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#92761 10/21/06 10:44 PM
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Anyone heard from PLM about scuds yet? I'm still waiting for them to respond to my email from weeks ago. I'm beginning to wonder. I know this is a real business cause I drive by it often. They have a bunch of land and I see signs around the area indicating land that they are managing for folks. Wonder why we can't get more response from these guys. I only drive by there when I go to our lake place. If it wasn't a 2 hour drive I'd run on over there just to kick them in gear. I'd bet they all duck hunt and since we're in the middle of the season that may be the excuse but geez!


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Seems like Bill was telling me that they've got the incorrect species for me, but it may be the right one for you, BZ.

I wish you'd order them and see how they do. ;\)


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bz - Is there a way that you could stop to see them the next time you drive by their place. Ask if they have any scuds? If you can get a few (4-10) preserve them for me in a small jar containing isopropyl alcohol. If you get that much done I will get my address to you so you can send them to me. I will get a positive identification on them. If PLM does not have any scuds in house we will have to wait until next spring.


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Bill, I normally wouldn't drive up that way again until next spring when I open up the cabin in early may. They mentioned on their web site that they catch and sell the scuds in January and February I think. They said they have to be shipped the same day they catch them. So I think that means they won't have any on hand until they start netting. If I get over there at an earlier date I'll stop in and get all the info I can get. If nothing else I'll be going there when they are netting them. I do plan to buy some and try them out. How long does it take you do do an ID? My fear is that if they can't give me any until they start netting we would need some time to get an ID and if that takes too long other guys like Bruce will miss this year's crop.


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bz - I can typicaly ID the scuds within 1/2 hour of when I receive them and take time to sit down and examine them under the dissection microscope. We may have to wait until next spring for you to send me a few preserved specimens. Aren't things froze up pretty tight in Minnesota during Jan and Feb?


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 Quote:
Originally posted by bz:
...if that takes too long other guys like Bruce will miss this year's crop.
Don't worry 'bout me. I've got the world's largest crop of water boatmen. I think most of my bluegill are about to explode from eating too much.


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how do you grow the largest crop of water boatmen?

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Don't allow any reproduction. I've got more invertebrates than you can shake a microscope at.


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Bill, yes things are frozen solid around here in Jan. and Feb. but that's when PLM says they catch and sell scuds. So I'm assuming they net them under the ice. They probably do it during the winter so they survive better in shipment. At any rate I'm going to keep calling them and trying to figure out a way to get some. But I still don't know whether I should try to stock them in a new pond with no vegetation. Do I have to wait another year?


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I would wait. I think when you talk to PLM about proper habitat that they will stress the importance of submerged vegetation esp fine leafed forms.


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Just curious BZ, anyone from PLM return your calls?

Bill, would you consider bur-reed "fine leafed"?

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Russ, I would not consider bur-reed fine leafed, nor would I consider it submerged vegetation. Technically it is an emergent shoreline or shallow water plant. In my opinion it has very little value as habitat or a food source for scuds.


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Russ, no return call yet. Wonder what's up? I'll try again soon when some of the hunting slows down.


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Bringing this one up for air to see if we have any updates. Bz, did anyone ever get back to you?

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No one has returned my calls. I'll try again soon. This place is 100 miles from where I live and if I knew there was someone alive there I might take a Saturday drive.


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Attention Scud enthusiasts!
Just spent some time on the phone with the owner of PLM. His name is Kyle Thomson (320-760-9355). He apologized profusely for not returning my call and anyone else he missed. He claims he personally returns all calls and emails but had never gotten a message from me and doesn't know why he missed others. The good news is that he has lots of stuff that I could use and they've recently opened a store where I can pick up anything in season. Here's the scoop on scuds:
The scuds they sell are gammarus lacustris, which are one of the larger ones, from 1/2 to 3/4 inch.
They sell quite a few of them. Prices are $85 for 20 to 40 thousand shrimp, see the web site:
http://www.habitatnow.com/store/shop/shop.php?pn_selected_category=19
Kyle gave me his cell phone number which I provide above if any of you want to reach him. He says that now is the time to order scuds. They only sell them in winter. For Bruce's sake I asked about whether these scuds will thrive in NB. He says they will thrive down to the mid US. He has clients in NC that have good luck with them. Some time real soon he is making a delivery down to Oklahoma and will be passing through Nebraska. If anyone in Iowa or Nebraska is interested in scuds he would be glad to meet you somewhere and deliver. He says that you need to stock scuds within no more than 48 hours of them being captured. He can also mail them. For those of you interested in attracting waterfoul he says that he sells most of his scuds to folks for that purpose. They are a sure bet for ducks. Kyle is a biologist and spent time with me discussing my pond objectives. He convinced me that I should let my new pond grow some vegetation this coming year and stock scuds next winter. I want to attract ducks and grow forage for my BG. His advice was to grow the scuds in my forage pond and seine them to put in BG pond. He affirmed my understanding that any type of minnow in my forage pond will pretty much kill the idea of attracting waterfoul. He talked me out of growing wild celery in my new pond given its size and depth. He suggested sago pond weed as a good aerator and food source for ducks. I'm going to order some this weekend for spring delivery. I hope some of you find a use for the scuds. Sounds like a great forage feed for BG and it might start a new trend. I like trying new things.


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Thanks, bz. Can you pm me his cell number? I'll definitely try some. Good diligence on your part.


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Overnight shipping to OH is as much as a gallon of scuds - approx $86. He is only shipping scuds in January and February. His helpers were out gathering scuds in MN on Friday. Kyle tells me that they can survive in somewhat warmer water than trout waters. His Gammarus compensate warmer water by using more rapid gill movements. Calcium above 30ppm, pH 7-8, and finer leafed vegetation are improtant for survival. I forgot to ask how warm his ponds get in the summer.


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Bill, he mentioned to me that he talked to someone named Bill from Ohio recently, like maybe today. He wondered if that was someone from this forum. What do you think, does he know what he's talking about? I've seen one of his ponds where he raises scuds. It is a typical cattail slough with black mud bottom. My guess is that it hits close to 80 deg. on the surface with no more than 65 to 70 at the bottom. That's about what my pond runs in areas less than 6 feet deep. Mr. Willis might be interested to know that Kyle also has permits to harvest scuds in South Dakota. He says there is lots of them there.

Bruce, his cell number is in my last post above.

I mentioned this forum to Kyle and suggested he check out Pond Boss mag for advertising.

I'm really itchin to get some of these and try them out but I guess I'll have to wait. I wonder if they'd survive in my well established BG pond without all getting eaten? I'm awful tempted to try.


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BZ,

Thanks for the follow up. Did Kyle have any recommendations on what types of vegetation to plant in fish ponds?


A link to a discussion on scuds;

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=003348;p=2

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BZ great work !! All for your PB friends. \:D

You should think about a small isolation area in your pond. Use a 1/4 in mesh net or rigid plastic netting to fence off a good area say 20 X 20 (after ice-out). Run all the fish out as you close the area. Add some green brush/weeds and some scuds. How's that for a summer project. Document the results - efforts ,#s , growth, temps , reproduction ,etc and results. Then write a PB article. \:\)
















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Russ - Optimum vegetation Kyle recommended was Sago Pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) which he sells. Sago pondweed resembles two other pondweeds with needle-like leaves - Threadleaf and Sheathed pondweed. Sago pondweed is fairly widespread across the US east of Rocky Mtns. Leaves are 0.5-1.5mm wide and are arranged in a sort of a flat fan shape. Stems sprout from slender rhizomes that are peppered with starchy tubers which are considered a very good duck food. Sago is tolerant of low light conditions and can grow in murky waters. In clear water it can easily grow fairly deep 6-8ft and sometimes deeper.

The fine leaves and dense growth habit make it very beneficial shelter for insect larvae, crustaceans and young fish.

Some other underwater rooted vegetation species are also good habitat for scuds. Essentially anything with fine bladed leaves is acceptable scud habitat. Wood has often described seeing lots of scuds in NW Canada ponds that contain Coontail (Ceratophyllum dimersum). Other species with finely divided leaves include the Milfoils (Myriophyllum spp), Crowfoot-Water Buttercup(Ranunculus), Bladderworts (Utricularia spp), Horned pondweeds (Zannichillia palustris), Naiads - Bushy & Southern (Najas spp), and several other Pondweeds such as Algal-leaved pondweed, Water thread pondweed, Leafy pondweed, and Small pondweed (P.pusillus).

Since Chara spp (Stoneworts, Muskgrass) and Nitella spp are true algae and not macrophytic plants, I am not sure how much actual nutrient value and benefit they are to producion of scuds. However, one would expect the finely divided stems and branches to be very good shelter for scuds and the abundant finely divided surfaces should grow lots of epiphytes that would serve as food for scuds.

bz - Yes that was me who Kyle talked to. I ordered one gallon of scuds. I am going to try once again to get them established. The first two attempts failed. I blamed it on water temperature, but it could have been due to too many small panfish eliminating the brood stock. This time I am splitting the shippment and most of them (2/3) will go into a pond that only has minnows - no sport fish. Predominant plant growth right now is Chara. Other 1/3 will go into my perch pond that has good growths of underwater vegetation that provide habitat and succesful production of grass shrimp (Palaemonetes).


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Sago Pondweed - Potamogeton pedctinatus see here.

http://aquaplant.tamu.edu/database/submerged_plants/sago_pondweed.htm
















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Ewest, you know I came up with the same idea. I was goin' nuts trying to figure out a way I could get some scuds this spring. I thought about my existing BG pond. Was laying in bed last night trying to figure this out when I thought about perhaps netting off an area. I couldn't figure out what size netting and then I figured perhaps just netting small enough to keep fish out but let the scuds wander around so that some become fish food. Then the fish can't eat them all. That's what you must have had in mind. I've got a small bay at the end of my pond with much vegetation around the edges and a mostly sunken island in the middle. It would be very easy to net off the whole bay since it only has a narrow channel connecting it to pond. Any ideas about how I could get all the fish out before closing it off? The bay is about 100 feet across with a 15 foot wide channel. One problem is that I cannot net this off until ice out and the scuds only available during the winter. Any ideas? My new pond is going to be a cool experiment too when I'm ready to put them in.
Bill, curious whether you just happened to call PLM again or did he finally get back to you from an old message? He was emphatic that he returns all his calls and had no explanation why so many went unanswered. Good luck growing the scuds. Let is know when they arrive and how it goes introducing them.


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bz, do you have a transfer pump that you could lower your water level for a couple of days to put up your netting? I don't recall how big your pond is.


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