Quote:Originally posted by Steve Young:
Does anyone know of a source for redears adapted to the north? I've heard that they exist, but have been unable to locate a supply in Michigan. If not, perhaps pumpkinseeds would be the alternative for snail control. Have not seen much positive feedback on pumpkinseeds on this board due to small size. Cecil, I think you talked about large pumpkinseeds on a fishing trip somewhere, are you aware of good genetic broodstock for these critters?
Don't know if redears (shellcrackers) will survive as far north as you as the northern end of their range is southern Michigan as far as I know. And I am under the impression that even though they survive in lakes in southern Michigan and Northern Indiana they may not fare as well in shallower farm ponds.
If you are willing to go to the trouble to catch some and attempt to bring them back to your pond Coldwater Lake near Coldwater, Michigan has some dandies. Also just north of me the Lake James and Snow Lake chain has some monsters too. As a taxidermist I've mounted them over 2 lbs from these lakes.
If you want to plant something that eats snails and is hardy as far north as you, as you eluded to, Pumpkinseeds would be the ticket. However where I caught them is really far from you and me -- Massachusetts.
Mike Robinson of Keystone in northern Illinois is going to get some in the future and he may be able to help you.
I have also listed some other farms that are listed in the Aquaculture buyers guide as suppliers of pumpkinseeds. Don't be put off that they seem far away. They may deliver near you or know of haulers that are passing through our area from their area and may be able to set something up.
Mike Robinson's contact info is:
Here's the other suppliers for pumpkinseeds listed in my Aquaculture Buyers Guide:
Midwest Fish & Crayfish MN
Northeastern Aquatics NY
Paradise Fish Farm, OH
Smith Creek Fish, NY
West Central Bait Co. Inc MN
Be aware that the both redears and pumpkinseeds could hybridize with your bluegills if you have them. If that does not concern you then it is not a problem.
I will be catching redears from a couple of neighboring lakes and planting them into my pond after a preventive salt treatment. If you were closer I could possible get you some. I too have too many snails for confort.