowd control during the colder months, when everything else's feeding requirements slow down. Being they're sterile I'll know how many are there and can try to fish them out come spring.

Kind of reverse psychology when thinking about stocking tilapia. Instead of restocking TP every spring for forage, which I don't need, I'd be stocking a temporary predator in the fall, which may or may not survive the summer, but still offer excellent table fare, and still feed heavy on those YOY and late spawn fry. My understanding is they tend to feed a lot at night, so shorter days of light should be a non-issue. Come spring they should be big enough to harvest.

Edit: Anyone know what the gape on a 12" Saugeye is??


Edited by Mike Whatley (01/14/19 04:15 PM)
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.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#500665 - 01/14/19 04:31 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: Jeff Calvin]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 426
Loc: NW Kansas
Originally Posted By: Jeff Calvin
Sorry for the question;

Since Walleye have little to no success of spawning in ponds (per previous Pond Boss strings), and Saugeye are basically sterile, why bother with Saugeye at all? Walleye are much easier to get for stocking ponds - at least in the MW and NE.

What is the benefit if both of them don't spawn? Does one MEASURABLY feed differently than another? Is one more hardy than the other? Availability is worse and cost is probably higher with the Saugeye (guess).

SAE Grow at nearly twice the rate of WAE to year 2.
SAE are not as picky when it comes to forage and are an EXCELLENT tool to control a less than desirable shaped BG or BCP.
SAE are very productive in turbid waters that inhibit even average WAE growth.
SAE outfight the WAE 2 to 1, yet the same on the table/frying pan.
Bill hits on the main limiting factor on this species..availability.
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#500666 - 01/14/19 04:34 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: Mike Whatley]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 426
Loc: NW Kansas
Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
My main interest is in crowd control during the colder months, when everything else's feeding requirements slow down. Being they're sterile I'll know how many are there and can try to fish them out come spring.

Kind of reverse psychology when thinking about stocking tilapia. Instead of restocking TP every spring for forage, which I don't need, I'd be stocking a temporary predator in the fall, which may or may not survive the summer, but still offer excellent table fare, and still feed heavy on those YOY and late spawn fry. My understanding is they tend to feed a lot at night, so shorter days of light should be a non-issue. Come spring they should be big enough to harvest.

Edit: Anyone know what the gape on a 12" Saugeye is??

Mike, I don't have a gape chart but I can tell you 11-12" SAE will CLEAN HOUSE on 2.5-3" crappie.
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#500667 - 01/14/19 04:40 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
NEDOC Online   content
Lunker

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 867
Loc: SC Nebraska
Snipe, I'm not doubting your accuracy on that info but was curious as to if you have links to any of the above info or if that is all just first hand info on your part. I find this all very fascinating. With availability it seems like this could be an excellent pond management fish.

Edit: I'd love to study their impact on common carp!


Edited by NEDOC (01/14/19 04:44 PM)
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#500668 - 01/14/19 04:49 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 426
Loc: NW Kansas
Originally Posted By: NEDOC
Great info guys. Pretty rare for this forum to have a species that hasn't had their impact on a pond be documented thoroughly. Hopefully we can change that over the next few years.

And I'm going to make that happen for a few of you guys, it's just not going to be in big numbers..
I've always thought it would be feasible for a private hatchery that rears their own walleye stock to obtain some Sauger males and have a continued SAE supply.
Yes, it requires space for the male Sauger and space for SAE only fry, but I do believe this fish has just not been around long enough for it to take off in the private sector. I hope that changes..
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#500669 - 01/14/19 05:01 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: NEDOC]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 426
Loc: NW Kansas
Originally Posted By: NEDOC
Snipe, I'm not doubting your accuracy on that info but was curious as to if you have links to any of the above info or if that is all just first hand info on your part. I find this all very fascinating. With availability it seems like this could be an excellent pond management fish.

Edit: I'd love to study their impact on common carp!

Nothing is published from KS on this.. I have worked with the Biologist that I believe has more experience with this fish than anyone. He has a compilation of data for dept use but we don't get to read that in public fora.. But I have access to that data, and I've seen it in action, first-hand. I've been able to work side by side to see the results for just over 20 years now-on the SAE program.
I need to take the time and see if my Bio will set down with me and give me some specifics I can share on data points on this. He'll be here on Thursday for a community lake project I'm involved with and I'll see what I can drag out of him as far as any help with other sources. If we could get at least enough to do 3-4 private pond situations, the data may be enough to promote some individuals raising other fish to pursue the Saugeye. Only a thought, as I know my numbers will be limited but enough for a couple of guys to try out.
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#500670 - 01/14/19 05:24 PM Re: Snipe!! [Re: Snipe]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1195
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: Snipe
Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
My main interest is in crowd control during the colder months, when everything else's feeding requirements slow down. Being they're sterile I'll know how many are there and can try to fish them out come spring.

Kind of reverse psychology when thinking about stocking tilapia. Instead of restocking TP every spring for forage, which I don't need, I'd be stocking a temporary predator in the fall, which may or may not survive the summer, but still offer excellent table fare, and still feed heavy on those YOY and late spawn fry. My understanding is they tend to feed a lot at night, so shorter days of light should be a non-issue. Come spring they should be big enough to harvest.

Edit: Anyone know what the gape on a 12" Saugeye is??

Mike, I don't have a gape chart but I can tell you 11-12" SAE will CLEAN HOUSE on 2.5-3" crappie.


I don't "THINK" I have many crappie in my little mutt pond, I've only caught two. One 6" in a trap, the other was 11" on rod. My biggest concern is that stockers too large would have a detrimental impact on my more mature BG if there aren't enough appropriate sized crappie. But it's the smaller panfish I want them to target anyway. I'm thinking 12-14" may be the target size for removal, much like LMB.

It sounds like the gape of SAE may be very comparable to that of LMB if 11-12" SAE target 2.5-3" crappie, which would be roughly 1/3 their size.


Edited by Mike Whatley (01/14/19 06:10 PM)
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